Reggae Archive Records present our lucky ears with 12 cuts and version pressed on superb quality wax. As always, their releases come with super detailed and intriguing sleeve notes; here’s a bit from the label in their own words:

“When it came to naming this album “Black Symbol” was all the title it needed, a name resonant with meaning that truly fits the music within. The vinyl version contains 12 tracks including versions and is cut for maximum dynamic range.

The music itself is roots reggae at its best, clearly British, but firmly anchored to the childhood home of the band’s core members in St Ann’s on Jamaica’s North coast; like Birmingham another hotbed of Reggae creativity and talent. Although all tracks were recorded at Outlaw Studios in the heart of Birmingham, this music is among the most Jamaican sounding of any British recordings. There is not a conscious attempt to mimic a Jamaican sound, it’s in the group’s DNA and just naturally permeates their sound. Unlike so many other British reggae groups, they didn’t take The Wailers as a template and instead created something new and entirely unique.

Two thirds of the vocals have overtly religious themes, spiritual, uplifting, joyful, a timeless celebration of belief; these songs are inclusive rather than exclusive and lift your spirits whatever your faith or none at all. The rest of the vocals have political themes, equally heartfelt and everything is delivered with total conviction. The versions are no mere afterthoughts, but perfectly realised companion pieces with all the weight and vibes anyone could wish for.

The double vinyl LP comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve and contains sleeve notes based on interviews with original band members; Fatman, Blobbo and Rhino plus archive photos provided by bandleader Fatman.”

1. “Loving Jah”
2. “Everything Has Its Time”
Side 2
1. “None A Jah Jah Children”
2. “Jah Children” (version)
3. “In The Name Of Jah”
4. “In The Name Of Jah” (version)
5. “In The Name Of Jah” (drum & bass reprise)
Side 3
1. “Travel”
2. “How Long”
Side 4
1. “Solidarity”
2. “Tension”
3. “Dub Piano”

 

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