Steel Pulse

Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse
Origin Birmingham, England
Genres Reggae
Years active 1975–present
Labels Mango
David Hinds*
Selwyn Brown*
Sidney Mills
Clifford Pusey
Amlak Tafari
Wayne Clarke
Sylvia Tella
Melanie Lynch
Keysha McTaggert
Marea Wilson
Past members
Ronald McQueen*
Steve Nisbett*
Alphonso Martin*
Basil Gabbidon*
Michael Riley
Jimmy Haynes
Alvin Ewen
Conrad Kelly
Carlton Bryan
Kevin Batchelor
Gerry Johnson
Donna Sterling
* Founding member

Steel Pulse is a roots reggae musical band. They originally formed at Handsworth Wood Boys School, in Birmingham, England, composed of David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar), Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals), and Ronald McQueen (bass).



Formed in 1975, their debut release, Kibudu, Mansetta And Abuku arrived on the small independent label Dip, and linked the plight of urban black youth with the image of a greater African homeland. They followed it with Nyah Love for Anchor. Surprisingly, they were initially refused live dates in Caribbean venues in the Midlands because of their Rastafarian beliefs. Aligning themselves closely with the Rock Against Racism organisation and featuring in its first music festival in the spring of 1978, they chose to tour with sympathetic elements of the punk movement, including the Stranglers, XTC etc.: "Punks had a way of enjoying themselves - throw hordes at you, beer, spit at you, that kind of thing". Eventually they found a more natural home in support slots for Burning Spear, which brought them to the attention of Island Records.

Their first release for Island was the Ku Klux Klan 45, a considered tilt at the evils of racism, and one often accompanied by a visual parody of the sect on stage. By this time their ranks had swelled to include Selwyn 'Bumbo' Brown (keyboards), Steve 'Grizzly' Nisbett (drums), Alphonso Martin (vocals, percussion) and Mykaell Riley (vocals). Handsworth Revolution was an accomplished long playing debut and one of the major landmarks in the evolution of British Reggae (Executive Producer Pete King). However, despite critical and moderate commercial success over three albums, the relationship with Island Records had soured by the advent of Caught You (released in the US as Reggae Fever).

Tom Terrell, who would later serve as their manager, was instrumental in masterminding the U.S. premiere of Steel Pulse on the night of Bob Marley's funeral, which was broadcast live around the world from the 9:30 Club, 930 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1981.

They switched to Elektra Records, and unveiled their most consistent collection of songs since their debut with True Democracy, distinguished by the Garvey-eulogising 'Rally Round' cut. A further definitive set arrived in Earth Crisis. Unfortunately, Elektra chose to take a leaf out of Island's book in trying to coerce Steel Pulse into a more mainstream vein, asking them to emulate the pop-reggae stance of Eddy Grant. Babylon The Bandit was consequently weakened, but did contain the anthemic "Not King James Version", which was a powerful indictment on the omission of black people and history from certain versions of the Bible.

Their next move was of Hinds of Steel Pulse to MCA for State Of Emergency, which retained some of the synthesized dance elements of its predecessor. Though it was a significantly happier compromise, it still paled before any of their earlier albums. Centennial was recorded live at the Elysee Montmartre in Paris, and dedicated to the hundred year anniversary of the birth of Haile Selassie. It was the first recording since the defection of Alphonso Martin, leaving the trio of Hinds, Nisbett and Selwyn. While they still faced stern criticism at the hands of British Reggae fans, in the United States their reputation was growing, becoming the first ever reggae band to appear on the Tonight television show. Their profile was raised further when, in 1992, Hinds challenged the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission in the Supreme Court, asserting that their cab drivers discriminated against black people in general and Rastafarians in particular.

A Grammy award was awarded for their 1986 album Babylon The Bandit Steel Pulse has received nominations for Victims (1991) and Rastafari Centennial (1992). In 1989, the group contributed I Can't Stand it to the soundtrack of Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing.

In 1994, the group headlined some of the world's biggest reggae festivals including Reggae Sunsplash USA, Jamaican Sunsplash, Japan Splash and Northern California annual Reggae on the River Festival. In 1986, Steel Pulse contributed an ethereal version of Franklin's Tower on Pow Wow Records' Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead compilation. They recently covered The Police's Can't Stand Losing You for a reggae compilation of Police tunes that will appear on the Ark 21 label. The band is particularly proud of "Rastanthology," a 17-song collection of Steel Pulse classics (the 1996 compilation was released on the band's own Wise Man Doctrine label).

