Legendary Jamaican roots singer Prince Alla – sometimes Prince Allah or Ras Allah – cut a number of haunting and heavyweight roots numbers in the late 70s. And his rare debut album Heaven Is My Roof is a bona fide masterpiece.
His second album was oddly titled The Best of Prince Alla and collected singles for the Freedom Sounds label. This great set has now been reissued by France’s Iroko Records. It comes with only eight tracks, of which two are ferocious discomixes with lethal dub mixing courtesy of Scientist.
Best of bunch is album opener Youth Man with its bulldozing bass line and drums crashing down like lightning. The dub version confirms its feeling of brimstone and fire. Other highlights are stone-cold classics like the eerie Stone or the dark and dread Lot’s Wife.
Prince Alla has never been quite as prolific as many of his peers, but many of his recordings have proven to be landmarks in the history of reggae music.