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Originally recorded for Chris Blackwell of Island Records the rights of ‘Life Of Contradiction’ were then given to Joe Higgs who released the album in Jamaica and the U.K. in 1975. It was immediately obvious that this was a unique collection coming from a completely different direction to the other reggae releases of the period. Although Joe had first recorded some of the songs in the early sixties for Studio One it was as if he was at last able to realise a vision of his own music that had previously been denied to him: either by financial constraints or from not having the right situation with the right musicians. He now came with one of THE classic reggae albums and, with the jazz tinged guitar of Eric Gale and top drawer musicians including Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo, Mikey Chung and Val Douglas, it was clearly a very song orientated album and titles such as ‘There’s A Reward’ and ‘Song My Enemy Sings’ bristle with ingenuity, word play and heartfelt conviction. Joe’s songs were always well structured and less ‘groove’ based than the music that was coming out of Jamaica during this period and, consequently, the album has retained its timeless feel.
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