bristolarchiverecords.com have just released a new CD/DVD collection of Black Roots best releases including a DVD of the impossible to find "Celebration". A great live show from 1986, recorded at the Bristol Studio and previously only available on the original self financed video cassette issue. Taken directly from the video master this performance catches the band in fine form, joined by a horn section that includes the legendary Vin Gordon on Trombone the ten tracks are evenly split between their then pending "All Day All Night" album and their earlier more roots orientated material. Seeing them on stage 25 years ago really brings home how versatile the band were.
Thirty years after they released their first four track EP Black Roots' singles output is finally showcased on "Black Roots - The Reggae Singles Anthology". Released on September 5th, by Bristol Archive Records in collaboration with Nubian Records this 16 track album spans the band's creative peak of the 1980s.
Black Roots were Bristol's leading exponents of reggae, constantly touring throughout the UK and Europe. They also managed to release a steady stream of LPs and singles mostly on their own Nubian label. Now for the first time the majority of those singles are brought together on a single CD and limited double vinyl LP.
The music includes all of their key early singles, their first EP in its entirety, the three track follow up, the original single mix of "The Frontline" from the BBC series of the same name and later releases such as their collaborations with the Mad Professor.
This release wouldn't have been possible without the full support of the Band's own label, Nubian Records, who have allowed us free reign of their archives, the result being a 16 page booklet to accompany the CD that is packed full of previously unpublished photos of the band, the limited double vinyl issue comes with a similarly illustrated LP size insert.
Fortunately the original line-up of Black Roots reformed last year and with plenty of gigs in the pipeline everyone will be able to experience their live shows again.
As is usual Bristol Archive Records have paid meticulous attention to detail and, not only do you get a selection of great music, sleeve notes, a booklet packed with great photos, and a bonus live DVD, but we truly believe the music has never sounded so good on CD.
About the Artist
Black Roots were a powerful and potent force in the British reggae music scene throughout the Eighties and left a legacy of no less than ten albums and more than eight singles before bowing out of the public eye in the mid-90's. Hailing from the St Paul's area of Bristol, the original eight-member band were formed in 1979 and quickly gained a large following by touring almost non-stop around the country, playing their brand of 'militant pacifism' roots reggae in the nation's major colleges, universities and festivals. They attracted the attention of television with appearances on BBC2's Neighbours, BBC West, HTV West and Rockers Roadshow and popular radio, where live studio sessions for Radio 1's In Concert (broadcast April 1982), John Peel, David 'Kid' Jensen and Peter Powell, led to a BBC Radio 1 sessions LP. Their first releases were on the Nubian Records label and an EP containing Bristol Rock, Tribal War, The Father and The System preceded their first single, in 1981, Chanting For Freedom. Jon Futrell in Black Echoes, labelled them; "Quite simply, Black Roots are the next great hope for reggae in this country," while John Peel was quoted; "If anyone tells you that there is no such thing as good British reggae, first tell them that they are a herbert and then listen to Black Roots." John Peel's Radio 1 session, aired on 27 May, really helped the cause, with Confusion, What Them A Do, Chanting For Freedom and The Father performed live.