Ol' Dirty has got even dirtier with this remastered version of his 1996 debut 36 Chambers. His first foray outside the bosom of Wu-Tang Clan, it was a stunning tour de force of entertainingly gritty hip-hop showcasing his unusual sea-sick and off kilter flow on tracks that ranged from terrifying to darkly humorous. It has long been seen as one of the high points of Wu-Tang's storied history and one of the most innovative rap records to date.
Vinyl Double LP £24.99 GET52716LP
Eternal classic remastered 2LP + inserts on Get On Down.
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8/10 Tom 23rd May 2018
The Wu-Tang Clan had so much raw talent in their midst that it was no surprise that the members would branch out and make solo records after the breakout success of their group debut Enter the 36 Chambers. In fact, it was apparently all part of the RZA's master plan, and while it's no surprise that Method Man's Tical was chosen as the first solo effort to come out after Enter the 36 Chambers, few would have suspected that Ol' Dirty Bastard would be the next Wu member to do a solo album. Not that he wasn't a magnetic, wild presence on the Wu-Tang album, but with storytellers like Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and the masterful GZA in the clan, you'd think that ODB would have to wait his turn.
As it turns out Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version more than earns its place among the incredible run of early solo albums from Wu members, and may actually be one of the best. RZA keeping the production minimal and grimy gave Ol' Dirty Bastard all the freedom in the world to go off with his free-associative, straight-from-his-twisted-psyche rhymes and the result is an album that manages to be both fun and harrowing at the same time. "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" remains a classic, but deeper cuts like "Brooklyn Zoo", "Baby C'mon" and "Raw Hide" show the full breadth of ODB's charisma and skill as an MC.
8/10 Jack 4th July 2015
Ol' Dirty Bastard may be the rawest, dirtiest member of Wu-Tang, but his self-titled album may be the most offbeat of all the albums. There are plenty of dirty lyrics to spare, such as ODB's vivid description of oral sex in "Don't You Know" and a bloody rap in "Raw Hide". But his rawness is so genuine, with anger at society and a need for dirty pleasure. He may have died, but he sure went out with a bang. ODB really pushed the envelope with this album, making his own voice a unique social commentary on racial poverty.
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