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Friday, Jan 18 2008 | 13:06

The Joe Higgs album “Life Of Contradiction” is, without doubt, one of the most seminal Reggae records of all time. We had tried to release “Life Of Contradiction” as far back as 1995 and had written to Joe to ask his permission. He replied saying that he would love us to put out “Life Of Contradiction” but, unfortunately, the album was then available on another label. Sadly Joe Higgs passed away on the 18th of December 1999 and, earlier this year, we continued negotiations with Joe’s family. It’s been a long road to finally add this brilliant album to our catalogue and we are thrilled to now release it on Pressure Sounds.

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 and coming from a different direction to the other Reggae releases of the period. Although Joe had first recorded some of the songs in the early sixties it was if he was at last able to realise a vision of his own music that had been previously denied to him: either by financial constraints or from not having the right situation with the right musicians.

Now he 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 at the time of the release of “Life Of Contradiction”. Consequently the album has always stood out and has retained its timeless feel.
Joe had earlier helped school the young Bob Marley and Bunny ‘Wailer’ Livingstone and The Wailing Souls in singing and harmonizing techniques. Joe then actually played with the Wailers when Bunny Wailer had refused to travel in the early seventies and he stood in for Bunny on various international tours as a harmony singer.

We have decided to keep to the original artwork as it’s so good! The vinyl album will have the same track listing as the original. However, the album has been totally re-mastered and comes with incisive sleeve notes, an extensive CD booklet with period photos and two bonus tracks on the CD only from Joe Higgs’ own Elevation label. This album is a true classic and has been a huge influence on everybody at Pressure Sounds. Regularly on the decks in the office when we first started the label this is a superb release that we are all very excited about.

Tracklisting:

01. Come On Home
02. Got To Make A Way
03. Wake Up And Live
04. Life Of Contradiction
05. Who Brought Down The Curtains
06. There’s A Reward
07. Hard Times Don’t Bother Me
08. My Baby Still Loves Me
09. She Was The One
10. Song My Enemy Sings
11. Let Us Do Something *
12. Freedom Journey feat. Karl Masters *

* indicates CD bonus track

The album Joe HiggsLife Of Contradiction” (Pressure Sounds) is going to be released February 15, 2008.

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