And here we have yet another Steel Pulse vinyl single, “Save Black Music” from the Grammy Award-winning album Babylon The Bandit. Overall, a mediocre effort from Steel Pulse with several outstanding tracks. The opening track “Save Black Music” is striking as the opening track. This is a different sound and vibe from Steel Pulse. Although David Hinds’ lyrics remain conscious and strong, Steel Pulse enter a horrid phase characterized by the overuse of synthesizers, which was a development that emerges in the 1980s. Still an interesting listen if you are a fan. The first track on this 12″ has a distinctly different mix. Track 2 is the instrumental and Track 3 is the LP version.
1. Save Black Music (Vocal Extended) 2. Instrumental 3. LP Version
Included here is a rare Black Uhuru 12″ titled “Conquer The Tanker.” The single, pressed on the RAS label in 1985, features Junior Reid on the vocal. It is backed with a track called ”Reggae With You.” It was recorded by Steven Stanley in Jamaica during the ‘Brutal‘ sessions. Killer Reid-era track!
It is fitting to share this rare gem now, considering we just posted the interview with Doctor Dread yesterday. Michael Rose left Black Uhuru in 1984 and the group was promptly dropped by Island Records just one year after winning the first ever reggae Grammy Award for ‘Anthem.’ Rose was promptly replaced by his good friend and fellow Waterhouse native Junior Reid. Doctor Dread, a longtime fan of the group, goes to NYC to ink the deal with Duckie Simpson’s lawyer and Black Uhuru, now a RAS Records act, get to work on the ‘Brutal’ album. ‘Brutal,’ produced by Doctor Dread, Black Uhuru, Steven Stanley, and Arthur Baker, is recorded by Steven Stanley at Music Mountain in Jamaica. The album is mixed by Jim Fox in Washington, DC, Arthur Baker in NYC (Great Train Robbery), and Steven Stanley back at Music Mountain in Jamaica. The album is released in 1986 and receives a Grammy nod, along with the ‘Brutal Dub’ album. Interesting note: The album contains the heavy, roots laden track “Dread In The Mountain,” which is voiced by Junior Reid. This same tune was a minor nhit for Reid in Jamaica several years earlier under the name “Chanting.”
So it’s 1985, the group has just signed with RAS, and they have not yet worked out the songs that will comprise the ‘Brutal’ album. This set of circumstances makes for a one-of-a-kind Black Uhuru show in Philadelphia, 1985. The show opens with Reid performing two of his solo hits “Shack A Lack” and “Original Foreign Mind” (mislabeled as “Worry Dem” in the archived setlist). The remainder of the show is comprised of songs from earlier Black Uhuru albums.
So here is a show that catches Black Uhuru in transition. Although the show is not labeled with respect to the date or venue, it occurred on August 13, 1985 at the Chestnut Theatre It is a true rarity because it showcases the talents of both Junior Reid and Puma Jones (who passed away in 1990). Great sound quality too for an audience recording.
1. Black Uhuru - Shack’a Lak Rock 2. Black Uhuru – Original Foreign Mind 3. Black Uhuru – What is Life? 4. Black Uhuru - Black Uhuru Anthem 5. Black Uhuru – Shine Eye Girl 6. Black Uhuru – Plastic Smile 7. Black Uhuru - General Penetentiary 8. Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? 9. Black Uhuru – Emotional Slaughter
I first heard about BIGGZ GENERAL through one of the reggae blogs that read, the Jah Blem Musik blog. BIGGZ GENERAL is the latest from a long line of multi-talented musicians and performers going back to the greatest musician and performer of our time, Biggz’ grandfather NESTA ROBERT MARLEY. A product of GHETTO YOUTHS UNITED, his mother was one of three angel-voiced anchors of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and a muli-Grammy winner in her own right, Sharon Marley Pendergast, the biological daughter of Ms. Rita Marley.
So with a pedigree like that what can you expect from BIGGZ GENERAL? FINALLY you can hear it for yourself! Biggz recently released his long-awaited mixtape, and you can get it HERE!
You can expect to hear more from BIGGZ GENERAL soon. Stay tuned, stay connected to the MIDNIGHT RAVER BLOG…
“BIGGZ GENERAL – SALUTE DI GENERAL mixtape Ghetto youths international, REBEL massive & Dj Tom LAROC & a message of love & inspiration and you are apart of JAH ARMY
LIKE BREDDA JESSE ROYAL say UNi = one VERSE = Song. all a WE!!!! wid ONE VOICE WID DI SAME MESSAGE…… ONE PERFECT LOVE ONE RIGHTEOUS AIM & ONE ULTIMATE DESTINY.”
There is a reason why Joe Jurgenson was the first person I asked to come on board as a Co-Editor at MIDNIGHT RAVER BLOG. We were talking about whether this print interview is considered rare and he says”Rare? Fuck rare. Rare is a pre-1900 Martin. A magazine article, not so much.” Still bent over that one.
Included here is a profile of Bob Marley by journalist Scott Cohen which was published in the February 1976 issue of Oui, a U.S. gentlemans magazine – “for the man of the world” is their motto. According to the MIDNIGHT DREAD, it is the first Bob Marley interview published by a U.S. periodical. Give thanks…this is one you don’t see every day. But according to Joe, not rare.