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9 at five - Jah9's new album debuts midway Billboard reggae top 10

Published:Saturday | September 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Beenie Man
Janine 'Jah9' Cunningham

In a situation of significant reordering on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart for the week ending October 1, 2016, singer Jah9's new album, 9, has debuted at number five. She is the highest placed Jamaican at the upper end of the ranking, and her semi-eponymous set is one of three new full-length projects to debut in the top five.

The others are Fireflies by John Brown's Body, which takes the top slot, and Bumpin Uglies' Keep it Together, which sits at number three. Last week's number one, Nothing More to Say (The Frightnrs) is down a place to number two. Last week's number-two placed reggae album, Falling Into Place (Rebelution), has doubled in number while slipping in ranking to sit at number four.

It is not the best of weeks for Jamaican performers on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart, as both Stephen and Ziggy Marley have lost ground, while comeback set, Strictly Roots (Morgan Heritage), has returned to the land outside the top 10, from whence it had reappeared briefly. Stephen's Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, has lost two places and is now at number six in its eighth week on the chart, while Ziggy's self-titled set is clinging to a listing at number 10. This is after 17 weeks on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart for the former number one.




Positions seven through nine are occupied by Set in Stone (Stick Figure, 44 weeks on the chart, number three last week), Livin Free (Roots of Creation, new entrant, two weeks on the chart), and Wandering Soul (HIRIE, four weeks on the chart, number seven last week, former number one) respectively.

Precious few full-length sets in Billboard's reggae top 10 have found a place in the iTunes equivalent. In that ranking, up to the wee hours of yesterday, Rebelution's Falling Into Place, was at number three, Stick Figure's Set in Stone, was in seventh position.

Beenie Man, with Unstoppable, was the highest-placed living Jamaican at number four on a top 10 that is largely a Tuff Gong and Junior Gong affair. The father (Bob), along with The Wailers, held the number one and two slots with versions of the same album. Legend (Deluxe Edition) is in pole position, and Legend (Remastered) just below. Both have the same release date of May 8, 1984.

Bob Marley and The Wailers' Gold (released January 11, 2005) is at number five.

The son, Damian, has back-to-back albums at the edge of the top 10. Welcome to Jamrock, released in the same year as his father's Gold, is at number nine. The combination set with Nas, Distant Relatives (Bonus Track Version), is at number 10.

Rounding out the iTunes reggae albums top 10 are Rebelution's Peace of Mind (Deluxe) at number six, and Make it Better by the Guerilla Panda Dub Squad at eight.

Shaggy has two long stayers on the listing. Hot Shot, released on August 8, 2000, is at number 12, and Best of Shaggy: The Boombastic Collection is at number 14. It was released on September 9, 2008.

Buju Banton's Til Shiloh, with a release date of December 31, 1994, comes in at number 31. However, in terms of durability, the soundtrack set The Harder They Come (Remastered) is a tough act to follow. Holding the number 34 spot on the iTunes ranking, it is given a release date of December 21, 1971.