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Steel Pulse's Greatest Album?...!
on July 2, 2008
After Steel Pulse's 1st major debut album "Handsworth Revolution", an album that paid homage to the place they call home (Handsworth). Steel Pulse decided to think outside of the box with their revolutionary tactics, not only addressing the struggles in their own home town(s), but across the world.
"Unseen Guest" is a very bone chilling yet uplifting song that tells a story about a black freedom fighter in the slavery days, who must pay the price with being hanged.
"Sound System" is the only song on this album that was made in a fun state of mind in this album, yet it's still known as one of Steel Pulse's classics.
"Jah Pickney - R.A.R. (Rock Against Racism)" is addressing the problems with apartheid in Africa, but it also addresses racism that goes on all over the world.
"Tribute To The Martyrs" pays homage to all of the freedom fighters who died in the process.
"Babylon Makes The Rules" is about black people who lives in Babylon's under their system and is living in the struggle.
"Uncle George" pays homage to George Jackson, a Black American militant who became a member of the Black Panther Party while in prison, where he spent the last 12 years of his life. On August 21, 1971, three days before he was to go on trial, George Jackson was gunned down in the prison yard at San Quentin during an escape attempt. According to the state of California, lawyer-activist Stephen Bingham had smuggled a pistol concealed in a tape recorder into the prison to Jackson, who was housed in San Quentin's Adjustment Center time awaiting trial for the murder of a prison guard. On August 21, 1971, Jackson used the pistol, an Astra 9-mm semi-automatic, to take over his tier in the Adjustment Center. In the failed escape attempt, six people were killed, including prison guards Jere Graham, Frank DeLeon and Paul Krasnes, two white prisoners, and Jackson himself. Some prisoners who witnessed the event claim that there was no weapon and that Jackson had not been planning any escape or rebellion. Following the incident, Bingham fled the country, living in Europe for 13 years before surrendering in 1984 and returning to the United States to stand trial.
"Biko's Kindred Lament" pays homage the Stephen Bantu Biko (a.k.a. Steve Biko)a noted anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and early 1970s.On 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody, and was chained to a window grille for a day. On 11 September 1977 police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked, and began the 1,500 km drive to Pretoria to take him to a prison with hospital facilities in order to treat the already near-dead Biko. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike. He was found to have massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors.
And last but not least "Blasphemy (Selah)" is about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and talks about their faith in him.
Overall I give this album an A++, this album is perfect. It gives you what it offers in it's title "Tribute To The Martyrs", and still manage to have a different feeling to each song (no love song though, yet who needs one?). This is a must have even the great Bob Marley called it one of his favorite albums, and if that doesn't say a lot then you're not a true Reggae fan.