|Burning Spear is an undisputed musical legend. Not a year goes by that he doesn't release a blockbuster album or complete a successful tour. His concerts are events, and each subsequent record that he releases is greeted with eager anticipation by reggae fans everywhere.|
From his days recording for Studio One, EMI, Heartbeat, Island and others--to the present recording for Burning Music and Burning Productions, Burning Spear's discography includes some of the most important reggae albums of all time.
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Perhaps the most amazing thing about Burning Spear is how little his approach has changed after nearly 40 years as a recording artist. His themes and concerns -- freedom, self-determination, equal rights -- have remained constant, and he sticks pretty close to his original musical template of slow to mid-tempo roots rhythms with plenty of horns and percussion layered into the mix for added punch. As new styles have swept through the Jamaican music business, Spear has stayed his ground, sure in what he wants to say and how he wants to say it, always supporting and praising the resilience of the human spirit. Our Music, released on his own Burning Spear Records (which Spear runs with his wife and business partner Sonia Rodney), is his most fully realized record in years, with a bright, bubbling sound that is almost joyous in its persistence, even as he tackles hard social issues. Although it was recorded in New York City at Magic Shop Recording Studios, Our Music is thoroughly Jamaican, with Leroy Wallace once again holding down most of the drumming duties, and the rhythms are marvelously organic, natural, and vibrant, with sharp, perfectly placed horn charts (no one in reggae uses horns better than Burning Spear) that punctuate the melodies without derailing them. But most of all, Our Music is filled with hope, and that unerring hope is what lifts this record, even as Spear takes on his usual heavy social themes. This is a deeply committed artist, and it isn't chic or anything new with him (he's been bringing the same message since his first recordings with Clement Dodd in the mid-'60s), but what's a bit of a breakthrough here is how bright and airy his sound has become, even as he sticks with the mid-tempo rhythms and his generally sonorous vocal delivery. Highlights include the title track, "Our Music," the extended mix "Together" (which deals with war-torn Africa and features a fluid and soaring dub coda), "Down in Jamaica" (which wouldn't sound out of place on Spear's classic Marcus Garvey album), and the glorious, loping, and infectious "Walk," which essentially visits the whole planet in the lyrics, as Spear calls for a renewed sense of place in the world, not as a divisive factor, but as the first step toward unity. Know where you are, Spear insists, know where you live, get out and walk where you live, and know that this is the beginning of understanding the whole world we live in, neighborhood by neighborhood. A wonderful new album by a roots reggae master. ~ Steve Leggett|
|Thrivemix Presents: Trance Anthems 01 / Vario|
|War Ina Babylon/island Reggae Antholo|
|Island 50 Reggae|
|Reggae Golden Jubilee:origins Of Jama|
|Release Date : 09/20/2005|
|Original Release Date : 2005|
|Catalog ID : BM 327|
|Label : Burning Music|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00020286202127|
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "OUR MUSIC is full and supple, buoyed by a wholesome sense of positivity."
- "His lyrical concerns are no different from the time when he cut his first tunes for Clement Dodd or his breakthrough MARCUS GARVEY set..."
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "Winston's songs nevertheless bristle with passion, fury, thoughtfulness and a melody rare in modern reggae."
Once in a great while, an artist emerges that has a profound effect on popular culture. Burning Spear is such an artist. A certifiable musical legend, Spear's career has already spanned over three decades and shows no sign of slowing down. His concerts regularly last over two hours, a live show that delivers more energy and vibrancy than many rock and roll bands that are half his age. Its no surprise that Spear was the only reggae artist included in the 2002 music issue of Vanity Fair. But it is not just the music that generates the excitement, it is also the message. Carrying the torch for the gospel of Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear is one of the single greatest proponents of self-determination and self-reliance for all African descendants; but his message is not exclusively based on the teachings of Garvey. Through his music, Burning Spear has consistently been able to educate, inform, and uplift people the world over with his positive message based on honesty, peace, and love.
Growing up in the parish of St Ann's Jamaica, the same musical hotbed that produced Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear made his first recording of "Door Peep" in 1969 for the esteemed Studio One label. In fact, it was Bob Marley himself that referred Spear to Studio One. As Spear recalls: "The way the whole thing came about is that I found myself moving along up in the hills of St. Ann's and I ran into Bob (Marley) at the same time. And Bob was going to his farm. The man was moving with a donkey and some buckets and a fork, and cutlass and plants. We just reason man to man and I-man say wherein I would like to get involved in the music business. And Bob say, 'All right, just check Studio One." While at Studio One, Burning Spear recorded his first two classic albums, Burning Spear and Rocking Time.
Building on this solid foundation, Spear went on to record for Island Records in the 70's, releasing three albums (Marcus Garvey, Man in the Hills, and Garvey's Ghost) that not only reshaped the face of reggae music, but also saw the emergence of Burning Spear as an international artist whose artistic vision began to permeate popular culture around the world. He followed these up with the release of Hail H.I.M. for EMI and set the stage for a prolific string of releases through the 80's and 90's, including the Grammy winning Calling Rastafari, as well as Rasta Business, The World Should Know, Fittest of the Fittest, and more.