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Album Review

Aswad's debut on Mango is still one of the band's strongest efforts. Nicely displaying the group's jazz-tinged, roots reggae sound, Aswad features such vocal highlights as "Can't Stand the Pressure" and "Concrete Slaveship," as well as the fine instrumental "Red Up." And while not as successful as their British peers Steel Pulse, Aswad still qualifies as one of the best roots outfits to emerge outside of Jamaica. A fitting start to the band's long and impressive run.


Formed: 1975 in London, England

Genre: Reggae

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

Aswad was arguably Britain's most successful reggae band, in terms of both popularity and longevity. Critical opinion on their body of work is often divided; some hail their early material as the greatest roots reggae Britain ever produced, while others find their later pop-crossover phase more distinctive and unique, even at the expense of authenticity. Regardless, Aswad's ability to adapt themselves to the changing times -- new musical trends, shifting personnel -- was ultimately the driving force...
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Aswad, Aswad
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