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The Abyssinians Satta Massagana (Deluxe Edition)

  • Words: Derek Beres
  • Label: Heartbeat
  • XLR8R Rating: 8.5/10

Recorded in 1976, this classic reggae album truly stands the test of time. (The three-part harmonies of Bernard Collins, Donald Manning, and Lynford Manning helped defined what “classic” reggae was in the first place.) The accompanying musicians, including Robbie Shakespeare and Horsemouth Wallace, provide a lesson in Jamaican folklore. While the title track became biblical in the Rasta world–a dreamlike ode to the roots of black spirituality–there is plenty here to reminisce and recline to. The two previously unreleased extended mixes of “Abendigo” and “Poor Jason Whyte” are nice collector’s items, but a bit unnecessary. The original always was, and will remain, enough to keep any mind occupied for hours.

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