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Black Uhuru

The most successful of the second-generation reggae bands, Black Uhuru maintained their high quality despite numerous personnel changes in their 40-plus-year history. The first reggae band to win a Grammy award, for their 1983 album Anthem, Black Uhuru was called "The most dynamic and progressive reggae act of the 1970s and early '80s."

The band, whose name comes from the Swahili word meaning "freedom," was formed in the Waterhouse district of Kingston by Don Carlos, Rudolph "Garth" Dennis, and Derrick "Duckie" Simpson. When the group experienced difficulties securing a record contract, Spencer left to pursue a solo career and Dennis joined the Wailing Souls. Simpson, who remained the thread throughout Black Uhuru's evolution, reorganized the band with Errol "Jay" Wilson and quivery-voiced lead vocalist Michael Rose. Accompanied by the rhythm section of Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Black Uhuru created a sound that made them a match for any reggae ensemble. Their debut album, Love Crisis, released in 1977, included the anthemic hit "I Love King Selassie." Three years later, the album was remixed and released as Black Sounds of Freedom.

With the addition of harmony singer Puma Jones, an African-American woman who held a Master's degree from Columbia University and was a former member of the female group Mama Africa in 1981, Black Uhuru entered their most commercially successful period. In addition to recording a memorable studio album, Red, and an exciting live album, Tear It Up, the group reached its peak with the release of Anthem in 1983. Remixed and revised for release in the United States, the remade version was re-released in Europe shortly afterwards. Although the album received a Grammy, internal problems caused the band to splinter the following year. Rose was replaced by soundalike Junior Reid. Jones and Reid remained with the band until 1989. Although Reid left when visa problems prevented him from touring, Jones, who was replaced by Olufunke, was forced to step down after being diagnosed with cancer. She died on January 28, 1990, and was buried in her home state of South Carolina. The original three members -- Simpson, Spencer, and Dennis -- reunited to record a trio album, Now, in 1990. They've continued to tour and perform in this configuration. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection

1. Chill Out

2. Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

3. Sponji Reggae

4. Push Push

5. Happiness

6. Youth Of Eglington

7. Sinsemilla

8. Mondays

9. What Is Life?

10. Darkness

11. Party Next Door

x

Track List: Unification

1. Here Comes Black Uhuru

2. System

6. Real Thing

7. Can't Fight It

8. Proselyte

10. Lullaby Love

11. Babylon Fall With John Paul

14. Two For One

x

Track List: The Dub Factor

1. Ion Storm

2. Youth

3. Big Spliff

4. Boof'N'Baff'N'Biff

5. Puffed Out

6. Android Rebellion

7. Apocalypse

8. Back Breaker

9. Sodom

10. Slaughter

x

Track List: Brutal Dub

x

Track List: Red

1. Youth Of Eglington

2. Sponji Reggae

3. Sistren

4. Journey

5. Utterance

6. Puff She Puff

7. Rockstone

8. Carbine

9. Sponji Reggae

10. Trodding

Comments

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Ya mon unite!
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sizzzla2
When I hear this band I think of The Cosby Show episode where Denise's guy friend and her were watching the Reggae channel and he starts singing along with the band on the TV. That was a great scene in a great episode!
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Red is hands down my favorite reggae album ever!
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Jah. Live
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Don't read this. you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. now you've started this don't this is so freaky. But if you read this don't stop this is so freaky. But if you read this and ignore it then you will have very bad luck. Put this on 15 in 143 mins. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen this is so freaky it actually works
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Ka boooom! Black uhuru
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big up Black Uhuru......p l e n t y hits mostly on Taxi label....Wic k e d Vibes Sound.
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khartwell
They are not "used to" in any way. Same issues, same controlling powers, etc. If only... And please, no need to reference color any more than sex, height, etc., etc. Blessings to ALL. There is a good heart in Reggae, & know that none are perfect! 96 degrees in the shade...
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I live in Idaho and while at this Loves truck stop and I see there Bus fueling so I walk up and say Black Uruhu right he says wow how did you know that? I said My favorite Reggae band of all time. I got to photo shoot with them
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The Full Bio section is not correct. It references Spencer as being in the band, However, that white dude from Fleetwood Mac WAS never in the Black Uhuru. That was Don Carlos. C'mon Pandora.
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This song makes me feel like I'm on vacation every time I listen to it.. I blast this going down the Coast to catch a surf.. Black Uhuru's sound is regal!! Loooove, Love, Love!
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lilacstaff
I mean strong party.
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lilacstaff
this idea of freedom in music needs to be more recognized as a string party
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We are The Raggae Rebelutionar i e s .
Rebelutionar i e s movement.Pos i t i v e Vibrations.
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Takes me back to the old daze
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MEAN RASTA, ONE LOVE
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Reggae to the bone!
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Just Vibin, RASTA LOVE!
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such peaceful music. reggae is my favorite
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My vfavorite
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Guess who's coming to dinner? Natty dreadlocks. .. love reggae music
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1st REGGAE BAND TO WIN A GRAMMY AWARD..... BLACK UHURU...... YOUR #BlackHistor y M o m e n t
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A feel GOD !!! Yah is mi Religión /// pioramos2@gm a i l . Com
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I saw them on that tour in Madison WI. Incredible line up. Think I have the concert flier still.
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cpjrendezvou s
Greatest concert I ever attended in my life featured King Sunny Ade, Steel Pulse, and Black Uhuru at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago @ 1985. It was a Spiritual growth and musical experience of the most High!
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Win the last time you saw Obama and Michelle and kids
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Love their music!
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this band does not suck
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J AH LIVE every time,,!!!
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This band sucks.
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Respect.
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one of the top icons of the rocksteady era
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They are my favorite group
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More fire.....
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Black Uhuru. Black Freedom. Love it!!!!. Michael Rose great singer and a good man; I helped him to unload their musical equipment from the 18 wheeler and he gave me a backstage pass. Backstage was a real rasta party going on. Everybody had their own splf. Jah bless.
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yup oldschool reggae is da best.what a joy i get from this rastas!
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Jah rastafari
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willgolden10 2
Black Uhuru is THE TRUTH!!!
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BLACK UHURU BE BANGING 11111
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edawrdss
Mother move makes me move all praises to Mighty Jah
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707macjunk
Want to hear Leaving to Zion on Pandora.
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Black freedom!
Cyant spress dis much firda my yout!
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Yes mon
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U ALWAYS knew who it was when Black Uhuru came on the old transistor radio---dj didnt have 2 say a word. Somethin Special!!!!
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*IRIE*
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This my S**T
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usabenefitsg r o u p 2 7
I love that song! wish music still sounded that good today
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Iv been listening to this since I was 14, I'm 36 now.....
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Sounding me back to brixton and the front line in the 70's!
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I love this group.
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