“Harder Than The Rest” by Culture - album review

TJR says

Following royalty disputes with Joe Gibbs, Culture had been “looking around” for a new production partner and had recorded some demos with engineer Sylvan Morris at Harry J’s Studios. Whether they were unsatisfied with the deal or the actual recording results remains a story untold, but the sessions were abandoned in any event. To their eternal horror, the semi-finished works surfaced in the United States as a bootleg titled “Africa Stand Alone” (April Records, 1978). To add insult to injury the bootleg did really well and the import into England saw it voted the 5th best album of 1978 in NME’s annual Top 50 albums poll. It was a real sweet and sour scenario all around. The “proper” third album “Harder Than The Rest” (the band’s first for Virgin’s Frontline imprint) would spend the rest of its life competing for sales with the bootleg, with five tracks crossing over between the two. In a move which surprised many in Jamaica, the band hooked up with Sonia Pottinger for this set, a producer whose pop success with the likes of Marcia Griffiths and Bob Andy didn’t seem like the most convincing credentials for handling the crucial third from Jamaica’s leading conscious roots group. We needn’t have worried. Not only did Miss P keep the band’s momentum strong, she pushed it forward with even more vitality. Two Studio One cuts from the preceding Baldhead Bridge LP get a reworking – “Behold I Come” (as “Behold”) and “Love Shines Brighter” (as “Love Shine Bright”). Did they think I wouldn’t notice? The former delivers the definitive version of the classic song, as bright as a button “This world is like a mirror, reflected in what you do, And if you face it smiling, it will smile right back at you… and I know that it was the voice of the most high he say Behold”. This is the mighty Culture in full flow. Single “Work On Natty” is another terrific highlight – a militant tale of ghetto life set to a super tough backline. This is vital Culture…

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Aug-2009


A1 [04:30] 9.6.png Culture - Behold (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
A2 [03:34] 7.0.png Culture - Holy Mt. Zion (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
A3 [04:44] 7.8.png Culture - Stop The Fussing And Fighting (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
A4 [03:46] 8.2.png Culture - Iron Sharpening Iron (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
A5 [03:45] 6.9.png Culture - Vacancy (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
B1 [04:06] 7.3.png Culture - Tell Me Where You Get It (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
B2 [02:46] 6.7.png Culture - Free Again (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
B3 [03:51] 8.6.png Culture - Work On Natty (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
B4 [03:59] 7.3.png Culture - Love Shine Bright (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae
B5 [04:06] 6.4.png Culture - Play Skillfully (Joseph Hill, Albert Walker, Roy Dayes) Reggae




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