Vocal trio Culture is one of those groups whose influence and greatness cannot be overstated. Formed in 1976 by Joseph Hill, Albert “Randolph” Walker and Kenneth Paley they dropped their prophetic international best selling debut album Two Sevens Clash in 1977.
Two Sevens Clash – produced by Joe Gibbs and Errol T – was dreader than dread with its skillful minor chord harmonies and apocalyptical lyrics.
Culture came around the same time as many other great vocal groups – Mighty Diamonds, Gladiators and The Wailing Souls to name a few. But something was different with Culture and front man Joseph Hill. They had a rawer energy and their lyrics were always conscious and dealt with Biblical prophecy, slavery, love and unity.
Now VP Records imprint 17 North Parade has done the world a great favour by releasing a Reggae Anthology box set called Culture at Joe Gibbs consisting of three full lenght Culture albums produced by the The Mighty Two.
The box set contains Two Sevens Clash, Baldhead Bridge, More Culture and a fourth disc – As Hard as the Rest – with singles and dub versions appearing on album for the first time. All in all 43 wicked tunes by one of the greatest reggae groups of all time.
The people at VP/17 North Parade also seem to read Reggaemani, since this box set is accompanied by a booklet with some nice liner notes by Harry Wise and also some album information.
Punk rockers all around took Culture to their hearts in the 70’s and celebrated the music. If you don’t already have these albums you should do as the punks – listen to Joseph Hill and Culture.