Song #16: “Prophet Has Arise”

A friend of mine once came back from Jamaica with a suitcase full of poorly pressed reggae albums neither of us had ever heard of. One of them was The Same Song by Israel Vibration. We listened to that scratchy beat up record and marvelled at the music that came from it like anthropologists discovering the first cave paintings. The vocals were other worldly. “Prophet Has Arise” is an excellent example of the ingenious and bizarre vocal style of Israel Vibration.

Check out Licks and Kicks for a more conventional sounding reggae song from the album.

The Same Song is a one-of-kind record, more of an artefact perhaps than, say, anything by Bob Marley or the original Wailers. But for me it is to reggae what Mississippi John Hurt’s Stack O’Lee Blues is to the blues. Essential.