Personnel includes: Jacob Miller (vocals); Reggie, Earl "Chinna" Smith (guitar); Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall (saxophone); Bobby Ellis (trumpet); Vincent "Don D. Jr." Gordon (trombone); Augustus Pablo (melodica, piano, organ, Clavinet); Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Robbie Shakespeare (bass); Carlton Barrett, Lloyd "Tinleg" Adams (drums).
Recorded in Kingston, Jamaica in 1974-75.
There are those who argue that all reggae sounds the same, and that roots reggae, in particular, consists entirely of minor variations on a very small set of musical (and, Jah knows, lyrical) themes. Reggae aficionados will agree, to a point (though they may point out that the same can be said of Baroque music, big-band jazz, and bluegrass). But push the point too far and you run the risk of having an album like this one brought out and played for you from beginning to end. Who Say Jah No Dread consists of songs Jacob Miller recorded with legendary producer Augustus Pablo, and the dub versions of those tunes, all of which were mixed by King Tubby; talk about a triple threat. This album is one of a few hard, compact gems of roots reggae, a classic so inarguable that even the most intransigent reggae skeptic might be won over by its dark, mystical charms. All of the rhythm tracks on this album have become classics, none more deservedly than the one on which "Baby I Love You So" is based, which also forms the basis of "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown," a dub version generally considered to be the finest example of dub ever created. Amazingly, every track lives up to that high standard. If your reggae collection consists of only five titles, this should be one of them. ~ Rick Anderson