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Sound System: Island Anthology Import, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, March 11, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

For 20 years, Steel Pulse have been the premier roots-rock reggae band. This 30-track set contains their 1st 3 late '70's/early '80's LPs in their entirety (Handsworth Revolution, Tribute to the Martyrs and Reggae Fever), with some rare 12" mixes substituted for LP cuts. Highlights: The classics "Soldiers," "Ku Llux Klan," "Jah Pickney-R.A.R.," "Drug Squad" and "Reggae Fever," plus rarities and a previously unreleased live version of the single "Nyah Love." Digital re-mastering and 24-page book with essay, photos and complete track annotation.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001EAL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,048 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This fabulous release brings together the 1st 3 Steel Pulse albums in their entirety, including 12" mixes (which replace the original LP versions) and a few extra tracks (2 live tracks and "Don't give in"). It has to be the definitive collection of their music. To be quite honest I never got into any of their subsequent releases so it's great to find all the material I love so much on one CD set. The sound quality is also excellent and well re-mastered.
Steel Pulse appeared on the British reggae scene in the late 70's. It was the time of Punk, the new wave, financial depression, strikes, police harassment, sus laws, and a black community coming to terms with life in Great Britain. The story of Steel Pulse begins in Handsworth, Birmingham. The sleeve notes that accompany this release recount the story very well, from their humble beginnings, winning a talent competition that secured them a recording contract, to becoming one of the best reggae outfits to emerge from the British shores. They were even a favourite of Bob Marley who took them on tour with him around Europe as his support act. They arrived in the middle of the Punk Explosion and it was normal to see them playing at clubs with the likes of the Adverts and the Stranglers, usually blowing the competition off the stage! Their music was hard hitting, political, well arranged, with great vocals and harmonies, but most definitely reggae. By 1978 they were signed by Island records who put out their debut album Handsworth Revolution. This put the band firmly on the British Reggae map and earned them a lot of critical acclaim and respect. What an entrance: Biblical tales, JAH, social politics, black politics, a radical edge, and still catchy and addictive. Their follow up LP Tribute to the Martyrs (1979) was more thought out and thematic.
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By A Customer on November 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
British Reggae band, STEEL PULSE have enjoyed success since the late seventies. Their success has been with the roots crowd and occasionally with UK and international audiences as well.
This wonderful 1997 anthology includes their first 3 albums (recorded during the late seventies/early eighties) and substitutes some original album songs with their 12" versions. The album also includes some extra tracks including live versions of "MACKA SPLAFF" and "NYAH LOVE."
Not Unlike the British reggae band, ASWAD, STEEL PULSE have been a self-contained band. Although now whittled down to 3 original members, (David Hinds, Steve Nesbitt, and Selwyn Brown), on these early recordings the initial line up play all the instruments themselves. There is something admirable about a reggae band that can produce both great vocals and "crucial riddims" without outside help. This two-disc package demonstrates a powerful sociopolitical vision that is spoken with great lyrics, beautiful harmonies and remarkable musicianship. Their up-tempo beat, mid-range melodies and mixing of jazz and rock guitars give the overall sound an "irie" feeling.
The one thing in common all the songs have on this massive compilation is STEEL PULSE' uncompromising stance. Songs such as "BABYLON MAKES THE RULES," "KU KLUX KLAN," and "JAH PICKNEY" demonstrate the musician's ability to address political oppression, while other songs such as, "UNSEEN GUEST," and "SOUND CHECK," display a more spiritual side of the band.
"SOUND SYSTEM: THE ISLAND YEARS" returns us to the early years of this rocking band. I'm sure you'll enjoy this look back on a band that has helped influence Dancehall and even pop music.
Respect! -Mark "Homebody" Groesbeck
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Format: Audio CD
Although Island had good intentions on creating an anthology album for the remembrance of their 3 albums Handsworth Revolution, Tribute To The Martyrs, and Reggae Fever (Caught You). Some how I believe this was just a poor excuse for them not to release the remastered editions. All some original track were replaced by the 12" extended versions and it also contains bonus tracks like Nyah Love and Bun Dem (Handsworth Revolution), Macka Splaff (Live) (Tribute To The Martyrs), & Don't Give In (Reggae Fever (Caught You)). I give it a B+, but not because of the album. It would of got an A but Island Records refuse to release remastered versions of their fist 3 albums and decided to use this instead, which is a major kick in the crotch. In my defense I'd rather buy all 3 to show off in my collection, they could of at least kept the original and extended versions. They deserve to have remastered versions so why not go ahead and do it already?!?!?

-DJ
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Awesome compilation of Steele pulse and their older songs, a must have for pulse fans!!
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