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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

NEWS: Another rip-roaring month of shows for June

Artist Info

Misty in Roots

Misty in RootsPowered by Audioscrobbler™Roots reggae band formed 1975 in Southall, London, as a backing group to the singer Nicky Thomas. By 1978 Misty In Roots had their own orthodox roots sound with rastafarian lyrics, and started touring as a solo group. They were also a major force in the Rock Against Racism movement. Their first album Live at the Counter Eurovision 79 was recorded live in Belgium. Known songs are 'Ghetto Of The City', 'Mankind', 'Judas Iskariot', 'Follow Fashion', 'Poor And Needy'. 'Dance Hall Babylon', 'Own Them Control Them'. 'Festa'.
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As only a live band it was called Misty. First albums were two live albums 1979 created by help from toilers in England and Sweden: Live at the Counter Eurovision and Misty Over Sweden. Both records are full of Rastafarian and anti-fascist songs. They were favoured by BBC Radio DJ John Peel, helping to bring roots reggae bands to a more mixed West European audience. With a career spanning 5 decades, they are one of the UK’s finest reggae groups. The band was one of the most powerful live reggae acts to emerge from 1970s London, and they were a major force in the Rock Against Racism movement.

This British based roots reggae band Misty first came together in 1974, as backing band for well known Jamaican reggae bands and artists performing in London. One was the late, great Nicky Thomas - one of Jamaica's all time greats who had achieved national chart success with songs such as "Love Of The Common People". Nicky Thomas was a great inspirer for Misty In Roots.

By 1978 Misty In Roots began to develop their own orthodox roots reggae sound. Their powerful lyrics inspired by the economic decline, a growing awareness of their African culture, and a spiritual awakening inspired tracks as "Ghetto Of The City", "Sodom & Gomorrah" and "Mankind", all off which can be found on the band's first album "Live At The Counter Eurovision" and the 'twin album' "Misty Over Sweden", recorded on their tour in Sweden 1979.

During the period 1977-78 the political situation in the U.K. was a breaking point. Black consciousness was at its peak and racism roamed the streets of London. Unemployment was affecting both black and white youths and through this depression a new musical alliance was born, young white youths totally fed up with the status quo turned to playing punk music whilst at the same time identifying strongly with the British reggae acts as Misty In Roots, Steel Pulse and Aswad. With the coming of the ‘Rock against Racism’ movement, the musical fight-back had begun, and for the first time black and white musicians were playing together on the same platform bringing about a totally new concept in musical awareness.

Misty In Roots, one of the most powerful live reggae acts to have come out of London, and noted for their powerful roots reggae sound, and uncompromising lyrical vibrations, became the major force in Rock Against Racism, playing more concerts than any other band in the movement. This opened up a whole new audience for the band who quickly developed a very strong cross over audience, playing with acts such as Tom Robinson, The Ruts and Elvis Costello.

Despite Misty In Roots' huge success as a live act the band did not release their first album until 1979. The album Live At The Counter Eurovision, which was recorded live in Belgium during the band's 1978 tour, is today still proclaimed by many critics as the best live reggae album of all time. Misty In Roots followed Live At The Counter Eurovision with a string of limited edition singles such as "Oh Wicked Man", "Rich Man", "Salvation", "How Long Jah" and "See Them Ah Come".

The band’s second album Wise And Foolish was released in 1982 and took on a more mellow, jazzy and soulful tone.

By 1982 Misty In Roots was a force to be reckoned with but because of their determination to remain independent the band took a major step into Africa spending nine months in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The period spent in Africa had a major impact on the development of Misty In Roots' following two albums Earth and Musi O Tunya, both of which were directly inspired by the band’s experiences in Africa.

Earth, released in 1983, was a moving musical documentation of the devastation caused to mother Earth by mankind because of greed, cruelty and ignorance. The album consists of classic tracks as "Follow Fashion", "Earth", "Poor And Needy", "Own Them Control Them" and "Servant To Jah".

Musi O Tunya, released in 1985, was a reflection of the band’s love for Africa. Musi O Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders) is a beautiful place where Zimbabwe and Zambia meet, and the great Zambezi river gives up all its might to form one of the most beautiful sights of Southern Africa. The Musi O Tunya falls are known in English as Victoria Falls.

During 1987, Misty In Roots took their first trip to West Africa, the spiritual home of their ancestors, it was indeed a pleasant experience to set foot in the region after four hundred years in exile.

1989 saw the beginning of a friendship between Misty In Roots and Kaz Records, which resulted in the release of the album Forward which saw Misty In Roots reach the heights once again.

At Roots Controller 2002 the band showed that roots reggae is a very alive, and they inspired new, young artists all over the world to change style from dancehall and digital ragga to roots.

ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY
* Live at the Counter Eurovision 79 (1979) [recorded live in Belgium]
* Misty Over Sweden (1979) [Swedish release - recorded live in Sweden]
* Wise and Foolish (1981)
* Earth (1983)
* Musi-O-Tunya (1985)
* Forward (1989)
* Chronicles - The Best of (1994)
* The John Peel Sessions (1995)
* Jah Sees Jah Knows (1997) [2CD version includes bonus CD of Live at the Counter Eurovision '79]
* Roots Controller (2002) [6 new tracks plus previously-released material]
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Artist biography from last.fm




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