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Black Symbol - The Anthology

Black Symbol - The Anthology

Black Symbol - The Anthology

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Black Symbol still do the biz.

Sampler

With a roots revival storming across Jamaica and crowding out American, European and other continents’ reggae playlists, it is also gratifying to find that the ‘real thing’ is still coming at you.

Without breaking the charts with the same success as fellow Birmingham-based reggae stalwarts like Steel Pulse and the Beat, Black Symbol enjoyed a formidable reputation and output in the 1980s. To the delight of hard core roots reggae aficionados, much of this output has now been unearthed by Reggae Archive Records and will be available in vinyl, CD and digital download formats with effect from March 16th 2015.

Black SymbolThis collection is a veritable treasure chest of roots classics – and only the enthusiastic will be able to readily distinguish the unique Black Symbol stamp from a Misty In Roots or mid-1970s Burning Spear type release. Hence, it’s no coincidence to note that the core band members have their roots in St. Ann’s, Jamaica – the one time home of Spear and Marcus Garvey. Of course, whilst the material comfortably slots into the roots category, it would be a disservice to Black Symbol to suggest that they haven’t put their own unique stamp upon the sound.

The CD version contains 16 classic tracks (of which 4 are versions), whilst the high quality double vinyl contains 12 tracks (including versions). Stand out tracks include Everything Has Its Time, Travel, an uplifting Solidarity and My Heart Reveals Danger (the latter is a classic, which sadly doesn’t make the vinyl cut). Inevitably with roots classics, the material is heavy on the role of the Rastafarian religion, whilst decorated with the odd sideswipe at political malfunctions – and all appropriately set to haunting vocals, uplifting brass and energising rhythms.

Hopefully this series of releases from Reggae Archive Records and its sister label Sugar Shack Records will succeed in enabling Black Symbol hitch a ride on the roots revival, firmly securing its long overdue place at the high table of reggae.

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