Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black By Design....

As much a book about what it was like to grow up whilst searching for an identity in Britain during the 1960's and 1970's as it is about the heady days in the late 70's as part of the 2 Tone movement, Pauline Black's powerful autobiography is a great read.

Black by Design is a moving story – of where we come from, what makes us strong and carries us through, of being a woman in the music industry, of life after musical success and reinventing yourself, of finding yourself.

Formed in 1979 and once described as “conspiring to make dancing the only way to walk", the Selecter led the ska revival movement, along with 2-tone labelmates, The Specials & Madness. Mixing punk, ska & reggae, their debut album Too Much Pressure successfully reflected the social and political issues of the early Thatcher years in Britain and gave a voice to disaffected youth across the racial divide.

One of the tracks from that debut was a cover of Time Hard by The Pioneeers retitled as Everyday. Without doubt The Pioneers were one of the best vocal groups of the early reggae era. Time Hard first appeared in the early 70's and is quite simply one of the most uplifting songs to listen to which is quite a feat considering they are singing "Every day things are getting worse"

The Sixties was the golden age for Jamaican vocal trios. During this incredibly creative decade, a multitude of singing groups burst upon the island’s music scene, but of these only a relative few possessed the talent and determination to endure, and in that select category along with The Wailers and The Maytals were The Pioneeers.

The Selecter - Every Day
The Pioneers - Time Hard

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