Corrupted Society
Reggae Archive Records
November 10, 2012

Corrupted Society - Eclipse Track list
  1. Corrupted Society
  2. Immigration
  3. Six Dead
  4. Blood Fi Dem
  5. Jah Can't Fail I
  6. Come Me Brethren
  7. Visions
  8. Let Jah Be The One
  9. Enjoy Yourself/Have A Good Time(Live)
  10. After The Rain
  11. City Loving(Live)
  12. Eclipse
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 1-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 5
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
There are so many Reggae artists that have been on the verge of major breakthrough and have been stopped short, either by consequence or choice. Birmingham's Eclipse, a Roots Reggae outfit that eclipsed in the late 1970-early 1980's, falls into this unfortunate category. Fortunately, the ever reliant Reggae Archive Records label has once again unearthed their one and only album, "Corrupted Society", remastered and repackaged it to perfection. This is like finding the Lost Scrolls of Moses!! Original pressing was limited from 500-1000 copies.

Their contemporaries from the same locale, Steel Pulse, Aswad and UB40, went to have monumental success for decades to come. Eclipse had equal, if not more talent. The seven piece band hailed from Handsworth, a musical hub for so many crucial British Reggae bands. It was the brainchild of initial lead vocalist/percussionist Neville Willingham (whose uncle happened to be Sidney Crooks of the legendary Pioneers) and Basil and Derek Samuda and Cedric Allen. Influenced by Soul/R&B and the heavy sounds of the Heptones and Leroy Smart. Eager to "create a sound", their rehearsal house was right around the corner from 37 Linwood Road (where it all started fe Steel Pulse). After personnel shifts and dabbling in different bands, the cement was The Samuda brothers on drums and keys, Michael Carter on bass, Freddy Peck on riddim guitar, Nigel Bowen on lead gits and lead vox from Neville and a youthman Clancy "Jacko Melody" Taylor. In 1978, Sidney Crooks booked time at Strand Recording Studio in London and "Corrupted Society" was born in one week! Live tracks were taken from London's Roundhouse Club. Blood Fi Dem and After The Rain were released as singles in 1981. "Corrupted Society" created quite a stir, drawing critical acclaim despite minimal pressing. They opened up for the likes of Culture, Prince Lincoln, The Heptones and even Pop acts like Big Country and Paul Young. So adored, Brinsley Forde (Aswad) tried to lure bassie Michael Carter. Despite their initial success, this tight band disbanded in the early 1980's, just a decade after formation.

The title track is a well sculpted masterpiece! An original spark bemoaning the troubles of inner city strife. the backbone is "Rockers" with intelligent guitar and key riffs. The chorus is militant yet soulful. Immigration is a keen observation of late 1970's British life. What really stands out is the maturity of "Jacko's" voice; this youth was in his early teens at the time. A tight and gritty riddims boasts on this yah one. Six Dead is a dread description of murder. Just a drum and bass fueled Rocker. Ethereal chorus and melody is the course of action on this yah one. Blood Fi Dem shows the maturity of the band, as it was recorded a few years later than the initial album. A unique vision that has slight Misty In Roots overtones; catchy riddimwise. Jah Can't Fail I is an ites ode to The Most High. These bredrin were miles ahead of their time with poignant lyrics and razor tight musicianship.

Come Me Brethren is a slow and hypnotic plea to go back to Africa. Unique emphasis on a Moog keyboard and itally smoky chorus. Vision is an uplifting and joyous song that shows the influence that American Soul groups had on them; beautiful in every sense. Let Jah Be The One is a song of simple structure that is built up by Neville's heartfelt vocals, Bluesy guitar and a chorus that must have made the Heptones proud! The excitement of seeing this band live is captured on Enjoy Yourself/Have A Good Time. The listener is catapulted from Rockers to Rub-A-Dub in an engaging workout; lord have mercy. Eclipse toured incessantly and it shows here. After The Rain was a 1981 release that is the most progressive studio track here. A high stepping riddim that is accentuated by pure mastery of Reggae Musik from this unit. City Loving (another live excursion) shows the Rock edge of the band. This track boasts a gritty and urgent riddim with lyrics that bite to the bone. No standing still inna this concert! The final track, Eclipse is the most soulful of this collection. It harks back to the heyday of dynamic Jamaican harmony groups. Superb lyrics on top of a non stop rim shot and keyboard driven foundation.

2012 has been a year of discovery of lost British Reggae classics. Eclipse's "Corrupted Society" will make the listener inquisitive of what else is out there. The hard work of Bristol Archive/Reggae Archive/Sugar Shack Records has made that a little easier for the lover of classic Roots Reggae Music. "Corrupted Society" is totally fresh and is as relevant now as it was back in 1978. Go deh!!!!