Saturday, October 21, 2006
Culture - Two Sevens Clash
I had meant to post something around the time of the death of the great Joseph Hill but had got caught up in other things. Truly one of reggae's greatest consciences and sweetest voices. Although the prophecy of two sevens clashing never came to fruition (thank God) and the Rastafari's really bet on the wrong horse with Selassie (I believe he took advantage of them more than they were in the wrong) it takes nothing away from the purity of their belief and songs. This is a great primer for becoming familiar with Culture, I also highly recommend 'International Herb' as a follow-up and suggest you do as directed. I found an online review at ReggaeShack that is quite informative, unlike most of my personal ramblings here.
The charismatic Joseph Hill founded the vocal trio Culture around 1976. He and his cousins Albert Walker and Roy Dayes initially called themselves "The African Disciples", but soon changed their name after hooking up with producer Joe Gibbs. Before Culture split up in 1982, they had an unfortunate engagement with Duke Reid's famous "Treasure Isle Studios" (the unauthorized album "Africa Stand Alone"), and a series of three excellent albums at Sonia Pottinger's "High Note" label ("Harder Than The Rest", "Combolo" and "International Herb"). Culture performed at the legendary "One Love Peace Concert" in 1978, and later toured heavily in the U.K. with the Revolutionaries.
This debut album is often considered as one of the masterpieces of the roots era. The title song swept across the island like a wildfire, and also became a major success in the U.K. Most Rastafarians believed the apocalypse would begin when the two sevens clashed, the most fearsome date of concern was July 7th, 1977, when the four sevens clashed. However, the song itself was fearless, and for those of true faith, the end of the world did not spell doom, but release from the misery of life.
"The backing, provided by the Revolutionaries, perfectly complements the lyrics' ultimate optimism, and is quite distinct from most dread albums of the period. Although definitely rootsy, Culture had a lighter sound than most of their contemporaries. Sadly, no other group followed Culture's lead, and even the trio itself did not take advantage of it, especially after parting ways with Gibbs. When the group re-emerged in the mid-'80s, they swiftly moved into a reggae light/world music mode - a world apart from where they started. Thus, "Two Sevens Clash" remains forever in a class all of its own."
I'm Alone In The Wilderness
Two Sevens Clash
I'm Not Ashamed
Get Ready To Ride The Lion To Zion
Black Starliner Must Come
Jah Pretty Face
See Them A Come
Natty Dread Taking Over