Friday, January 28, 2011

On the dotted line

Pictured from LtoR: (Standing) Alphonso Martin, Selwyn Brown, Michael Riley, Steve Nesbitt, David Hinds. (Sitting) Tim Clark (MD Island Records), Ronnie McQueen, Basil Gabbidon, and Pete King (Steel Pulse Manager)
Continuing a look back at the formative years of my musical tastes and in particular a reggae band I've followed religiously since 1978, Steel Pulse. It was in January of that year that the music newspaper, Black Echoes reported that the band from Handsworth in Birmingham, who'd made such an impact in reggae circles as well as sharing the stage with the top punk acts at the time, had been signed by the mainstream record label, Island Records. The same label as their icon, Bob Marley. This is what Black Echoes reported on 21 January 1978.

Steel Pulse sign worldwide deal with Island
Steel Pulse have signed a long term world-wide deal with Island Records and their first single entitled Ku Klux Klan is scheduled for release within the next few weeks. The first 5,000 copies will be an extended 12" version and the group's first album will be released in early Spring. Steel Pulse have been rated as one of the best Reggae bands to emerge from Britain.

Tim Clark, managing director of Island Records said: "We are delighted to sign Steel Pulse. Their music is original and exciting and I'm sure their relationship with Island will be beneficial to both the band and the Company." Peter King, mamager of the band added: "The reason we signed with Island Records is that we were impressed with the way they handled Burning Spear when he came to Britain and we have full confidence in their commitments to Steel Pulse." The band are still touring Britain but have had to cancel the scheduled gig at the 100 Club on January 26.

Different variations of adverts for the band's first single released by Island Records in March 1978 and called Ku Klux Klan appeared in the most popular of the music newspapers at the time, the New Musical Express, during the month of its release. A limited edition of 5,000 12" copies of the single were produced. the A-pside was 6.45 minutes long and produced by Steve Lillywhite and Godwin Logie, whilst Bun Dem (6 minutes) was on the B-side. For the 7" single, the title track was 3.30 minutes in length with a dub version occupying the B-side. Lead singer David Hinds said of the single; "... that particular subject was in the papers at the time, as there was talk about the Grand Wizard coming over here to influence the head of the National Front. My imagination just got the better of me and I started imagining white extremists on the streets of Handsworth."
New Musical Express 15 April 1978 advert
New Musical Express 28 April 1978 advert

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Blogger cat said...

:) Steel Pulse forever !... :):)

January 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

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