The Congos: Cedric Myton and Roy 'Ashanti' Johnson
Bass: Boris Gardiner, Geoffrey Chung (Track 1), Winston 'Brubeck' Wright (Track 2)
Drums: Mikey 'Boo' Richards, Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar, Paul Douglas (Track 1)
Rhythm Guitar: Robert 'Billy' Johnson
Lead Guitar: Ernest Ranglin
Organ: Winston 'Brubeck' Wright
Piano: Keith Stewart
Percussion: Lee Perry, Noel 'Skully' Simms, Uziah 'Sticky' Thompson
Backing Vocals: Watty 'King' Burnett, The Meditations, Candy McKenzie (Track 4), Barry Llewellyn, Earl Morgan, Gregory Isaacs (all Track 5)
Written by Cedric Myton and Roydel Johnson, except Tracks 1 and 2 written by Cedric Myton, Roydel Johnson and Lee Perry
Produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and The Congos
Recorded in The Black Ark 1976/77 Cardiff Crescent, Washington Gardens, Kingston Jamaica
Mastered by Kevin Metcalfe
Digital restoration: Andy Walter at Room 63, Abbey Road Studios, London
The ultimate edition of the Roots Reggae masterpiece release 1977-2017!
The album classic was originally issued in 1977 in Jamaica only and 20 years later in 1997 released by the Blood & Fire label as the outstanding but now deleted "Heart Of The Congos". VP Records' sub-label 17 North Parade release now the definitive 2017 re-mastered 3CD / 3LP deluxe edition put together with both respect and gratitude to that illustrious antecedent.
This new 3 disc-set is the first to feature the now almost impossible to find, original mix of the album, unavailable since producer Lee Perry withdrew the set in 1977 following the refusal of Chris Blackwell's Island Records team to licence the album (Disc 3), together with the more well-known mix, dubs, disco mixes, seven and twelve inch versions and "Don’t Blame It On I" an overlooked previously unreleased track unearthed (Disc 2) and the 'Blood & Fire' Kevin Metcalfe master (Disc 1). The "40th Anniversary Edition" is a available as 3CD in a 6-panel digipak with 16 page illustrated booklet & liner notes, and also as 3LP-Vinyl in a 6mm spine jacket sleeve with full colour printed illustrated inner sleeves and the liner notes by Noel Hawks.
Rolling Stone - 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time (From the Beatles to Nas and beyond): #82 "Heart of the Congos" - The Congos Black Ark, 1977 - "With all due respect to the Wailers, this 1977 set by the vocal duo of "Ashanti" Roydel Johnson and Cedric Myton is probably the most psychedelic and spiritually potent roots reggae set ever made, and the greatest achievement of famed Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Unearthly harmonies bob in a whirlpool of echo and reverb alongside lowing cyber-cattle and other sound effects as the men sing of Jah, Africa, and the Bible, making art that's as much religious ritual – and mind-altering substance – as it is music. Which is exactly the point."