- Audio CD (27 May 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Wiseman Doctrine
- ASIN: B00009K00L
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,492 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Audio CD, 27 May 2013
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Top customer reviews
The Amazon listing said that I would also receive the autorip MP3 download … when it didn't show up in my Amazon Music, I wrote to them … and they apologised that the listing is wrong.
BTW, I saw Steel Pulse a few weeks ago at the Brixton Academy … they still put on an amazing show (after 40 years!)
The Group have continued their commitment to fighting injustice, educating the masses, and promoting positive messages through spiritually uplifting music.
"We just can't ignore the politics, because every life and soul that's born on this earth is a political manoeuvre for someone, at some stage", Hinds explains.
The band's international success has resulted in a Grammy award for their Babylon The Bandit album, and nominations for Earth Crisis, Victims, Rastafari Centennial and Rage & Fury.
True Democracy is a re issue of the 1982 album. Originally issued on the prestigious Electra Label. True Democracy is one of the bands classic albums and has not been available in the UK for some time. This re issue includes a reprint of the full lyrics and faithful reproduction of the original artwork.
The book of true life, you hold the key/
Mystical powers to you unfold/
Seek ye the half that has never been told...."
-- Chant A Psalm
The first two albums on this list share the distinction of genre-defying, crossover success and as such I awarded them the top spots as an honorarium. However, the next five albums can easily be considered the "greatest reggae album" of all time on artistic merits alone.
For the music industry, 1982 signaled a change for the usual. I remember it well as that September was the beginning of my senior year at Uniondale High School (NY). It was also a time where we saw a new group of rap artist emerge as groups like Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang, Kurtis Blow, Spoonie Gee and The Cold Crush Bros., were not only competing against each other but also the expectation that they could produce more than just the occasional hit singles. Back in the day, there were any "budgets" to talk about. It was all about ingenuity and love of the art. "Do you believe you have what it takes?" Right around the corner, Run DMC and LL Cool J (both from Queens) were making a lot noise with their sound. Things were about to get interesting!
Up in the Northwest, Prince, the musical prodigy, had firmly established himself as a solo musician and created a very competent (and complicit) backing band. The Time, the sophistical counterpart to his royal badness, would themselves experience a change of leaders as Alexander O'Neal was replaced by Morris Day.
Back in the Northeast, Rick James was...was Cold Blooded! He was just finishing the 3 of three spectacular albums following Street Songs and Throwin' Down. He also had new albums by the Stone City Band and THE girl group of that time The Mary Jane Girls . But, the spotlight directly beside the King of Punk Funk belonged to The Queen of Ivory Soul, herself, Teena Marie.
And, last but certainly not least, Quincy Jones walked in Epic Studio with the master tapes of what would be the-biggest-selling-album of all time.
But something else happened in 1982. Something quite different, something no one was expecting. Not of Shakespearean proportion but it did happen in Denmark.
David Hinds, lead singer and writer for Steel Pulse received a call from Karl Pitterson. Apparently, a new recording studio had just opened in Denmark and the owner was a huge reggae fan. He was interested in knowing if there was a reggae group interested in recording there.
Hinds and the band had just severed ties with Island Records in what both sides say was not an amicable parting. Hinds and the guys wanted to take their music in a new direction, broadly speaking. Marley had departed two years prior. And, with no one offering a broad palate, the record industry was doubtful it (the genre) would continue. Black Uhuru's work was far too militant to make it popular. Burning Spear' work was not yet seen as broadly marketable. Third World's music was becoming more homogenized by the second (and losing credibility amongst true reggae fans). That left Bunny Wailer (who had a notorious reputation for not liking to tour, thereby seen as a high financial risk) and Peter Tosh, who although still showed signs of genius, Legalize It, was still seen as a live-wire, both politically and legally.
Who else was left? The Melody Makers? Musical Youth? Too young. UB40 and Aswad were still a couple of years away from breakout status. This left Steel Pulse: spiritual heir to Marley, but without a label.
Although all of the major record labels considered reggae a niche and perhaps even a fad, they did sign Steel Pulse to a record deal. Their first recording being a 4-song set on the classic album, Reggae Sunsplash 81: Tribute to Marley. It still boggles my mind that a group that had Marley and Burning Spear as their opening act and they themselves had, the little-known act, The Police as their opening act across Europe were given a shoe-string budget to prove the industry wrong.
Yes, Steel Pulse was off to Denmark.
Over the course of a couple of months, the band would cut 10-tracks of various themes from slow ("Your House") to up-tempo ("Blues Dance Raid"). From social commentary--"A Who Responsible," "Man No Sober," "Leggo Beast" - to Steel Pulse's mystical tribute to Marley's "Natural Mystic" with "Chant A Psalm."
This album is like no other and it ushered in a standard that with the possible exception of their follow-up, Earth Crisis, they have never been able to recapture the magic.
"Out of darkness, out of night/
People screaming, baton wheeling/
A lot of bleeding, bruised feelings
Search warrant for their outvitation/
Walkie talkie reinforcement/
From dem pocket they draw handcuff/
(Dis ya session it rough!)
----"Blues Dance Raid
True Democracy. The #4 Greatest Reggae Album of All Time and possibly #1 when the mood strikes you.