Archive for Burning Spear

Dry & Heavy – Burning Spear (1977)

Posted in Burning Spear with tags on August 24, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“… It wasn’t until several years later that I discovered the incredible release known as ‘Dry and Heavy’, and it remains at the top of my desert island list today. From the opening signature Horsemouth Wallace drum lead-in to ‘Any River’ all the way through to the final strains of Mr. Rodney’s voice chanting Freedom at the end of side two… the many layers of guitars, organ, clav, nyabhingi percussion, and horns, all played in what we lovingly refer to as the elusive ‘cultural tuning’, never gets overly dense. And for connoisseurs of the string machine, there is plenty to love here. Looking back on it now I realize what it was that turned me on so much about ‘Marcus Garvey’ when I first heard it. It’s the restraint. You get the sense that the Spear is keeping cool amidst chaos, mostly holding back the full force of his Voice. There are a few moments on side one where you get brief blasts of power – during the outros of ‘The Sun’ and especially ‘Throw Down Your Arms’ emerge the guttural percolations of a man channeling his slave ancestors suffering and wailing. And toward the end of the title track, finally, the triumph of the Spear-it rings out. Loud and Clear. That dynamic plays out in his live set as well. The restraint and the triumph. …”
10ft Ganja Plant
YouTube: Dry & Heavy 32:09

Burning Spear – Man in the Hills (1976)

Posted in Burning Spear, Jack Ruby with tags , on December 17, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Coming after the highly acclaimed Marcus Garvey (1975), Burning Spear’s fourth album, Man in the Hills (1976), had a lot to live up to. It is generally conceded that they did not craft an equally impressive follow-up, but Man in the Hills has its charms nevertheless. Lead singer and main songwriter Winston Rodney turns back to reflections on his rural Jamaican childhood for many of the lyrics, which gives the album a gentler, more nostalgic message than the political, exhortative Marcus Garvey. Rodney’s tenor is well suited to the sentiments, and the all-star band assembled to back him is supportive and, especially in the horn charts, complementary to the lead voice. The demands of recording schedules may have caused Burning Spear to recast earlier songs, but that contributes to the album’s theme of looking back. …”

Man in the Hills is a reggae album by Jamaican musician Burning Spear (Winston Rodney), released in 1976 (see 1976 in music) on Island Records. Man in the Hills was follow-up to the seminal Marcus Garvey; Man in the Hills is usually considered a worthy follow-up, though less innovative and incendiary. produced by Jack Ruby, Man in the Hills is a simple and unadorned album, with songs that reminisce about Spear’s childhood in St. Anne’s Bay, Jamaica. ‘Door Peep’ was originally recorded in 1969 at Studio One after Spear ran into Bob Marley (also from St. Anne’s Bay); Spear later quotes Marley ‘And Bob was going to his farm. The man was moving with a donkey and some buckets and a fork, and cutlass and plants. We just reason man-to-man and I-man say wherein I would like to get involved in the music business. And Bob say, All right, just check Studio One.’ The single was released but fared poorly on the Jamaican charts. After Marcus Garvey, Spear’s fame had grown considerably, and he was a star in Jamaica and cult sensation in the United Kingdom. Man in the Hills was a much quieter and more restrained album than its predecessor, and was more astoral and dreamlike than militant and radical (though songs like ‘Is It Good’ and ‘No More War’ continue to address social issues). ‘Man in the Hills’, the titular album opener evokes the superiority of rural living over urban. In Jamaican history, the roots of radical protest, a national identity and the Rastafari movement, grew from communities formed by escaped slaves in the hills and (after emancipation in 1838) the so-called ‘Free Villages’.”

YouTube: Man In The Hills
1 – Man In The Hills 2 – It’s Good 3 – No More War 4 – Black Soul 5 – Lion 6 – People Get Ready 7 – Children 8 – Mother 9 – Door Peep 10 – Groovy

Burning Spear – Bad To Worse (& Dub) (19

Posted in Burning Spear, Dub with tags , on July 29, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“… Even myself knows that too, why can’t you
give us all rights and justice, equality and love
it’s maybe one or two, feeling the same way
all i can see and hear the people sayin’ it is
getting from bad to worst …”
YouTube: Bad To Worse (& Dub)

Burning Spear – Hail H.I.M. (1980)

Posted in Burning Spear with tags on June 6, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Across five seminal albums, Burning Spear would do more than just define roots; he would leave a fiery legacy that no other artist has equalled. Kicking off with the stunning Marcus Garvey in 1975 and encompassing the equally exceptional string of Man in the Hills, Dry & Heavy, Social Living, and Hail H.I.M., the final album in this series of masterpieces, Spear had undergone a continuous evolution. Over this five year period, Spear had truncated from a trio to Winston Rodney alone, grown to include the accompanying Black Disciples aggregate of elite sessionmen, then pared down to a smaller grouping, and had seen Rodney move into self-production. Along the way, Spear had developed a denser sound and mixed a variety of other genres into the deep roots atmosphere. By 1980, when work began on Hail H.I.M., Rodney had severed his ties to Island Records and most of the Black Disciples as well. However, Aston Barrett remained by his side as co-producer, bassist, and percussionist. So did saxophonists Bobby Ellis and Herman Marquis, now joined by Egbert Evans and keyboardist Earl Lindo, with fellow pianoman Tyrone Downie now also coming on board. There was a switch in sound as well; Social Living had been an almost anthemic album, while Hail H.I.M., in contrast, was transcendental. Much of the record has an almost proggy feel, as guitarist Junior Marvin jams across the heavy rhythms, the brass slices in jazzy passages, and lurking underneath, the tribal-flavored percussion and Rodney’s congas. …”