"We're not here to start a physical revolution, we're just here to open everybody's eyes and let them check themselves and continue in a very educational mode to change things on that tip", Hinds explains. "We're losing ourselves and I think it's very important for us to realize that. Too many of our youths have been lost to drugs, or by the gun, or not having the education needed to persevere and move in an upward direction. I think RAGE & FURY will contribute to their enlightenment."

In 2007, The band released their music video for 'Door Of No Return', a track taken from their latest studio album "African Holocaust", which explores themes of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Shot on location in Senegal and New York City by Driftwood Pictures Ltd.

Steel Pulse played Friday night on the Jazz World Stage at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival.

Steel Pulse are collaborating with Driftwood Pictures to create a definitive feature length documentary on the band's thirty year history.

The band are currently working on a new album due out in 2010 and have released the single Barack Obama Song.

Also in 2010, Steel Pulse released a single Hold On 4 Haiti - 100% of the proceeds go to Haiti - to solar electrify health clinics through the Solar Electric Light Fund and Partners In Health. The song is available for download exclusively at


Studio albums

Live albums

  • Rastafari Centennial - Live In Paris (Elysee Montmartre) (1992)
  • Living Legacy (1998)

Compilation albums

  • Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus (1977) (one track - Makka Splaff)
  • Urgh! A Music War (1981)
  • Reggae Greats (1984)
  • Smash Hits (1993)
  • Rastanthology (1996)
  • Sound System: The Island Anthology (1997)
  • Ultimate Collection (2000)
  • 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Steel Pulse (2004)


  • Kibudu Mansatta Abuku (1976)
  • Nyah Luv (1977)
  • Ku Klux Klan (1978)
  • Prodigal Son (1978)
  • Prediction (1978)
  • Sound System (1979)
  • Global Warning (2004)
  • No More Weapons (2004)
  • Door Of No Return (2007)
  • Hold On (4 Haiti) (2009)


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Steel Pulse — Основная информация Жанр реггей …   Википедия

  • Steel Pulse — ist eine britische Roots und Conscious Reggae Band. Die Formation entstand, als sich an der Handsworth Wood Boys School (Birmingham, England) David Hinds (Gesang, Gitarre), Basil Gabbidon (Solo Gitarre, Gesang) und Ronald McQueen (Bass) zu einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Steel Pulse — est un groupe de reggae britannique qui se forme en 1975 à Birmingham. À la base de ce groupe, David Hinds, Ronald Stepper, Selwyn Brown ainsi que Basil Gabbidon et McQueen qui quitteront plus tard la formation. Steel Pulse engage Steve Grizzly… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Steel Pulse — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • State of Emergency (Steel Pulse album) — Infobox Album | Name = State of Emergency Type = Album Artist = Steel Pulse Released = June 13, 1988 Recorded = Genre = Reggae Length = 44:59 Label = MCA Producer = Godwin Logie Steel Pulse Reviews = *Allmusic 1.5/5… …   Wikipedia

  • Pulse (Album) — Pulse Livealbum von Pink Floyd Veröffentlichung alle Formate: 5. Juni 1995 außer DVD: 10. Juli 2006 Label EMI (Europa) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pulse (Pink Floyd album) — Pulse Live album by Pink Floyd Released 29 May 1995 (UK) 6 June 1995 (US) …   Wikipedia

  • Pulse (album) — Infobox Album Name = Pulse Type = live Artist = Pink Floyd Released = May 29, 1995 (UK) June 6, 1995 (US) Recorded = March–October 1994 Genre = Progressive rock Length = 149:21 Label = EMI (UK), Columbia Records (U.S.) Producer = James Guthrie,… …   Wikipedia

  • Pulse tube refrigerator — The Pulse tube cryocooler is a developing technology that emerged largely in the early 1980 s with a series of other innovations in the broader field of Thermoacoustics. In contrast with other cryocoolers (eg Stirling cryocooler and Gifford… …   Wikipedia

  • pulse — pulse1 [pʌls] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(heart)¦ 2¦(music)¦ 3¦(sound/light/electricity)¦ 4¦(feelings/opinions)¦ 5¦(food)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [Sense: 1 4; Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: pouls, from Latin pulsus beating , past participle of pellere to hit ] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”