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Liberation - The Island Anthology

Black Uhuru

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Album Review

During the band's heyday in the late '70s and early '80s, Black Uhuru was one of the most unique and influential reggae bands in the world. This was partly due to their distinctive vocal sound — which was dominated by the keening wail of Michael Rose and the haunting harmonies of American expatriate Puma Jones — but in large part it was also due to their backing band, which was led by the legendary drum-and-bass duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare and was one of the few that could challenge the Wailers in terms of telepathic tightness and sheer rhythmic wallop. Liberation goes one better than most retrospective compilations: instead of simply collecting two discs' worth of previously released singles and selected album tracks, it takes familiar songs (such as the anthemic "I Love King Selassie" and the apocalyptic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner") and presents them in live versions, early mixes, 12" "showcase" versions (wherein the dub mix follows without a break on the heels of the vocal mix), and more. Little of this material is actually rare, and a good chunk of it actually does consist of standard singles and album tracks. But the rarities are plentiful enough to please fans, while the two-disc program is comprehensive enough to serve as a fine overview for beginners. Highlights abound, but they particularly include the showcase version of "Darkness" and the 12" mix of "Sponji Reggae." Excellent.

Customer Reviews

Masters Of Reggae In The 80's

Black Uhuru are one of the key Reggae bands of the 80's post Bob Marley, Keeping Roots evolving into the digital era with hard hitting, heavy dub roots music. This anthology captures them at there finest, includes all the hits and plenty more. Well recommended.

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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Liberation - The Island Anthology, Black Uhuru
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