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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steel Pulse

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Album Review

Steel Pulse is perhaps the greatest reggae band from England. Their smooth, heavy rhythms, melodic tunes, and wonderfully full and tight vocal harmonies made everything they recorded a treat to hear. Add to that David Hinds' powerful lead vocals and their deeply political lyrics, and you have enough to make a case for them being right up there at the top among homegrown bands in Jamaica, too. There have been many collections of the group's work, and while 20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection: The Best of Steel Pulse isn't the most comprehensive study of the band's career it does a fine job of recapping the highlights. The disc contains three songs from their first three albums on Mango/Island: 1978's landmark Handsworth Revolution, 1979's Tribute to the Martyrs, and 1980's Reggae Fever. The songs are well chosen giving a sample of the band's political side ("Handsworth Revolution," "Ku Klux Klan," and "Drug Squad") and their poppier side ("Sound System" and the booming "Reggae Fever"). The collection continues with a song from their excellent True Democracy record cut for Elektra in 1981 ("Ravers"), then jumps to the band's late-'80s/early-'90s work for MCA for two songs: "State of Emergency" and "Taxi Driver." It also picks up the song they recorded for the soundtrack to Do the Right Thing in 1989, "Can't Stand It." These songs are a bit jarring, as they have almost nothing in common with the band's early roots sound, instead being pop-reggae replete with banks of synths and programmed drums. Still, the songs are catchy and Hinds is as great as ever. Despite glossing over the band's stay at Elektra, this disc does serve as a pretty solid intro to Steel Pulse.

Customer Reviews

Best Reggae Band Alive!

Very Good steel pulse album. I saw them live last week, they are unbelievable. Another good cd is African Holocaust Best Reggae Band Alive!

top notch

Best reggae group ever. Bob Marley sits on the thrown as best artist. But what makes Steel Pulse unique is that they are a single minded group and of course they are from the U.K.

YES!!!!

i love steel pulse! there best two songs are your house and roller skates

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
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steel Pulse, Steel Pulse
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, Roots Reggae
  • Released: May 25, 2004

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