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Black Uhuru

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The most successful of the second-generation reggae bands, Black Uhuru maintained their high quality despite numerous personnel changes in their 40-plus-year history. The first reggae band to win a Grammy award, for their 1983 album Anthem, Black Uhuru was called "The most dynamic and progressive reggae act of the 1970s and early '80s." T he band, whose name comes from the Swahili word meaning "freedom," was formed in the Waterhouse district of Kingston by Don Carlos, Rudolph "Garth" Dennis, and Derrick "Duckie" Simpson. When the group experienced difficulties securing a record contract, Spencer left to pursue a solo career and Dennis joined the Wailing Souls. Simpson, who remained the thread throughout Black Uhuru's evolution, reorganized the band with Errol "Jay" Wilson and quivery-voiced lead vocalist Michael Rose. Accompanied by the rhythm section of Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Black Uhuru created a sound that made them a match for any reggae ensemble. Their debut album, Love Crisis, released in 1977, included the anthemic hit "I Love King Selassie." Three years later, the album was remixed and released as Black Sounds of Freedom. With the addition of harmony singer Puma Jones, an African-American woman who held a Master's degree from Columbia University and was a former member of the female group Mama Africa in 1981, Black Uhuru entered their most commercially successful period. In addition to recording a memorable studio album, Red, and an exciting live album, Tear It Up, the group reached its peak with the release of Anthem in 1983. Remixed and revised for release in the United States, the remade version was re-released in Europe shortly afterwards. Although the album received a Grammy, internal problems caused the band to splinter the following year. Rose was replaced by soundalike Junior Reid. Jones and Reid remained with the band until 1989. Although Reid left when visa problems prevented him from touring, Jones, who was replaced by Olufunke, was forced to step down after being diagnosed with cancer. She died on January 28, 1990, and was buried in her home state of South Carolina. The original three members -- Simpson, Spencer, and Dennis -- reunited to record a trio album, Now, in 1990. They've continued to tour and perform in this configuration. ~ Craig Harris
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Albums by
Black Uhuru

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    10 songs

    On Air

    World In Africa

    20 songs

    On Air

    Brutal

    13 songs

    On Air

    The Dub Factor

    10 songs

    On Air

    Black Sounds of Freedom

    10 songs

    On Air

    Red

    10 songs

    On Air

    Now

    12 songs

    On Air

    Positive [Bonus Tracks]

    34 songs

    On Air

    Black Sounds of Freedom

    7 songs

    On Air

    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

    9 songs

    On Air

    Anthem

    9 songs

    On Air

    Positive Dub

    8 songs

    On Air

    Sinsemilla

    10 songs

    On Air

    Reggae Greats

    16 songs

    On Air

    Unification

    38 songs

    On Air

    The Complete Anthem Sessions

    12 songs

    On Air

    Ras Portraits

    28 songs

    On Air

    Liberation: The Island Anthology

    8 songs

    On Air

    Tear It Up: Video

    13 songs

    On Air

    Live 84

    12 songs

    On Air

    One Love

    10 songs

    On Air

    Brutal

    12 songs

    On Air

    Dynasty

    12 songs

    On Air

    Strongg

    10 songs

    On Air

    Brutal Dub

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Top Songs by
Black Uhuru

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Sinsemilla
  3.   Sponji Reggae
  4.   Puff She Puff
  5.   Chill Out
  6.   I Love King Selassie
  7.   Born Free
  8.   Love King Selassie
  9.   Plastic Smile featuring Sly & Robbie
  10.   Happiness
  11.   Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  12.   Rockstone
  13.   Who's in the Tomb?
  14.   Rent Man
  15.   Ion Storm
  16.   Youth of Eglington
  17.   Brutal
  18.   Try It
  19.   General Penitentiary featuring Sly & Robbie
  20.   Justice
  21.   Mondays/Killer Tuesday
  22.   Top of the Pop
  23.   Here Comes Black Uhuru
  24.   Binghi Fire
  25.   Reggae Rock
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Black Uhuru

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    Reggae

    On Air

    Reggae Hits

    On Air

    Burn One Down

    On Air

    Bob Marley: DNA

    On Air

    World


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