'Reggae Anthology: The Crown Prince Of Reggae' was barely in the racks and 17 North Parade/VP Records is already serving up 'Dennis Brown At Joe Gibbs'; undoubtedly a questionable move in terms of commercial planning, but yours truly is always up for some Dennis Brown. The four discs that make up this box were once again pulled from producer Joe Gibbs' seemingly inexhaustible archive. Don't count on a lot of previously unreleased material though as these are mostly rereleases of famous Dennis Brown albums like 'Visions' and 'Words Of Wisdom' completed with 'Reflections', a compilation put together especially for this box and containing some of Brown's biggest hits ('Money In My Pocket', 'Stop The Fussing And Fighting'). A less obvious choice is the third disc, a reissue of 'Love's Got A Hold On Me', a 1984 showcase album originally counting six tracks but here supplemented with no less than thirteen bonus tracks! Dennis Brown fans should be good for a while!
The material Culture recorded for Joe Gibbs was also collected in one box. For real reggae fanatics the first two discs might be less interesting, even though it concerns two legendary Culture albums: 'Two Sevens Clash' and 'Baldhead Bridge'. Both were already reissued many times (to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album the Shanachie label still did a beautiful reissue of 'Two Sevens Clash' back in 2007) and will undoubtedly already have their place in the collection of any self-respecting reggae collector. Much more interesting is the third disc, 'More Culture', a lesser known release from 1981 containing a number of now classic Culture tracks ('More Vacancy', 'Play Skillfully'), but it's really the fourth disc in this box that puts the icing on the cake: for 'As Hard As The Rest' VP Records collected a series of rare dubs and versions of which several appear on CD for the very first time!