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Reggae Anthology - Natty Dread Taking Over

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Editors’ Notes

A revealing and well-assembled retrospective of one of the most revered reggae groups of all time, Natty Dread Taking Over is much more than a typical overview of Culture’s storied career. While it includes material that'll be familiar to even the most casual reggae fans, such as the epochal “Two Sevens Clash," some of what's here is being made available digitally for the first time. Among the rarities on offer are the nine tracks from the 1978 release Africa Stands Alone. Considered something of a lost album in Culture’s catalog, Africa Stands Alone boasts a raw, minimal sound that thrusts the sublime vocal harmonies of Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, and Kenneth Dayes to the forefront of the mix, and it's reminiscent of the rough-hewn production work that graced Culture’s recordings for Joe Gibbs. This set also includes a number of live tracks that Culture recorded for renowned English disc jockey John Peel in 1982, including an incendiary rendition of “Armagiddion War.” The remainder of the set includes many of the high points of Culture’s catalog, but the rarities are what make Natty Dread Taking Over a truly essential listen.


Formed: 1976

Genre: Reggae

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

Vocal trio Culture helped define the sound and style of Rastafarian roots reggae, thanks largely to charismatic singer, songwriter, and leader Joseph Hill. True to their name, Culture's material was devoted almost exclusively to spiritual, social, and political messages, and Hill delivered them with a fervent intensity that grouped him with Rastafarian militants like Burning Spear and Black Uhuru. Their classic debut, Two Sevens Clash, is still considered a roots reggae landmark, and most of their...
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