VU: The "King" Kong Compilation

First and formost this album has nothing to do with that damn ape. Now that that is out of the way. A few years ago my friend Peter introduced me to this amazing compilation because he knew I loved The Maytals, The Melodians, and Desmond Dekker. The album was released on cd at one point on the Mango label, but I see it going for $60 or more now and I actually perfer my LP recording of it because it is filled with analog scratches and crackles that makes for a perfect atmosphere.

The "King" Kong Compilation (1968-1970) reveals the wealth of classic rock steady and early reggae produced by Leslie "King" Kong."One of several successful Chinese-Jamaican producers, Leslie Kong cut important sides during the ska, rocksteady, and early-reggae years up until his premature death in 1971. Working out of Beverley's, the restaurant/record shop he and his brothers owned, Kong came to prominence in the early and mid-'60s cutting hits for Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, and the Maytals, among many others. His early-reggae output circa 1970, though, represents some of his best work, and this Mango compilation brings together 16 highlights from that stretch. Besides such U.S. and U.K. hits as Dekker's "Israelites" and the Maytals' "Monkey Man," the disc includes equally stunning work by the Pioneers, the Melodians, Ken Boothe, and Ansel Collins." - AMG

Trust me, this is a must for anyone who is a fan of reggae and I hope you enjoy the cuts. As with all of the VU series, this will be available for a limited time. Deadwood Divine has now been removed and I hope you had a chance to sample the tracks while you could. Enjoy The "King" Kong Compilation.

.: Israelites - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
.: Monkey Girl - Toots & The Maytals
.: Sweet Sensation - Melodians
.: Freedom Street - Ken Boothe
.: Let Them Say - Tyrone Evans
.: Samfie Man - Pioneers
.: It's My Delight - Melodians
.: Peeping Tom - Maytals
.: Rivers of Babylon - Melodians
.: Gave You My Love - Delroy Wilson
.: Bitterness of Life - Bruce Ruffin
.: Sentimental Journey - Ansel Collins
.: Long Shot Kick de Bucket - Pioneers
.: Ah It Mek - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
.: Why Baby Why - Ken Boothe
.: Monkey Man - Maytals

I do highly recommend picking up a few essential reggae albums of the artist's above, especially the work of The Maytals, Melodians, and Desmond Dekker. Send me an email or post a comment if you would like my suggestions on any albums to purchase by these artists.