“Babylon Release The Chains, But Dem A Use Dem Brain”

Black Uhuru Live in ’85

Today we have Black Uhuru performing at Wolfgang’s in San Francisco September 3, 1985. The “dread riddim” collective is now led by “Waterhouse wailer” Junior Reid, a worthy replacement for the recently departed Michael Rose.

Junior Reid recorded his first-ever single “Speak the Truth” at the age of 13 for the late Hugh Mundell, released in Jamaica on Augustus Pablo‘s Rockers International label, and popular as an import single in the United Kingdom. UK label Greensleeves Records followed this with “Know Myself” in 1981. He then went on to form his own band, the Voice of Progress, and after a local hit with “Mini-Bus Driver” the group scored local success with an album of the same name.

Junior Reid

Reid joins Black Uhuru in 1985, and along with Duckie Simpson and Puma Jones, they release a killer album in “Brutal”. Uhuru will continue with this line-up until 1987, when they split as they are unable to obtain visas to enter the U.S. to tour. Incidentally, Puma Jones is diagnosed with cancer the following year.

Wolfgang’s in San Francisco, CA is a very popular music venue when Black uhur plays in 1985. Immediately after opening in 1983, this 600 seat location called was a hit. It’s easier to list who did not play there then did, as the most popular musical acts of the day frequented the venue. unfortunately, in July of 1987, a fire broke out in the hotel above the club, the combination of smoke and water damage closed the doors on a Bay Area institution forever.

This is one of reid’s early performances with Black Uhuru. The performance is prior to the release of the Brutal album so the set list includes tracks primarily from Uhuru’s releases under Michael Rose. However, we do get an exclusive performance of the brand new tracks “Brutal”, “Let Us Pray”, and “Fit Haffe Fit”, all of which are released on Brutal.

For a full profile and critique of Black Uhuru, please visit my previous post HERE.

To read an LA Times interview with Black Uhuru’s Sly and Robbie click HERE.

Glastonbury 1986

Black Uhuru
Live at Wolfgangs (SBD)
San Francisco, CA
September 3, 1985

“Babylon Release The Chain” > “Foreign Mind”
“What Is Life?”
“Black Uhuru Anthem”
“Shine Eye Gal”> “Plastic Smile”
“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”
“Emotional Slaughter”
MC Encore Call
“Fit Haffe Fit” >
Band Intos >
“Let Us Pray”
MC Outro



Another Classic From The Dubwise Garage Collection

Recording source: Soundboard

Transfer source: my cassette (Azimuth adjustment) to pc from sony D3 through SB X-Fi Audio 2400 sound card

Transfer:  Sony D3 Azimuth adjustment> Jet Audio (>PCM 44,000 kHz, 16 Bit, Stereo) > CDWav > Flac Level 8

Give thanks to my good friend Dubwise Garage who graciously shared this fantastic show with us.


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