Two Sevens Clash – Culture (1977)

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Two Sevens Clash is the debut album by roots reggae band Culture, recorded with producer Joe Gibbs at his own Joe Gibbs Recording Studio in Kingston in 1976, and released on Gibbs’ eponymous label in 1977 (see 1977 in music). The album’s title is a reference to the date of July 7, 1977. Hill said ‘Two Sevens Clash,’ Culture’s most influential record, was based on a prediction by Marcus Garvey, who said there would be chaos on July 7, 1977, when the ‘sevens’ met. With its apocalyptic message, the song created a stir in his Caribbean homeland and many Jamaican businesses and schools shuttered their doors for the day.”
Wikipedia

“One of the masterpieces of the roots era, no album better defines its time and place than Two Sevens Clash, which encompasses both the religious fervor of its day and the rich sounds of contemporary Jamaica. Avowed Rastafarians, Culture had formed in 1976, and cut two singles before beginning work on their debut album with producers the Mighty Two (aka Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson). Their second single, ‘Two Sevens Clash,’ would title the album and provide its focal point. The song swept across the island like a wildfire, its power fed by the apocalyptic fever that held the island in its clutches throughout late 1976 and into 1977. (Rastafarians believed the apocalypse would begin when the two sevens clashed, with July 7, 1977, when the four sevens clashed, the most fearsome date of concern.) However, the song itself was fearless, celebrating the impending apocalypse, while simultaneously reminding listeners of a series of prophesies by Marcus Garvey and twinning them to the island’s current state. For those of true faith, the end of the world did not spell doom, but release from the misery of life into the eternal and heavenly arms of Jah. Thus, Clash is filled with a sense of joy mixed with deep spirituality, and a belief that historical injustice was soon to be righted. The music, provided by the Revolutionaries, perfectly complements the lyrics’ ultimate optimism, and is quite distinct from most dread albums of the period.”
allmusic

“For all its Biblical heft– the title was taken from a Marcus Garvey prophecy about chaos erupting on 7/7/77— Culture’s reggae classic Two Sevens Clash, like Funkadelic or gospel, took suffering as a means for uplift. Re-sequenced from its original running order, this 30th Anniversary Edition opens with ‘I’m Alone in the Wilderness’, which singer Joseph Hill does appear to be, for about 20 seconds. The minor key screws up to major, and the second time Hill claims solitude, he’s joined by Albert Walker and Kenneth Dayes; Robbie Shakespeare’s guitar nods in repose with the rootsiness of a Band record; wet organs drone in the background; an electric piano punctuates Hill’s exultations; Sly Dunbar clacks along on drums like their bejeweled rickshaw.”
Pitchfork

YouTube: Calling Rastafari, I’m Alone In The Wilderness, Pirate Days, Two Sevens Clash, I’m Not Ashamed, Get Ready To Ride The Lion To Zion, Black Starliner Must Come, See Them A Come, Natty Dread Taking Over, Not Ashamed Dub

I’m not ashamed (Live)

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