Entertainment

Dennis Brown, lovers rock... INSEPARABLE

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Thursday, February 01, 2018

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Today is the 61st year of singer Dennis Brown's birth. The Jamaica Observer hails the 'Crown Prince of Reggae' with stories throughout February, recognised as Reggae Month.

As the 1990s approached, Dennis Brown had passed his heyday as a hit-maker. But the Crown Prince of Reggae proved he still had a few shots to fire in 1988 with the release of his album, Inseparable.

Produced by Willie Lindo, it is arguably the finest lovers rock album. Inseparable contains songs like the jazzy title track, For You, Since I've Been Loving You, It's So Nice To Be With You, Stop Fighting and Ababa Jahni.

Lindo had worked with Brown since the 1970s when he was a session guitarist at producer Joe Gibbs' studio, and had produced the singer's Love Has Found Its Way album. He told the Jamaica Observer that Inseparable has endured because it had the ingredients for a classic album.

“Good songs, good production. A lot of humility went into the project,” he said.

The Inseparable recording sessions were done in Manhattan, New York, and took four months to complete. Lindo, who was on a golden run with Beres Hammond ( She Loves Me Now), Wayne Wade ( Love You So Much) and Boris Gardiner ( I Wanna Wake Up With You) gathered top musicians such as bass player Lloyd Parks, saxophonist Dean Fraser and trombonist Nambo Robinson to work with Brown whose first hit song, Lips of Wine, was released 20 years earlier.

Brown had developed a reputation for tardiness when it came to recording sessions and live shows, but Lindo remembers him being the epitome of discipline for Inseparable.

“In all my encounters with Dennis Brown, he was always pleasant. The Inseparable sessions were no different,” he said.

Brown, 30 years old at the time, was a veteran of the music business. During the early 1970s, he cut outstanding songs for Clement Dodd ( No Man Is An Island, Little Green Apples), Derrick Harriott ( Money In My Pocket, Silhouette), Niney Holness (Cassandra, No More Shall I Roam) and Gibbs (Is That Loving You, Ghetto Girl).

He continued that run at the start of the 1980s when he teamed-up with Sly and Robbie for songs like Sitting and Watching, Revolution and Have You Ever Been In Love.

In terms of quality albums, Inseparable was his swansong.

Promoter Michael Barnett was behind the successful Inseparable shows that starred Brown from 1988 to 1992.

“I rate Inseparable very highly within Dennis Brown's body of work. This was recorded as a whole album from start to finish, and not just a collection of singles. In my book, Inseparable rates very highly along with Visions of Dennis Brown and Love Has Found Its Way,” said Barnett.

Brown, who was a regular on Barnett's Heineken Startime shows during the 1990s, died in July 1999 at age 42.

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