The World Should Know
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1993.
Many of today's reggae releases are dominated by
computerized sounds and 90's technology. Not so with the
latest from Burning Spear. This one's like a blast from the
past, with ten solid tracks of refreshing roots reggae.
Winston Rodney, who takes the name "Burning Spear" from
the African freedom fighter and Kenya's first head of state,
Jomo Kenyatta, has been a fixture on the Jamaican music
scene since 1969. He's always been a "conscious" artist,
preaching truth and rights, spiritualness, and the teachings
of Marcus Garvey. The sound on this release is full and
rich, with relentless horns and rhythms. Spear's rough,
distinctive voice comes across as strong and irresistible as
His vocal style is to ride the rhythm with repetitive,
hypnotic chants while his voice, filled with wisdom,
authenticity and a sense of urgency, makes it almost
impossible not to be drawn into his work. An example is the
title track, where he continually chants, "there is enough
for one and all, so why should one man want it all? The
world should know..."
"The World Should Know", indeed. Heartbeat records is
doing its part, by releasing this disc and calling 1993 "The
year of the Spear," and for good reason. Burning Spear's
commitment and message are still alive, making this an
important release from one of reggae's true living legends.
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