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Universal Masters Collection: Classic Black Uhuru

Black Uhuru

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Album Review

If one wanted to distill the "classic" Black Uhuru canon down to a single disc, most fans would end up with a track listing that looks pretty similar to the one offered on Universal Masters Collection. The band's roots masterpieces are all here — "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Sinsemilla," "Shine Eye Girl," "I Love King Selassie," "Youth of Eglington," and so on and so forth, in all 16 tracks that include virtually all their best work. Then again, most of these songs have been heavily compiled over the years, but what sets Universal Masters apart is its fabulous mix of album tracks, extended versions, dubs, and live numbers, deftly capturing the entire Uhuru experience. Drawn from 1979-1982, this is the period when the trio linked with Sly & Robbie and unleashed a stream of roots rockers masterpieces that established reggae as a world musical force and Black Uhuru as international stars. The set is chronologically chaotic, but few fans will care about that, especially as the sequencing softens the time jumps. Inevitably, hardcore fans will find a few of their favorites missing — no "Plastic Smile" or "General Penitentiary" — but taken as a whole, there are few better representations of the band available on one CD than this.

Biography

Formed: 1974 in Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most successful of the second-generation reggae bands, Black Uhuru maintained their high quality despite numerous personnel changes in their 40-plus-year history. The first reggae band to win a Grammy award, for their 1983 album Anthem, Black Uhuru was, according to Reggae:...
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Universal Masters Collection: Classic Black Uhuru, Black Uhuru
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