Alton Ellis – Black Man’s Pride (1972)

“Now here was a song to be proud of, one of those timeless Studio One classics, that bar the give away reggae arrangement and production could have dated from any era, and whose rhythm could easily be revived today. Alton Ellis doesn’t so much offer up lyrics as a few powerful reiterated catch phrases – ‘Blackman’s pride,’ ‘Blackman’s right,’ ‘we need our freedom so set us free,’ ‘gotta be free’ – but oh he delivers them, every word he utters reverberates with emotion. Behind him, the studio band have found their groove, and led by the pumping bass-line trot it proudly round the room. It’s a fabulous backing, loosely based on The Heptones’ classic ‘Baby’, and the arrangement blends a funky feel, lashings of R&B laced picked guitar, a hint of wah-wah rock around the keyboards, and splashes of brass for emphasis. There’s a jammy flavor to it all, and one feels the band could spin it on for hours to their everyone in earshot’s delight. Reggae at its bluesy, rocky best, a top notch single from 1972.”

YouTube: Black Mans Pride


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