Tuesday 18 August 2020

#147 ASWAD - Live at the BBC 1984-88 (Flac)


Few reggae bands or artists can truly claim to have released a classic live reggae album. Bob Marley & The Wailers, Peter Tosh and Misty In Roots spring to mind. Aswad, with their live recording from the Notting Hill Carnival in 1983, ‘Live And Direct’ are also members of that select body. 

For those that want more than an official release, these three recordings, dating from 1984 to 1988 have been exquisitely recorded. This is high-class roots reggae, inna inglan stylee! If you are a reggae fan, any recording that crops up with notes by ‘alimac’ is an essential download. His FM recordings from the BBC broadcasts are terrific. This post includes a 1984 live performance, a 1988 radio session (unreleased) and a rowdy 1988 live performance.

With the current rise of the reggae roots revival in Jamaica and around the world, it’s a great pity that BBC Radio 1 FM no longer show any interest in this music. David Rodigan’s reggae show every Sunday on the digital station BBC 1Xtra was for a time (November 2017 to August 2019) re-broadcast over the BBC Radio 1 FM airwaves, albeit at the ridiculous time of 4 to 6am.


In 1988 Aswad had departed for a 6-date mini tour to the USA in support of their new album ‘Distant Thunder’. The trio, Brinsley Forde (lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar), Angus ‘Drummie Zeb’ Gaye (lead vocals and drums) and Tony ‘Gad’ Robinson (vocals, bass guitar) were interviewed by Amy Wachtel for ‘Reggae & African Beat magazine and the band talked extensively of the resurgence in the reggae scene.

‘Drummie’ explains, “In London & Europe the reggae scene’s exploding again like us with a #1 single in England. With the emergence of Ziggy Marley, and also people like Freddie McGregor, Maxi Priest – they’re in the charts regular – it’s like reggae’s here again. I mean since the death of Bob Marley, there was a big lull; there was a calm, and now there’s a storm, a distant thunder on the forefront.”

Tony follows on the subject by saying, “ Fourteen years after the beginning of Aswad we’ve had a national hit in the British charts, which for us is very nice because we’ve just finished touring England, Europe, many places, and people have said to us, “It’s nice to see that reggae’s starting to lift up again.” After Bob Marley many people especially in Europe, they’ve taken that reggae has died just because they haven’t had, the media hasn’t been able to pick up the reggae like how when Bob Marley was around; when Bob was around you had that face to be able to see, you had that image to be able to get to know. He was marketed in a way where the whole world could see Bob Marley and he would speak about reggae. After that happened, after Bob went away, it was like reggae wasn’t there

But reggae’s always been there. We’ve gone on to see reggae influence actually most of pop music. When we say influence we mean in the attitude of how the actual music is made, how it’s mixed by engineers, how it sounds. I mean echoes, dubwise….When we say dubwise, we mean drum and bass. You don’t have the whole flavour, a whole heap of instruments or anything, the main influence is the dance which has to be taken from reggae. Even hip-hop right now – it is the next stage of what reggae has taken, what the actual music, song music, has taken from reggae and went to hip-hop.”

Drummie also mentioned that lead singer, Brinsley was actually the first ever black child actor in Britain. “Brinsley was in James Bond, which was major and he did two series called ‘Double Deckers’ and ‘Georgian House.’ I mean before I knew Brinsley I had to run home from school to watch him on television.”


01. Introduction (0:32)
02. Not Satisfied (5:11)
03. Love Fire (3:21)
04. Not Guilty (4:51)
05. Ina Your Rights (4:37)
06. Your Recipe (4:10)
07. Roots Rockin' (4:27)
08. Chasing For The Breeze (5:02)
09. Drum & Bass Line (3:17)
10. African Children (2:54)

11. Your Recipe (ft. Trevor Walters) (3:13)
12. Bubbling (ft. Janet Kay) (2:38)
13. Breezin' (ft. Ciyo) (3:18)
14. Roots Rockin' (ft. Adrian De'Allie) (2:25)

15. Roots Rockin' (4:18)
16. Warrior Charge (3:57)
17. Unknown (3:46)
18. Set Them Free (7:23)
19. Can't Afford To Lose That Feeling (3:05)
20. My Baby Just Cares For Me (1:53)
21. Don't Turn Around (4:53)

t1-10: Marcus Garvey Centre, Nottingham, England (BBC R1 FM broadcast 25 February, 1984 - Sight And Sound) 38:22

t11-14: Ranking Miss P Session - 2 January, 1988 (BBC R1 FM re-broadcast 19 June, 1988 - The Ranking Miss P) 11:34

t15-21: International Two, Manchester, England - 23 March, 1988 (BBC R1 FM broadcast 23 April, 1988 - The Stereo Sequence, presented by Johnny Walker) 29:14

Link 1

Link 2




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