“Aswad” by Aswad - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1976Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Fine debut from the London roots-rockers, very much in the vein of The Wailers. The core line up was: Brinsley 'Chaka B' Forde (vocals, rhythm guitar), Donald 'Dee' Griffiths (lead guitar, vocals, percussion), George 'Ras' Oban (bass), Courtney 'Khaki' Hemmings (keyboards, vocals) and Angus 'Drummie' Gaye (drums, vocals). Friends of the group supplement here and there. All 5 get to contribute at least one of their own songs, suggesting harmony and talent from within the ranks. Drummie steps forward to provide sensitive lead vocals on two of the numbers, Khaki's “Back To Africa” (the album's highlight) and his own “Ire Woman”. Sweet vibes are the play throughout, although it's a tough statement “Concrete Slaveship” which sets the closing tone. The piece opens with nyabhingi drumming and delivers sharp lyrical jabs against the slavedrivers who abuse those chained and bound by poverty: “slavedriver your concrete ship will sail forever in a sea of confusion… so slavedriver it's up to you, don't you let this voyage end in disaster”. A familiar reality; they speak for many, not few.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:59] 6.4.png Aswad - I A Rebel Soul (Brinsley Forde) Reggae
A2 [04:18] 6.2.png Aswad - Can’t Stand The Pressure (Brinsley Forde) Reggae
A3 [03:26] 5.9.png Aswad - Ethiopian Rhapsody (George Oban) Reggae
A4 [06:05] 5.4.png Aswad - Natural Progression (Brinsley Forde) Reggae
B1 [05:32] 7.1.png Aswad - Back To Africa (Courtney Hemmings) Reggae
B2 [02:55] 4.9.png Aswad - Red Up (Donald Griffiths) Reggae
B3 [03:04] 5.0.png Aswad - Ire Woman (Angus Gaye) Reggae
B4 [08:27] 6.6.png Aswad - Concrete Slaveship (Brinsley Forde) Reggae

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