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Artist Profile
Prince Alla
May 10, 1950 ~
“One of the true heroes of Jamaican roots music…” Steve Barrow
>>Featured Page
Real name:
Keith Blake
Place of birth:
Jamaica
Kingston
Denham Town
Keith Blake, born Denham Town 10th May 1950, began his musical career in 1967 alongside Milton Henry as one of The Leaders initially recording some rock steady sides with Joe Gibbs(Joel Gibson) who was just starting out in the music business. Keith also recorded in a solo capacity for Joe before recording for Winston Lowe's Tramp label in a new group that included Milton Henry and Roy 'Soft' Palmer before retiring from the music business.

In the seventies the Rastafarian religion became little more than a fashion accessory to a growing number of "commercial locks" but Keith Blake was a committed and true believer of the faith. He was seriously involved in the movement and, from 1969 onwards, became a disciple of the Rasta elder Prince Emmanuel Edwards and lived in Prince Emmanuel's community in Bull Bay for seven years. After being encouraged to return to music making by Bertram Brown, an old friend from Greenwich Town who set up the Freedom Sounds label in 1975, he came to the following insightful conclusion:

"No music is dirty... because is people make it dirty... to the things that it might say or do. But music is righteousness because it's sound, word sound power." Prince Alla

As Prince Alla (and sometimes either Prince Allah or Ras Alla) he now began work on a series of classic recordings for Freedom Sounds that can, to this day, still be used as examples of what 'roots' music should be all about. Prince Alla's records, such the twelve inch 'Cities' and 'Stone' backed with one of King Tubby's greatest ever dub mixes, were uplifting and inspirational. The superb music, from The Soul Syndicate, drove the passionate, declamatory lyrics ever forward. In 1976 Prince Alla recorded the classic 'Bosrah' for Tappa Zukie in Lee Perry's Black Ark studio and followed it up with the solemn 'Funeral' (also cut with Joe Gibbs as 'Naw Go A Them Burial') and the well received 'Heaven Is My Roof' album. Towards the end of the seventies he recorded again for Freedom Sounds and the resulting 'Bucket Bottom' and 'Lot's Wife' maintained the same impeccable standards that he had set in the middle of the decade. Songs such as the chilling 'Their Reward', released on the Dalphin label, further enhanced his standing among people who really knew music.

Never a prolific artist Price Alla recorded sporadically during the eighties and nineties most notably with Carlton Jackson's International label and Earl Chinna Smith's High Times label. Two excellent compilations on Steve Barrow's Blood & Fire outlet 'Only Love Can Conquer 1976 to 1979' and 'I Can Hear The Children Singing 1975 to 1978' introduced Prince Alla to a new generation of music lovers. In 1996 he recorded the 'Jah Children Gather Round' album with London sound system legend Jah Shaka which proved extremely popular with followers of digital roots music and Prince Alla continued to work with other producers in the genre including Gussie P and Jah Warrior. Never wavering from the path of enlightenment Prince Alla's name and music remain as strong as ever...

Sources: Steve Barrow Liner Notes 'Only Love Can Conquer 1976 to 1979' Prince Alla – Blood & Fire BAFCD 014 1996
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Description of item
[All Items] → [7"] → [New Roots / Digital Dub] → [New Roots 00s] → [Prince Alla, Donovan Joseph]
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vinyl 7" 7"
Prince Alla, Donovan Joseph
No Love
Roots Foundation US
¥600 (US$5.92)
Genre: New Roots / Digital Dub
Sub Genre: New Roots 00s
Approx. year: 2001
Date added: Aug 4, 2001
Date re-stocked: Nov 1, 2011
Country: USA
Music type: New Roots B: New Roots Dub
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SIDE A:
listen No Love
SIDE B:
listen No Love Version
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