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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

THE BLACK EAGLES

By Tom Pryor
Published September 8, 2005

Warning
VP VPCD

These days Denroy Morgan is probably best known as the patriarch of the Morgan Heritage brood, but back in the day he was an accomplished reggae singer in his own right. He recorded a string of sides in the ’70s and early ’80s with his band the Black Eagles, who have the distinction of being Brooklyn, New York’s very first reggae band. This reissue of their almost-forgotten 1977 opus Warning is a remastered blast of vintage roots reggae. Shot through with righteous Rastafarian imagery (“Ethiopia,” “Selassie I Inspiration,” “Dreadlocks A Come,” etc.) and the kind of heavy-duty, big band sound associated with Burning Spear and Steel Pulse, Warning is more than a hipster’s artifact or footnote in reggae history. It’s a great album that still stands on its own over 25 years later. Big up to VP Records for rescuing this gem from obscurity.