The second incarnation of Black Uhuru, which united in the mid-seventies and featured the vocal talents of Mykal Rose, Derrick “Duckie” Simpson and Errol Waterhouse, made a truly international impact. In the eight-year stretch bookended by the release of 1977’s Love Crisis (re-issued as Black Sounds of Freedom) and Mykal Rose’s departure to persue solo ambitions in 1985, the group signed an international deal with Island records, secured the first Grammy award for Best Reggae album and toured with the world’s biggest rock band, The Rolling Stones.
Albums such as Red, Showcase and Sinsemilla demonstrated time and again the group’s ability to create astonishing LPs, and the singles lifted from them made their way into the bags of DJ’s and soundsystem selectors in the UK and Jamaica. DJ Wizzy Dan, a founding member of Manchester’s legendary Baron Turbo Charge sound, was one such selector, pictured farthest left in the article’s header image. Discussing his favourite Black Uhuru cut from the Mykal Rose era, Wizzy said “there are quite a few Black Uhuru tunes I like from that period, however I would have to say, “Shine Eye Gal” is probably my favourite song.”
Discussing the impact of the track, Wizzy continued “The bass line and the delivery by Mykal Roze is wicked. Baron Turbo Charge sound was the first sound system in Manchester to play that track, strictly dubwise. When you play a song dubwise, it means it hasn’t been released yet. We were famous for playing Black Uhuru back in the day!”
DJ Wizzy Dan will be providing warm-up vibes ahead of Mykal Rose’s appearance at Band on the Wall on Saturday 21st October. Last remaining tickets available here.
Photo: Scott Hulin