Heart of the Congos album cover
Heart of the Congos

The Congos

Black Art

The Congos were a harmony duo consisting of Roydel Johnson and falsettist Cedric Myton. In 1976 they entered the legendary Black Ark studio of producer Lee “Scratch” Perry, and proceeded to create one of the true monuments of reggae’s roots-and-culture period. It’s hard to overstate either the uniqueness or the brilliance of this album; from the eerily exalted “Congoman” to the transcendent “Ark of the Covenant,” the Congos conveyed a spiritual vision that seemed to sum up the whole Rastafarian worldview, and Perry’s wild, dark, and crazily creative production enhanced the Congos’ delivery immeasurably. Until recently, the definitive issue of this album was a two-disc set on the (now sadly defunct) Blood & Fire label; it has now been superseded by a three-disc version on VP’s 17 North Parade imprint. An essential item for every reggae collection.

Rick Anderson

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