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4.9 out of 5 stars
52
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2017
A+
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on 14 February 2009
This album was the first reggae purchase I made thanks to John Peel (radio dj) who supported the band with airtime to help get this album recognised.The stark anti-nazi image of the band dressed in KKK uniform along with the haunting melody and driving bass of the single Ku Klux Klan was thought provoking to this English youth at the time.Steel Pulse must be credited for moulding there own unique style of reggae which clearly has other musical influences as can be heard on this set.
This album has had a huge influence on my life.I woke up and realised the foolishness of raccism as prescribed by my post war (ignorant) parents and I started to understand Jamaican/British culture.I kind of personally evolved beyond new wave and still follow true roots reggae to this day.Just seen Sly & Robbie live-I feel truly blessed!
This album kind of relayed a theme of modern day suffering and poverty both in the UK and beyond reflected in the wonderful artwork which was better appreciated with a 12" cover.It really is a classic. Bob Marley listened to it in his tour bus at the time-recommendation enough for most. Buy this and then check out 'Misty In Roots Live at the Countervision' for an education in the moulding of UK roots reggae of the finest order.
PS Felt the negative vibe towards Aswad in other review was a little unfair as they were a sensational live band in their roots era.
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on 26 June 2001
Birmingham's Steel Pulse provided us with the only truly great British reggae album of the last 30 years in 1978's Handsworth Revolution. Seven great reggae musicians from all over north Birmingham, ie ,Lozells, Handsworth and Handsworth Wood, got together to create an unforgettable sound that is true to the roots of Jamaican reggae, unlike the over-commercialised offerings of UB40 and Aswad throught the 1980s (although both bands did strive for authenticity on their first couple of albums).
There is a real positive vibe to this music, with classics such as Klu Klux Klan, Sound System and Prodgical Son (a Top 40 hit) providing the standout moments.
Meanwhile, fellow Brummies UB40, together with Aswad, were waiting in the wings with their crossover reggae-pop for the 'reggae-ignorant' mainstream audience. Forget this lot, this is true reggae with real spirit.
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on 7 September 2012
'Handsworth Revolution' is beautiful music...and it's hard...and it's heavy. It's British Blacks peed off with oppression.Steel Pulse were the hardest-hitting, most socially-relevant, musically-profound reggae band to come out of Britain and do anything that Jamaica could do, putting it into a UK context.
I am Rocking Against Racism, there's someone selling cans of Red Stripe and the air is florally fragrant.
If that sounds a little over-the-top/ pretentious, let me say that this is supremely beautiful reggae music.
And how about this for pretentious......
I would like to think that, one day, the title track is recognised as classical music.
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on 31 May 2017
Brilliant album!
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on 27 August 2002
I'd forgotten just how good this album is! A blast from the past, Handsworth Revolution resurrects the spirit of the time; Rock Against Racism marches, Anti Nazi League protests all rounded up with a party of punks, dreads and like minded people in unison! Enough nostalgia, Steel Pulse's Handsworth Revolution has stood the test of time; smooth vocals over original dub bass representing the struggle of that era all contribute to an album which should be hailed as a reggae classic.
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on 20 February 2001
This album is a milestone in the development of reggae music. It demonstrated that although the sound of British reggae was different to the sounds coming from Jamaica, it was as thought provoking and melodic as anything the Wailers produced. Simply this album put British reggae on the map. It will always be a vital and enjoyable musical experience.
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2008
In the late 1970s, amid the hurricane of the new wave, Steel Pulse were seen as the UK reggae band most likely to mix it with other newcomers, and were hardly ever out of the NME. Every track on this album seems to me to be tied to the title track, its portentous 'Babylon is falling' warning set to a restless undercurrent. Steel Pulse seemed to capture some of the social discontent of the time with a no-nonsense approach to their music. They occasionally added colour, as in the guitar flourishes on 'Soldiers,' but they were direct rather than poetic. The titles tend to leave little to the imagination. Other than on the celebratory 'Sound Check' they chart fairly gloomy territory, until the closing 'Macka Splaff,' which seems to represent comfort rather than solution. They never achieved the acclaim that seemed to be predicted for them, but 'Handsworth Revolution' is a satisfying album, and one which highlights how half-baked most white interpretations of the form are.
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on 13 February 2005
I've read and agreed with everything the other reviewers have said about this Roots/Dub masterpiece,the only things I can add is that this album is one of THE greatest ever,in or out of the UK.It stands shoulder to shoulder with anything by Burning Spear,Culture,U-Roy,LKJ,Augustus Pablo....I could go on.
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on 8 February 2014
I bought this back in the late 70s, and it is just as good and fresh now as it was then. Timeless. Fantastic. This is British reggae at it's best. It is hard hitting and uncompromising. This isn't sugar-coated reggae, but the musician-ship, the songwriting and production are superb. If you like good reggae - Peter Tosh etc - and want probably the best of British reggae, then Steel Pulse have to be it along with Reggae poet. Linton Kwesi Johnson's absolute genius album 'Forces of Victory'.
This Steel Pulse album has probably the saddest song I have ever heard in the track Ku Klux Klan - so powerful in it's simplicity. Extraordinary writing and performance: This song, above all others, shows how easily, casually and brutally bigotry can destroy. Makes my hair stand out on my head. Get their other seminal album 'Tribute to the Martyrs' too.
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