'Love Thy Neighbour' by Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus is an album produced at the Black Ark by Lee Perry and originally released in 1979. That all appears to be straight forward enough, right? Well appearances can be deceptive and it's not as simple as it seems.
Apparently a dozen tracks were
recorded by the band with Scratch at
the helm in 1978 and over the years
several different permutations of
these tunes have seen the light of
day, released under the 'Love Thy
Neighbour' banner. Unfortunately
though, so far, there has been no
compilation of the complete sessions.
So there's a massive opportunity for a
label like Pressure Sounds to step in
and gather together the definitive
version of this great album.
My copy of 'Love Thy Neighbour' boasts
just seven tracks and I've managed to
track down a couple of others on my
journeys around the interweb. The
sound is haunting and drenched in echo, even by
Black Ark standards, and the nyabinghi
drums reverberate like a clattering
heartbeat through each tune. The reverb and delay create a claustrophobic, menacing atmosphere throughout. I've read
some criticism of the production being
too murky and dense, but I wouldn't
have it any other way.
Here are two tracks from
the album. If you dig 'em,
check out the rest, or at least those that are easy to find.
Enjoy the tunes and your weekend.
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