The Royals – Ten Years After (1978)

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‘The album instrumental for the Royals international success, although it was actually Ten Years After‘s dubs that brought the band fame. In London, sound system operator Lloyd Coxone played the dub plates continuously, prompting a British deal for Roy Cousins and his group. The dubs, which featured on the Freedom Fighters album, were indeed spectacular, but then so were the original vocal cuts. In Jamaica, Ten Years After was the follow-up to the highly acclaimed Pick Up the Pieces, and suffered slightly in comparison. In truth both sets are equal masterpieces, capturing the trio at their heady mid-’70s height. Confusingly though, the Ten Years After Cousins gave the Jamaicans is not the same as what he handed Ballistic, but arguably the British received the better set. It kicked off with the stellar sufferers song “My Sweat Turns to Blood,” which set the stage for the glorious paean to liberation “Freedom Fighters.” Its theme is further explored on the Burning Spear styled “Free Speech and Movement,” with the excellent “Court of Law” rounding out the political numbers. The gorgeous “Stand and Give Praises” is one of a pair of exclusively religious offerings found within, the other, the apocalyptic “Make Believe,” gives warning in the trio’s most sonorous harmonies. Only the glittering “Down Comes the Rain” breaks the album’s conscious mode. That song was the earliest recording found within this set, a romantic 1973 gem that opened the second side of Ten Years, which then slid gracefully into the insistent “Free Speech.” This remains a stunning album, bolstered by phenomenal s and sensational vocal performances, “Pieces” may today have garnered all the glory, but at the time, Ten Years easily equaled its accomplishments.’
allmusic

YouTube: Royals – 1978 – Ten Years After
YouTube: My Sweat Turns To Blood (Extended mix)

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