LABEL: Rockers/Greensleeves/RAS | GENRE: Roots Reggae | NEXT RELEASE: Time & Place (1980)
Recorded by Augustus Pablo on his “Message” label, it was a culmination of work recorded at Lee Perry’s Black Ark Studio, Channel One, Joe Gibbs and Harry J’s between 1975 and 1978 by the teenage prodigy nicknamed the “Gentle Genius” by his older counterparts. The final product gave credit to a host of legends such as Horsemouth Wallace, Jacob Miller, Sly&Robbie, Leroy Sibbles, and Earl “Chinna” Smith to name a few who contributed to the project, Engineering duties were handled by Sylvan Morris, Phillip Smart and Errol Thompson.
The 1978 nine-track album was titled “Africa Must Be Free (1983), based on the hit single and title track first recorded in 1975. Two tracks included on the album were done under the moniker Jah Levi, and the final track “Ital Sip” was a Dub version of, “Jah Will Provide”, the second to last entry on the album. The untitled fifth track was never listed on the album jacket but was an instrumental version of track 6, “Book Of Life”, which was done under the moniker Jah Levi.
The album was never licensed to any major labels, but served well as a UK and US import with three reprints noted in 1978. A limited run dub version of the album was also released that same year by Augustus Pablo’s Rockers International label.
In the true bitter coincidence of Reggae history, Hugh Mundell was shot dead in 1983 in the Grants Pen area of Kingston, an untimely loss for the Jamaican music industry.
The album would resurface via a license agreement with UK based Greensleeves in 1986 and 1994, and again in 1989 in the US where it was distributed on compact disc for the first time by RAS Records. The last cataloged re-issue was done in 2003 on the RAS Records imprint and was a re-issue of the 1989 extended version that included the eight tracks from the dub version of the album’s 1978 release.
Considered by Rolling Stone’s Magazine as a five star album, it has been included in the 2008 publication “1000 recording to listen before you die” by Tom Boon.
During his short lived career, Hugh Mundell completed five albums and 200 singles before his death, but his catalog list 8 albums, 36 singles, and 3 compilations, with appearances on 36 other productions.
Let’s All Unite
Africa Must Be Free By 1983
Why Do Black Man Fuss And Fight
Book Of Life
Run Revolution A Come
Day Of Judgment
Jah Will Provide
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