Every February 1st, we celebrate the birthday of a great artist of reggae, Dennis Brown

Jamaican reggae star Dennis Brown died at the age of 42 in 1999

We remember, and celebrate the anniversary of Dennis Emmanuel Brown’s birthday – February 1st – and highlight his connection to another reggae giant, producer King Jammy.

1- Dennis Brown “Joy in the Morning” / 2- Protoje “High grade Morning”

If Bob Marley is considered the King of Reggae, Dennis Emmanuel Brown is the Prince of Reggae! Remember that at the age of 28, in 1985, he had already released 22 albums and hundreds of singles from “No Man Is An Island” to “Money In My Pocket” through “Revolution” and “Here I Come”.

“Slow Down, while not often discussed as part of his recorded legacy, was Dennis’ last full-length release of the pre-digital era of Jamaican music. The album was recorded for (then) Prince Jammy in 1984/85. It distinctly features a live syndrum sound from Benbow Creary and Sly Dunbar, creating a vibe that foreshadowed what would happen when Jammy’s “Sleng Teng” raided the dance in 1985. Comparing Slow Down to Jammy’s production of Dennis on The Exit from 1986, one can hear reggae flashing forward into the dancehall era with all programmed drum tracks”, says VP Records.

Slow Down was also the first full-length Dennis Brown LP to come out on Greensleeves Records, following the showcase album Judge Not from 1984 which also featured Gregory Isaacs. Standout tracks include“Slow Down Woman”, “Joy In The Morning”, “Africa We Want To Go”, “Live And Love” and “It’s Magic”.

In 2018, producer King Jammy revisited the album’s master tapes for the tribute album, King Jammy Presents Dennis Brown: Tracks Of Life, featuring Damian Marley, Protoje, Busy Signal, Alborosie, Romain Virgo, Dawn Penn, Bounty Killer, Jesse Royal, Projexx, and others mixed with Dennis Brown’s original vocals.

Jamaican reggae star Dennis Brown was born in Kingston on February 1, 1957 and died in the same city on July 1, 1999.

Dennis Brown+ Jammy 1985 Tim O'Sullivan - square
Dennis Brown and King Jammy in 1985 – Photo: Tim O’Sullivan