Archive for the Marcus Garvey Category

Bunny Wailer – Blackheart Man (1976)

Posted in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Bunny Wailer, Dub, Marcus Garvey, Rastafarians with tags , , , , on March 29, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“After leaving the Wailers behind, Bunny Wailer (born Neville Livingston) wasted no time establishing himself as a highly original and visionary singer and songwriter on his own. His solo debut remains one of the most extraordinary albums of the roots period, a complex but instantly attractive and occasionally heartbreaking record that never rises above a whisper in tone but packs as much political and spiritual wallop as the best of Bob Marley’s work. Critics have been praising this album for more than 25 years, and they generally (and quite rightly) focus on the quality of such songs as the quietly ferocious ‘Fighting Against Conviction’ (aka ‘Battering Down Sentence’), the classic repatriation anthem ‘Dreamland,’ and the apocalyptic ‘Amagideon,’ but the song that pulls you into Bunny Wailer’s magical web of mystical Rastafarianism is the first one, in which Wailer recalls being warned by his mother to avoid Rastas (‘even the lions fear him’) and then describes his eventual conversion, all in a tone of infinite gentleness and sadness at the hardhearted blindness of Babylon. Are there missteps? Maybe one or two: The bluesy ‘Oppressed Song’ never quite gets off the ground, for example. But taken as a whole, Blackheart Man is an astounding achievement by an artist who was, at the time, only at the beginning of what would be a distinguished career.”

“… The songs on the album are regarded as the finest written by Bunny Wailer, and explore themes such as repatriation (‘Dreamland’), and his arrest for marijuana possession (‘Fighting Against Conviction’, originally titled ‘Battering Down Sentence’). The album features some of Jamaica’s leading musicians and also contributions from Bob Marley and Peter Tosh of The Wailers on backing vocals, and the Wailers rhythm section of Carlton and Aston Barrett on some of the tracks. The high quality of the songs and musicians makes Blackheart Man one of the greatest reggae albums of all time.”

YouTube: Blackheart man, Fighting Against Conviction, The Oppressed Song, Dreamland, Rasta Man, This Train

Blackheart Man live 86, Dreamland Dub – Dub Disco LP, Rastaman Dub Dub Disco

I Need a Roof – The Mighty Diamonds (1979)

Posted in Channel One, Dub, JoJo Hookim, Marcus Garvey, Mighty Diamonds, U-Roy with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“A patchwork quilt of a song, but one so skillfully stitched together that the result is a flowing blanket of great beauty. The Revolutionaries lay down a rockers-style accompaniment, even as the brass section solos with ‘Ol’ Man River.’ That wouldn’t be so odd if the Mighty Diamonds weren’t at the same time refraining parts of the melody from ‘Right Time.’ Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw is praying for a roof over his head and bread on his table, recalling Marcus Garvey’s words along the way. The lyrics are simple, but Shaw’s impassioned delivery and Fitzroy ‘Bunny’ Simpson and Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson’s ephemeral harmonies imbue the song with soul. Producer JoJo Hookim pulls it all together, and the result is a melody-drenched, bouncy yet moody single that was another major Jamaican hit for the group from 1975. Although not released as a single in the U.K., it was bundled onto the group’s debut album the following year.”
allmusic (Video)

YouTube: I Need A Roof b/w Version, U Roy Feat The Mighty Diamonds – I Need A Roof (2001)

Two Sevens Clash – Culture (1977)

Posted in Culture, Dub, Joe Higgs, Marcus Garvey, Rastafarians with tags , , , , on January 15, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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)