Exiles Ina Babylon
January 31, 2009

Anthony B Track list
  1. Understanding
  2. African Lady
  3. Exiles Ina Babylon
  4. Ghetto Child
  5. Waterfalls
  6. 77
  7. Mas A Gana
  8. Have You Heard
  9. Life Song
  10. Rebel
  11. Freedom Fighters
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 15-
Very Good -Votes: 5-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 2-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 25
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
The 22nd reissue album from the French label Makasound is the 1977 released "Exiles Ina Babylon" album from the at that time hyped UK reggae band Merger. The latter was a short-lived reggae outfit formed by Barry Ford (drummer/vocalist) after he, together with Michael Dan (keyboards) and Winston Bennett (guitar), had recorded the "Exiles Ina Babylon" set in about two days for the Sun Star label. Initially, the set was released in West Africa, only surfacing in the UK following a remix.

Of the original group Michael Dan left first and Barry Ford and Winston Bennett were then joined by Ivor Steadman (bass), Mike Osei (drums) and Tony Osei (keyboards). The name Merger described the fusion of reggae and other sounds, along with the fact that the band members were of Ghanaian and Jamaican parentage. In 1978 Barry Ford decided to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Far I and Ras Damjuma. A second LP entitled "Armageddon Time" was released in 1980, and a final, "Prisoner Of Your Love", came out and then nothing was heard from Merger anymore.

When Merger emerged, the UK reggae scene was dominated by self-contained bands such as The Cimarons, Misty In Roots, Black Slate, Steel Pulse, Capital Letters and Black Roots. Like most UK reggae bands of that time, Merger was also a bit progressive. They integrated blues, soul, rock, funk, and experimental influences in their musical efforts. However this approach wasn't greatly appreciated by the traditional reggae fan and the critics, because they disliked the cross-over style of the group and felt their musical efforts were catered too much to the pop market.

Now Merger's debut set "Exiles Ina Babylon", along with two bonus tracks that were recorded in 1980 at Harry J studios in Kingston JA, is available once again. Time will tell if it'll reach much bigger sales figures than it did some thirty years ago. Whether you like or don't like the group's musical approach, it can't be denied that this collection includes some real good efforts. In particular "African Lady", the title track "Exiles Ina Babylon", the former single "Ghetto Child", and the excellent "Have You Heard" are truly worth of hearing. Although most of the remaining tracks fail to make a very serious impression, the rest of this album isn't bad either.

All in all an album that surely will appeal to anyone who liked the Black Roots releases on Makasound.