Dennis Brown, then Johnny's biggest rival, is a fine example in this regard. Masterful dub remixes of Johnny Clarke's songs by KING TUBBY contribute no end to the beauty of any mid '70s single release by Clarke. Listen to 'Move Out Of Babylon Rastaman' or the later 'Cold I Up' and to the accompanying b-side dub versions, and you will realize why Johnny Clarke encapsulates so well, '70s Roots Reggae. Few other artists have ever achieved such domination, let alone with the consummate ease and style that Johnny Clarke, the 'studio idler' did. If you are looking to understand and absorb the world of Reggae, in particular the 'Golden Era' of the mid '70s, Clarke's music is an ideal vehicle within which to do so. When Bob Marley was turning himself into the first International Jamaican superstar, Big Youth, Inner Circle and Johnny Clarke ruled the roost back home.
They were the acts popular with Jamaicans, in Jamaica. While he failed to maintain the success of the '70s, Clarke went on to become one of the highlights of the dancehall era, re-establishing his reputation as he did so. His style had always been well suited to this new genre, one that coincided with the beginning of the new decade. He has continued to remain true to his own roots, singing largely of 'cultural' matters and retaining his Rastafarian faith. Touring to this day, he spends much of his time in the U.K., and long may we benefit from his beautiful voice.
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