365 Days of Album Recommendations – July 7 [the 7.7.77-7.7.17 edition]

Culture – Two Sevens Clash

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I’m long overdue to put some reggae on this list, and was virtually certain I’d debut with Burning Spear’s Marcus Garvey, but then a fantastic reader of this blog THANKFULLY called my attention to the fact that today is 7.7.17.

Which means …

… that it’s 40 years ago to the day that Culture’s titanic musical contribution was given to the world.

It’s hard to believe it could be 40 years. This music is as fresh and as alive and as outstanding as if were born yesterday. From the first vocal chorus of “Calling Rasta For I” to the final fading “taking over” vocal at the close of “Natty Dread Taking Over,” the album is a canonical summary of all that roots rock reggae can do.

For me, “Black Starliner Must Come” is the holy centerpiece of this masterpiece. The melodies, the groove, the instrumentation …

… and then there are Joe Hill’s savagely impeccable phrasings , which are simply haunting throughout—he’s a shaman, unquestionably.

We cannot not be moved when he sings-chants “So long to the devil, so long” …

The sevens are at it again, people. Know it.


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