Here I come


Here I come

Another serving of Dennis Brown

Observer senior writer

Friday, November 29, 2019

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TAD'S International Record will release a multi-song album in February to mark the 63rd birthday of Dennis Brown. Tad Dawkins, the label's principal, said it is meant to introduce the late singer's music to Jamaican youth.

Satisfaction Feeling Deluxe Edition is the title of the set, which has 28 songs including Dawkins' version of Here I Come, Brown's signature.

“The significance of this album is to celebrate Dennis Brown's birthday on February 1 and share these songs with the younger generation,” Dawkins told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

Brown, who died in July 1999 at age 42, is widely regarded as reggae's most influential vocalist. But in a series of interviews conducted by the Jamaica Observer this year to mark the 20th anniversary of his death, many young adults said they were unaware of his work.

To help bridge the generation gap, Dawkins includes songs on the upcoming album he believes will appeal to hardcore roots fans and those who preferred Brown's lovers' rock side.

Some of the roots tracks are Easy, Take it Easy, Don't Want to be A General, The Promised Land and a cover of Armagedeon, originally done by Bunny Wailer. The ballads include favourites like Inseparable, Caress Me Girl and a cover of Lionel Richie's You Are.

“That's deliberate in terms of attracting old and new Dennis Brown fans, and to make songs available to the world, not just a few collectors,” said Dawkins.

Brown, a prodigy who had been making hit songs since 1968, first met Dawkins in the late 1980s in New York. He was on top of his game working with producer Joe Gibbs while Dawkins was a drummer in a band and about to launch his career as a producer.

One of the initial songs he cut with Brown was Here I Come, which was first done in 1977 for his outstanding Wolf And Leopards album. With the drum and bass team of Sly and Robbie, Dawkins recorded an uptempo version with which most fans identify.

The Brown/Dawkins tandem also produced songs like Armagedeon, Wildfire (with John Holt) and If This World Were Mine. February is also celebrated as Reggae Month in Jamaica.

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