Entertainment Weekly - 12/3/93, p.78
"...a steamroller mix of anger and technology. This two-CD set commemorates the group's finest lineup..." - Rating: B+
Vibe - 2/94, p.104
"...Black Uhuru created some of the most edgy, militant, and musically sophisticated recordings in the history of reggae....These 28 tracks represent the cream of the cream of the group's work with Island Records..."
LIBERATION: THE ISLAND ANOTHOLOGY contains the unedited version of the ANTHEM album (previously unreleased), rare mixes, and a previously unreleased live version of "Happiness."
Black Uhuru: Michael Rose, Sandra "Puma" Jones, Derrick "Duckie" Simpson (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare (various instruments); Copeland Forbes (MC), Radcliff "Dougie" Bryan, Darryl Thompson, Mikey Chung, Ranchie McLean, Barry Reynolds, Willie Lindo (guitar); Jimmy Becker (harmonica); Dean Fraser (saxophone); David Madden, Chico Chin (trumpet); Nambo Robinson (trombone); Franklyn "Bubbler" Waul, Keith Sterling, Ansell Collins, Robbie Lyn (piano, keyboards); Bernie Worrell (Clavinet); Wally Badarou (keyboards, vocoder); Sky Juice, Sticky Thompson (percussion).
Producers: Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Black Uhuru, Steven Stanley.
Compilation producer: Harry Weinger.
Includes liner notes by Tom Terrell and Harry Weinger.
Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio (Polygram Studios).
This is part of the Chronicles series.
One of the most important and influential reggae bands of the 1970s and '80s, Black Uhuru cut the bulk of their best material on Island's Mango subsidiary. LIBERATION, a superb two-disc anthology, stands as a retrospective of the band's Island years, and a near-comprehensive sampler of their peak material. Led by the stirring, distinctive tenor of Michael Rose and the backing vocals of Sandra "Puma" Jones and Derrick "Duckie" Simpson, Black Uhuru combined a militant political consciousness, traditional Rasta themes, roots rhythms, and a sophisticated sound (that included synthesizers and electronic drums) for a fresh take on the genre.
All the group's best tracks are here, including "Sponji Reggae," "Chill Out," and "Sinsemilla," and Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare's production and drum and bass contributions (critical to the band's sound) are in full flower. LIBERATION is distinguished from most anthologies by its emphasis on live versions, alternate studio mixes (including extended dub treatments), and 12" singles. While these versions will certainly be of interest to collectors, they also stand alongside the band's highly refined studio work in quality and vision. For those not yet willing to take the dive with Black Uhuru's individual albums, LIBERATION is a can't-miss purchase, a cornerstone of any reggae collection.