In 2008 U.S. label Shanachie released a four disc Augustus Pablo box set titled Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story Box Set. It was a stunning set including both classics and insanely rare material.
About a month ago the same label released a similar box set, but this one focused on another cornerstone of roots reggae music – Yabby You, a producer and singer that is the sheer essence of spiritual and devoted roots reggae from the 70s.
Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You collects a hefty 56 cuts spread across three discs and comes with a booklet that’s almost equal to an ordinary book. It tells the fascinating and touching story that is Yabby You, but it also give details on almost each track.
This collection is spectacular as it collects classics like Conquering Lion, Jah Vengeance, Run Come Rally and Deliver Me From My Enemies along with ridiculously rare singles, dubplates and previously unreleased material from both Yabby You and protégés like Michael Prophet and Wayne Wade. Apparently 30 tracks are new to CD and ten are previously unreleased.
This collection has been hugely anticipated for a long time. And even though there have been a number of extremely strong Yabby You compilations in recent years – two on Pressure Sounds and one on Blood & Fire – this one might just outshine all three.
So don’t even think for a second that you can sleep on this epic collection of mystic, powerful and anti-establishment music where Yabby You and his friends chant down Babylon again and again and again.