YouTube: Hail H.I.M., Columbus, Road Foggy, Jah See and Know, African Teacher, African Postman, Cry Blood Africans, Follow Marcus Garvey, Jah see and know

Burning Spear – Social Living (1978)

Posted in Burning Spear, Dub, Rastafarians, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar with tags , , , , on January 30, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Burning Spear’s seventh album was originally released in the U.K. by Island in 1978 and has always been difficult to find in the U.S. Blood and Fire’s reissue makes it possible for average American reggae fans to hear what they’ve been missing, and it turns out that’s quite a lot. Social Living picks up where the third Burning Spear LP, Marcus Garvey, left off — more slow, dark songs about slavery, repatriation, and, of course, Garvey himself (four of the nine songs have his name in their titles). There are still no real tunes to speak of, just immensely dense grooves that thud and rumble along slowly and relentlessly to the accompaniment of distant horns and rattling nyahbinghi percussion. If this 2003 remaster edges out the original Island release in any way, it’s in the mix: Island toned down Social Living (aka Marcus’ Children) a bit to appeal to British audiences, but the Blood and Fire version absolutely throbs with bass and echoes like drums heard across vast distances. In this context, when Winston Rodney sings that ‘Jah no dead’ it’s impossible not to believe him; when he instructs you in the specifics of ‘Social Living,’ you find yourself submitting to his instruction. It’s that kind of album.”

Soundcloud: Social Living (Video)

YouTube: Social Living, Mr Garvey, Marcus Children Suffer, Civilized Reggae, Come, Institution

YouTube: “Institution” Live 1981, Rockpalast

Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey/Garvey’s Ghost (1990)

Posted in Burning Spear, Dub, Rastafarians with tags , , on November 4, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“This disc brings together Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear’s debut album, with its dub counterpart, entitled Garvey’s Ghost. The resulting package is one of the pillars of roots reggae, an album packed with thick, heavy grooves and uncompromising religious and political messages. Although this Mango reissue has been criticized as sonically weaker than the Jamaican original, it will sound plenty dread to all but the most critical ears. Songs like the title track, ‘Slavery Days’ and ‘Give Me’ (with its remarkably well-integrated flute part) all tremble with the intensity of Winston Rodney’s dark voice, and some of the dub versions (in particular ‘Black Wa-Da-Da,’ based on ‘The Invasion’) number among the most frightening ever created. There are no sing-along melodies here; Burning Spear has always been more about setting up a relentless groove and using it to get the words across. But that groove is glorious, and it’s more than sufficient to support the significant weight of the lyrics.”

Marcus Garvey is the third album by the reggae singer Burning Spear, released in 1975 on Island Records, ILPS 9377. The album is named after the Jamaican National Hero and Rastafari movement prophet Marcus Garvey. A dub version of it was released four months later as Garvey’s Ghost. This was the first album by the group recorded for Island Records, whose founder Chris Blackwell had been instrumental in breaking Jamaican reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, and Bob Marley to an international audience. It was produced by Lawrence Lindo, better known by his handle taken from the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby. Apparently, upon their first meeting, Lindo and vocalist Winston Rodney realized the opening track to this album, ‘Marcus Garvey.’ The backing musicians, whom Lindo named The Black Disciples band, had been assembled from The Soul Syndicate and The Wailers.”
W – Marcus Garvey

Garvey’s Ghost is the fourth album by the reggae group Burning Spear, which was one of the seminal vocal trios in reggae. released in 1976 on Island Records, ILPS 9382. Each track is a dub version of its correspondent song on the group’s third album, Marcus Garvey. This album was fashioned by Island Record engineers John Burns and Dick Cuthell in their Hammersmith studio. It features prominently the backing musicians, whom Lindo named The Black Disciples band, assembled from members of the session group The Soul Syndicate and Bob Marley’s touring band, The Wailers. John Corbett has suggested that ‘dub’ could derive from ‘duppie,’ a Jamaican patois word for ghost, as Lee Perry has been quoted stating that dub is ‘the ghost in me coming out,’ this connection further illustrated by Winston Rodney having named this album as the ghost of Garvey.”
W – Garvey’s Ghost

YouTube: Marcus garvey, Slavery days, AFRICAN POSTMAN, Marcus Garvey & Garvey’s Ghost

Burning Spear – The Whole A We Suffer b/w Children Of Today (1978)

Posted in Burning Spear, Dub, Sylvan Morris with tags , , on September 15, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

YouTube: The Whole A We Suffer b/w Children Of Today