Forty-five years since its initial release, time has been nothing but kind to Culture’s groundbreaking debut. Two Sevens Clash is one of roots reggae’s greatest achievements, if not the crowning one, a brilliant fusion of bright synthesizer whirls, wah-wah grooves, and spiritual edification.
Conceived from a vision had by frontman Joseph Hill while riding the bus; the year 1977 would have its moment of reckoning. Drawing on an obscure Marcus Garvey prophecy, Hill foresaw July 7th, 1977 as a day where past injustices would be avenged. Upon release, the album spread throughout the island, whose buoyant melodies and militant Rastafarian teachings resonated in equal measure.
Two Sevens Clash’s legacy extends well beyond its own. As the album made its way to the UK, it found new fans in Joe Strummer and Johnny Rotten. Punk’s affinity for the genre is well-documented in The Clash’s cod reggae flourishes and the eventual fusion of the genre with Bad Brains. While punk acts as a sonic inversion to reggae’s sprightly uplift, the militant radicalism at the music’s core is kept intact.
Amid a tumultuous 1977, Kingston businesses and schools closed the day the sevens clashed, simultaneously confirming Culture’s cultural prevalence and how seriously their words were taken. Even if Hill’s prophecies didn’t come to fruition, it cemented his art as one of great influence, resulting in one of the defining reggae releases of all-time.
Culture - Two Sevens Clash
On clear with blue + yellow smoke vinyl