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.
The high regard and accolades with which we speak about Dennis Brown have been earned. By the age of 28 in 1985, Dennis Emmanuel Brown had 22 albums and hundreds of singles established in the reggae canon, from “No Man Is An Island” to “Money In My Pocket” to “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.
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 the single “Slow Down Woman,” Dennis’ radical translations of the Gaylads’ “Joy In The Morning” and “Africa We Want To Go,” the ponderous “Live And Love” and the enduring rub-a-dub stylings of “It’s Magic.”
King Jammy revisited the album’s master tapes for the 2018 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.