Headline News
Capital Letters
2 CD
June 29, 2007

Capital Letters - Headline News (Greensleeves 30th Anniversary Edition with Bonus Tracks) Track list
Disc 1
  1. Fire
  2. Daddy Was No Murderer
  3. President Amin
  4. Rumours
  5. Smoking My Ganja
  6. Unemployed
  7. Rejoice
  8. Buzzrock
  9. Run Run Run
  10. Out Of Africa
  11. UK Skanking(12"mix)
  12. Natty Walk(12"mix)
  13. Smoking My Ganja(12"mix)
Disc 2
  1. Bread And Water
  2. Do We Really Need A Government
  3. Cheap School Meals
  4. Run Man Run
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
Greensleeves Records are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. As part of this celebration the label has started to re-release their massive back catalogue. One of these releases spotlights on a - nowadays - widely unknown UK-based Reggae band called Capital Letters. The UK based groups like Aswad, Steel Pulse, Matumbi, Reggae Regular, Misty in Roots and also Capital Letters were bands first and foremost, that stayed together and played, sang and wrote songs together whilst Jamaican artists mostly recorded with various backing groups, depending in which studio the session took place.

Wolverhampton's Capital Letters were the first group to sign with Greensleeves enjoying an impressive UK hit with their debut 12" release Smoking My Ganja. They went on and recorded the now re-released album "Headline News", that set standards for the UK reggae scene. The album, originally released in 1979, was a commercial and critical success with its steady rhythms and superb vocal harmonies and the lyrics dealt with life as they saw it.

As well as the original album, this reissue contains the full length 12" mixes of UK Skanking, Smoking My Ganja and Natty Walk and a bonus CD, the highly sought-after "Bread And Water" 7" EP, a ska-flavoured quartet of tracks, which was released in 1980. Simply their complete output for Greensleeves Records is collected on this release and it is difficult to understand why Capitol Letters did not achieve the sort of lasting success that they deserved. 1981 they recorded a second album called "Vineyard" at The Recordway Studio in Frankfurt after which the group disbanded.

The main problem for those UK based Reggae bands like Capital Letters was, that they were always compared with the Jamaican artists and it was widely ignored that they created their own sound and reflected their own problems in the UK. As Harry Hawke writes in the booklet: "Musically Capital Letters were coming from Jamaica but, lyrically and culturally, they were thousands of miles away and heading in a different direction."

Nuff words, listen to the music, enjoy the riddims, think about the words, simply give Capital Letters another chance!
Almost a must have re-release from Greensleeves.