The Congo’s – Heart Of The Congo’s


Lee Perry’s flawed classic 1977 Black Ark album, created during a time of emotional and spiritual upheavel for its overseer and later rewarded with rejection by Island records at the time who baulked at the condition of the master tapes Perry delivered to them, Heart Of The Congos has endured several different releases, two different sounding issues out of Jamaica, an issue on The Beat’s Go Feet label in the early eighties, VP’s own standard issue and Blood & Fire’s grand reconfiguration some years ago. This new revamped release features the original Black Art mix, some copies complete with the famous yellow stripes painted on the sleeve by Jah Wise, the guy who painted Horsemouth’s motorbike petrol tank in the Rockers film. Brilliantly, this current release also has yellow stripes painted onto the sleeves of both the LP and CD issues!  It also features the alternative mix Perry issued soon after.  These are supplemented by a third disc that collects various non-album singles, 12″ mixes and version sides from the singles lifted from the album.  The voices of Cedric Myton, Roy Johnson and sometime member Watty Burnett weave and soar around and about each other in an unearthly manner that suggests religious ecstasy as Perry, approaching the height of his musical mania, pours on the magic like some wigged-out Phil Spector. Nothing else sounds like it, and it can draw you into its spell until you have ears for nothing else.


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