Review Revue: Big Youth - The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

The epic debate that unfolds on the cover of this unassuming collection of Jamaican music from the '70s and '80s pretty much speaks for itself. Apparently the only thing that stirs the college radio station pot more than the sweet sounds of ABC is the idea of a reggae compilation in heavy rotation. Scandal!

I recommend cuing up The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style on Spotify and listening along as you read the comments below.

"Great reggae with Soultown influences."

"Jah says: 'Play this record a lot!'"

"Hey! An all-star back up cats - Greg Isaacs, the Heptones, Dennis Brown! Some fine reggae here!"

"This is mostly a collection of singles, or so I'm told."

"I'm sorry, but deep in my heart I know this shouldn't be in H."

"I agree. Too much rasta can be inna bad style, man."

"I'm not sorry, but I don't think this should be here."

"Too much rasta? One reggae disc is in H and there are few in rotation. I can't believe people complain about this and go and rave about the Beat (English)."

"It's not as hard to rave about them as it is to rave about this."

"I know, Dean. You're kidding - right? I think this is as good as the Beat and I'm a big (6'0", 160 lbs) [fan] of their stuff. This is one . . . pardon me . . . fucking awesome disc!"

"I thought that the 'H' bin was for basically new stuff - especially if reggae is involved. This is a compilation (Big Youth's 2nd) of a bunch of 1979-1981 recordings. C'mon."

"First, 'H' is for any thing we choose to feature heavily. Second, there seem to be an awful lot of comments from individuals who did not show up at the Music Policy meeting a few weeks ago . . . nor have they spoken to me . . . [Ooooohhhhhhh, the plot thickens!]"

"Dean, have you even heard all of the E. Beat? Obviously not, because some tunes are very close to traditional reggae!"

"Besides, if you want to get technical [and who doesn't???], this isn't pure reggae. There's a lot of ska & rock steady influences."

"Well, pardon my technical blooper, excuse me for not showing up at the meeting, and let me down off this damn cross. [Wow.] I didn't mean to pick a fight with The Rasta Squad - or anyone else for that matter."

"Officer Mike of the Rasta Squad here . . . Nothing personal here, Dean. We of the Squad just think this is a fine album worthy of lots of airplay. OK? Sorry if you got another impression. P.S. We'll let you off that cross when we damn well please!"

"Thank you Jah KCMU plays reggae. It's good to expand your musical horizons - keep an open mind!"

"And now it's time for . . . 'The Rasta Squad' with Clarence Williams III and Mike Fuller!"

"I don't consider myself a part of any Rasta Squad . . . Reggae is supposed to be an integral part of our format . . . this is open to discussion."

"Gad, what a mess. Hey you guys, I was just joking about this reggae stuff . . . sorry. (This sticker ties ABC's undisputed sticker lead.) (Wow.)"

"[new sticker] The Winner!"

"Yes, but now we're just burning space to try to set a new record for most stickers. I for one have run out of things to say about this album, yet here I am consuming vital resources that are so crucial to the future of the U.S."

"Yes, but you are also creating a lively market for sticker sales, which stimulates the economy tremendously."

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