Bunny is infamous for never releasing anything that comes close to "Blackheart Man", which is disappointing to say the least but the recent "Solomonic Singles" comps are great and way better than any of the post-"Blackheart" albums I've heard (the first volume even includes early versions of "Blackheart" material).
Oh yeah, like most folks, Marley was the first reggae I listened to in high school (got the overrated "Legend" comp- rite of passage, really) and I even think "Confrontation" is solid. Only got "Soul Rebels" a few months ago though (good but can't touch "African Herbsman", which is my favorite Marley along with "Natty Dread"). In this latest reggae, phase, I decided to get some of those bonus tracks on the deluxe versions of his classic albums (though some are included on that "Songs of Freedom" box).
I've never really understood the uproar surrounding the '75 version of "Funky Kingston". Yeah, it's misleading- they should have just called it "Greatest Hits"- and it's ultimately better to have the original versions of both "Kingston" and "In The Dark" because they're solid slabs. But objectively, the '75 version of "Kingston" is really good- they did a good job of selecting and sequencing the best cuts from both albums IMO. That '75 version was one of the first reggae slabs I got and I loved it. Yes, I've long since grabbed the original versions but still, have never really understood the amount of hate the '75 version gets from reggae fans. Also have a version of "Monkey Man" with a bunch of bonus tracks.
Grabbed and listened to the Culture album yesterday. It's very unique and even alien sounding (seems more like Igbo highlife or some other type of African music rather than reggae at times) and decidedly "unmellow" for reggae (not necessarily a bad thing- you can say the same about most of Scratch's stuff) but like I said, there's some great material there and I just needed to find a good remastered version to correct the muddy production of the original recording.
I've never liked "Blackboard Jungle Dub" as much as most Scratch fans- I prefer the later vocal versions of those tracks. My opinion of that one and a few Tubby slabs I've checked out lately made me realize that I'm just not really into full albums of instrumental dub. I can take it a song at a time interspersed with some vocal stuff but a whole album's worth just gets too repetitive. Off the top of my head, the only exception is "Kung Fu Meets The Dragon", mainly because it's so ####in weird and the songs each sound pretty different from one another (and from most other dub).
Have always been somewhat lukewarm on Burning Spear (saw him live back in the day at Reggae In The Park here in SF) but with this recent reggae phase, I've busted out "Marcus Garvey" and "Studio One Presents" but haven't revisited either yet (the former is more popular but I actually prefer the latter).
Yeah, "Equal Rights" is basically on the same level as "Legalize It"- just think the latter is a tad more consistent yet more varied and well, irie. Also grabbed some bonus tracks from a deluxe version of "Equal Rights" recently- there's a quite a few unreleased songs from the period but I haven't listened to them yet (but it's safe to say you'd be interested if you dig the album/era).
Since you're such a big Dadawah fan, you should definitely check out that Ras Michael album I mentioned if you haven't already. Not quite as good as "Peace & Love" but similar vibe and killer Scratch production.
Think I sampled the Ijahman, Mundell and Mighty Diamonds but not sure if any made any impression. I definitely sampled the 2 Hudson albums you mentioned and they sounded decent but not as good as the early stuff on "The Hudson Affair" (which is actually a 2-disc comp of his productions w/ guest vocalists billed to "Keith Hudson & Friends"). Am somewhat curious about both Scientist and Mad Professor but reggae with 80's production generally ain't my thing. As far as Pablo is concerned- see my comments re: instrumental dub. Tried "King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown" and I just couldn't hang. As a side note, I find Tubby and Pablo's production styles a bit too "clean" and prefer the rougher sound of Scratch, Yabby and Hudson.
I've barely checked out the spoken word dub stuff but it's safe to say it's not my cuppa tea.
I actually just listened to the Alimantado yesterday and yeah, it's good shit. Rivals Trinity's "Three Piece Suit" as the best toasting set I've heard. Haven't heard any others from that "other recs" section at the bottom of your post so I'll definitely check those out.
Thanks again for the recs! Again, I never really had much of a reggae phase, at least not to the extent that you did. I basically just grabbed what were considered to be the very best reggae albums in high school when I started listening to classic rock and got into a Scratch phase a few years later and that was it. So yeah, I'm sure there's lots more to discover and the fact that this reggae phase of mine has coincided with the first summer since recreational weed has become legal in Cali is a happy accident. I was walking through The Mission the other day w/ Yabby on the headphone and my pipe to my mouth as a cop car rolled by and NO FEAR. Okay, the world is still going to hell in a handbasket but at least I have THAT.