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Sound System - The Island Anthology

Steel Pulse

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Album Review

Sound System: The Island Anthology compiles the first three Steel Pulse albums, all recorded for the Mango label, were easily the best they ever made. This two-disc set compiles the entirety of those three albums (Handsworth Revolution, Tribute to the Martyrs and Caught You, the last of which was titled Reggae Fever for U.S. release) along with a handful of B-sides and live versions. The familiar pleasures are all here — the dry, heavy skank of "Bun Dem" and "Soldiers," the strangely dreamy outrage of "Tribute to the Martyrs," the lighter grooves that buoy "Shining" and "Rumours (Not True)." The extra tracks aren't much to write home about; frankly, the two B-sides and two live tracks sound like filler. But the 12" version of the majestic "Babylon Makes the Rules" feel like divine revelation, as does the dubwise extension of "Heart of Stone" that was hinted at so tantalizingly in its original album version. For all of his jazzy excesses, David Hinds remains one of the finest reggae singers around, and there has never been a rhythm section to match this one for brick-wall solidity. An essential collection of top-flight British reggae.

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Reggae

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

Steel Pulse were one of Britain's greatest reggae bands, rivaled only by Aswad in terms of creative and commercial success. Generally a protest-minded Rastafarian outfit, Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience among white U.K. punks as well. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. As the '80s wore on, slick synthesizers and elements...
Full bio
Sound System - The Island Anthology, Steel Pulse
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  • 14,99 €
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, Roots Reggae
  • Released: 01 January 1997

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