Listen: Back To Africa / Aswad AswadBack.mp3
Don’t dismiss Aswad because they were an English reggae band. I can understand you confusing them with the generic Steel Pulse based on origin, but Aswad indeed were roots. And the hits they had years later, well, they were great singles. I still love ‘Don’t Turn Around’.
Howard turned me on to them back in ’76. He put them out with Eddie & The Hot Rods. Remember when reggae and punk happily co-existed? Well that tour may indeed be the one that gave Joe Strummer the idea to take The Clash reggae a year or so later – I mean he was copying everything else so why leave this idea on the table?
I initially had no idea Aswad were English, having been part of those 45 packages Howard would send along from Island: Augustus Pablo, Justin Hines & The Dominoes, Max Romeo & The Upsetters, Rico, Burning Spear and Junior Murvin. They sounded so authentic, I couldn’t tell the difference from their initial few singles, of which this was the first.