The teenaged Hugh Mundell cut Africa Must Be Free by 1983 under the tutelage of the legendary producer Augustus Pablo in the mid-’70s, and had a Jamaican hit with the title track. Mundell’s artlessly fervent singing is attractive far out of proportion to his technical skill. It’s the sincerity and devotion in his voice that make successes of songs like “Let’s All Unite” and “My Mind” — that and the rock-solid instrumental backing of Pablo’s studio band, which at this time included bassist and trombonist Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace and guitarists Earl “Chinna” Smith and Jeffrey Chung. The CD issue of this album includes dub versions of six of the original album’s eight tracks, as well as several other miscellaneous dub tracks. Like too many of Jamaica’s best reggae musicians, Mundell died young — in an almost creepy irony (given the title of his hit song), he was shot and killed in 1983 at the age of 21. A special RARE release, for all reggae fans out there.
Hugh Mundell / Augustus Pablo Africa Must Be Free By 1983 (Dub) LP MMLP001