CD True Democracy [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] (CD 537572),
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True Democracy [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster]
1. Chant a Psalm
3. Find It...Quick!
4. Who Responsible?, A
5. Worth His Weight in Gold (Rally Round)
6. Leggo Beast
7. Blues Dance Raid
8. Your House
9. Man No Sober
10. Dub' Marcus Say - (remix)
11. Ravers - (previously unreleased, 12" Version)
12. Leggo Beast - (previously unreleased, 12" Version)
13. Your House - (previously unreleased, 12" Version)
14. Who Responsible?, A - (previously unreleased, 12" Version)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 79287
Karl Pitterson; Karl Pitterson
Dennis Thompson; Ole Lauritsen; John Nielson; Dennis Thompson
Steel Pulse: Ronald "Stepper" McQueen (bass guitar); David Hinds, Alphonso Martin, Selwyn Brown, Steve Nisbett, Basil Gabbidon.
Personnel: David Hinds (vocals, guitar); Selwyn Brown (vocals, keyboards); Phonso Martin, Alphonso Martin (vocals, percussion); Basil Gabbidon (guitar); Ronnie McQueen (bass guitar); Steve Nesbitt, Steve Nisbett (drums).
Liner Note Author: Roger Steffens.
Recording information: Feedback Studios, Denmark (1981).
Photographer: Eric Watson.
Unknown Contributor Role: Alphonso Martin.
This 1982 release, Steel Pulse's first for Elektra, marks the band's move toward a more buoyant, pop-inflected sound. TRUE DEMOCRACY does not have the edgy roots feel of albums like HANDSWORTH REVOLUTION; instead, it demonstrates the group's synthesis of reggae rhythms with high production values and well-crafted melodies. But while the album's stylistic corners may be sanded for radio-ready accessibility, TRUE DEMOCRACY contains some of the band's boldest, most explicitly political songwriting.
The opener, "Chant a Psalm," invokes the names of biblical figures and puts the listener on notice of the album's conscious, spiritually minded tone. There are classic Rasta themes, such as "Worth His Weight in Gold," a song based on the teachings of Marcus Garvey, and songs that overtly address social and political issues. "A Who Responsible?" takes on the history of racial injustice, "Leggo Beast" is an indictment of prostitution, and "Man No Sober" looks at alcoholism. Yet for all its seriousness, TRUE DEMOCRACY has a light, danceable vibe, exemplified in the party anthem "Ravers," one of Steel Pulse's best tunes. Though sometimes overlooked in favor of the early Island albums, this is one of the band's most consistent and enjoyable releases. The 2005 Rhino reissue includes previously unreleased dub and 12" versions of album tracks.
Down Beat (p.74) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "David Hinds and posse were at their zenith of power and outreach on this Karl Pitterson-produced album of 1984."
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Elektra (Label) R 279287
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