Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Two Sevens Clash

(from the original album liner notes)
"One day Joseph Hill had a vision, while riding a bus, of 1977 as a year of judgment -- when two sevens clash -- when past injustices would be avenged. Lyrics and melodies came into his head as he rode and thus was born the song "Two Sevens Clash" which became a massive hit in reggae circles both in Jamaica and abroad. The prophecies noted by the lyrics so profoundly captured the imagination of the people that on July 7, 1977 - the day when sevens fully clashed (seventh day, seventh month, seventy-seventh year) a hush descended on Kingston; many people did not go outdoors, shops closed, an air of foreboding and expectation filled the city."

Culture's album Two Sevens Clash has since become a roots reggae classic, having helped establish a vocabulary of terms that became the norm in reggae. It took inspiration from Marcus Garvey, Rastafarianism and Jamaica's reggae rhythms. It proved inspirational to the UK punk rock scene, with bands like the Clash and The Ruts embracing reggae rhythms. The music was impressive, making ample use riddim kings Sly & Robbie and their crack band, and production came courtesy of the legendary Joe Gibbs. The vocals are so sweet, with Joseph Hill's (RIP) lead working beautifully with the harmonies of Albert Walker and Kenneth Dayes. This year is the 30th anniversary of this classic and Shanachie has remastered it and reissued it with a bunch of bonus stuff. It is a lovely record, low key and simple. Today's selections are the stellar title track, and two of the bonus cuts, both dub plate versions of album tracks. Sweet skanking...
Two Sevens Clash
See Dem Dub
Not Ashamed Dub

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