The Congos Heart Of The Congos (40th Anniversary Edition )

Heart Of The Congos (40th Anniversary Edition )

The Congos

Released on May 19, 2017 by VP Records

Main artist: The Congos

Genre: World > Reggae

Distinctions: Songlines Five-star review (August 2017)

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Album : 3 disks - 30 tracks Total length : 02:32:28

    DISC 1
  1. 1 Fisherman

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  2. 2 Congoman

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  3. 3 Open Up The Gate

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  4. 4 Children Crying

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  5. 5 La La Bam-Bam

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  6. 6 Can't Come In

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  7. 7 Sodom And Gomorrow

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  8. 8 The Wrong Thing

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  9. 9 Ark Of The Covenant

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  10. 10 Solid Foundation

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017 VP Music Group

  11. DISC 2
  12. 1 Don't Blame It On I

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  13. 2 At The Feast

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  14. 3 Neckodeemus

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  15. 4 Solid Foundation (Disco Cork Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  16. 5 Foundation Dub

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  17. 6 Congoman (12" Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  18. 7 Congoman Chant

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  19. 8 Bring The Mackaback

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  20. 9 Fisherman Dub

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  21. 10 Noah Sugar Pan

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  22. DISC 3
  23. 1 Fisherman (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  24. 2 Congoman (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  25. 3 Open Up The Gate (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  26. 4 Children Crying (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  27. 5 La La Bam-Bam (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  28. 6 Can't Come In (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  29. 7 Sodom and Gomorrow (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  30. 8 The Wrong Thing (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  31. 9 Ark Of The Covenant (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

  32. 10 Solid Foundation (Original Black Ark Mix)

    The Congos, MainArtist Copyright : 2017, VP Music Group, Inc 2017, VP Music Group, Inc

About

Lee Perry is generally acknowledged as a production genius, but on occasion that genius can be destructive, and while there's no disputing his talent, sometimes the results can be less than aurally satisfying. This is especially true when it comes to albums, where Perry's efforts were often erratic. On Heart of the Congos he was brilliant, and across the record's original ten tracks Perry created a masterpiece of music. Many critics consider this 1977 album one of the best roots records of all time, and at the very least, it was Perry's apex -- only Junior Byles' Beat Down Babylon is an equal contender. Which is why it's all the more shocking that the record was turned down by Island, and even back in Jamaica it received only a limited release. It took nearly two decades for Heart of the Congos to reappear, finally reissued with a clutch of period bonus tracks by Blood and Fire. The Congos themselves seem the least-likely contenders to record an exceptional album with Perry. The duo of Cedric Myton and Roy "Ashanti" Johnson had a unique sound, revolving around the former man's crystalline falsetto, which was set off by the latter's rich tenor. The pair composed deeply cultural songs, but both men's vocals had a gentle quality that would wither under a typical deep roots arrangement. Still, Perry had proved his worth working with the soft, husky tones of Byles, but few expected him to be able to repeat this feat. In fact, if anything, the producer was even more sympathetic to the Congos' styling and exhibited a musical self-restraint that astonished even his hardcore fans. Every track on the original album is worthy of classic status, and all presented the group and their songs in the best possible light. To this end, Perry was aided by a phenomenal group of sessionmen and guest backing vocalists which included Gregory Isaacs, a pair of Heptones, and the mighty Meditations. But beyond the Congos' superb songs and performance, the superb musicianship, and the exceptional vocal talents, it's Perry's arrangements that brought these numbers to life. Each one was carefully tailored, taking into consideration the mood of the piece and the vocalist. The tribal beats of "Congoman," for example, are just the song's launch pad; its the way the vocals and harmonies weave in and out that makes the piece extraordinary. The 12" and "Chanting" versions give further evidence of Perry's genius. "Ark of the Covenant" is stuffed to the brim with instrumentation, with the vocals soaring overhead, and brings the album to a religious fervor. In contrast, "Solid Foundation" is stripped back, a showpiece for Myton's marvelous falsetto. There's the stirring roots of "Open the Gates" and "Sodom and Gomorrow," while rocksteady echoes across the deeply affecting "Children Crying" and "La La Bam Bam." Every track offers something new: a unique sound, an unforgettable melody and rhythm, an unexpected arrangement. As much work went into the remastering as the recording, and the album sounds as good as it must have at the time it was recorded. Revel in the moment. ~ Jo-Ann Greene

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