Moving onto the second album this evening, something that HRH found at the Record Archive in Rochester, NY thanks to Uncle Lance and Auntie Amy‘s generous belated birthday gift, the ‘Equal Rights‘ album by Peter Tosh.
Because, hey, what’s a holiday without a little reggae?
This was to be the album (released in 1977) that propelled Tosh to the top of the reggae world – the rival to onetime fellow Wailer Bob Marley. Time has shown that this lofty aspiration was not borne out, but ‘Equal Rights‘ remains among the handful of best, and most influential, reggae albums ever recorded. Essentially, this is the album that introduced the world to Tosh’s interests in mysticism and the wonders of his personal growth as a prophet, poet, preacher and world-class musical trailblazer.
Not a bad purchase for a 12-year-old, right?
Tosh was always the most militant of the original Wailers and this album reflects that outlook. Whether it is preaching about the unity of the African diaspora (‘African‘), protesting conditions in South Africa (‘Apartheid‘), or giving a more general call to arms (‘Get Up, Stand Up‘), this is a political album.
Not that HRH sees any of this mind you, or cares for that matter, as she just digs her funky reggae beat.
The other catchy tunes that I really dig is ‘Stepping Razor‘ (the ultimate rude boy, proto-punk tune) where Tosh’s singing is angry and forceful and the music is intricate and distinctive. On this track you can see why people thought that Tosh could become a transcendent international star.