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The Abyssinians: Satta: Best of..., 10” Single, & 7” Singles Collection

Hot on the heels of the recently released Universal CD, ‘Satta: the Best of The Abyssinians’, comes this 4 track 10” single featuring i) Satta Massa Gana, ii) Thunder Storm, iii) Satta Me No Born Yah, iv) Satta Dub.

Although some copies are available on line, it might take a bit of effort to track down a copy as:

“The only place to get your hands on these releases will be independent record stores around the UK. With 12 days to do the shopping there’s longevity rather than just one mad, crazy day like with Record Store Day and Black Friday in the US.”

“The High Street indie is very important to us and this campaign is a way to support them all year round.”

Kim Bayley is CEO of the Entertainment Retailers Association which organises Record Store Day, the annual celebration of indie record shops, which has done so much to drive vinyl sales. “With the 12 Days… promotion Christmas has come early this year for indie record shops and music fans,” she says. “Physical music formats and vinyl in particular still have the edge when it comes to gifting and Universal should be congratulated for putting together such a great line-up of releases."

Tuesday December 1

The Abyssinians - Sata, 10” EP

Four of The Abyssinians most sought-after recordings in the popular and influential ‘Satta Massa Gana’ rhythm, including their original classic vocal cut from 1969.

Although listed as ’Thunder Storm’ the second track is actually ‘Thunder Storm Part 2’, which was originally intended as the B-side of ‘Satta Massa Gana’ in the forthcoming boxed set of 7” singles and appears to have subsequently been replaced by another classic, ‘Let My Days Be Long’. The comments I had prepared for ‘Thunder Storm Part 2’ are as follows:

The B-side is a previously unreleased track called ‘Thunderstorm Part 2’which was overdubbed by veteran percussionist Bongo Herman at Tuff Gong some thirty years after he recorded the original Clinch B-side ‘Thunderstorm’. When the two recordings are compared it is clear that Bongo Herman’s playing has lost nothing in the intervening years, as he creates a series of furious rhythms and patterns.

The full track-listing is as follows:

Side 1:

A. Satta Massa Gana (original version) (3:41)

B. Let My Days be Long (1971 version) (2:18)

Side 2:

A. Mabrak (3:50)

B. Leggo Beast (Wicked Men) (2:52)


A. Prophesy (3:21)

B. Revelation Dub (aka Prophesy Dub) (3:35)


A. Forward Jah (aka Forward Jah Jah) (3:24) YT

B. Jah Forward Version (aka Forward Jah Dub) (3:20) YT


Love Comes and Goes (3:57)

Love Comes Dub – Bongo Herman & The Abyssinians (4:17)


A. Abendingo (aka Abondico) (3:18)

B. Abendingo (Version) (aka Abendingo Dub) (3:29)


A. Praise Him (3:28)

B. Praise Him Dub (3:22)

Sadly ‘Crashie’ didn’t make it onto vinyl. Though included in the album, and originally intended for inclusion in the boxed set if licencing issues had prevented any others being included. As these tracks listed below will not be included in the boxed set I’ve added my comments below

Crashie Sweeps (Them Clean) (2:41)

Let My Days Be Long (1971 version) (2:18)

‘Crashie’, recorded in 1974, in support of the PNP Crash Programme which was a politically motivated emergency employment initiative that, as the song suggests, was intended to improve the lot of those living in some of Kingston’s poorer areas by sweeping the streets. The backing track is ‘Jerusalem’ a much older recording from their Studio One sessions. Musically, at least, ‘Let my Days Be Long’ is also something of a throwback to earlier times featuring, as it does, another more upbeat rhythm when compared with their more representative material. Whatever the backing, the group’s unmistakable harmonies remain.

Satta Me No Born Ya (aka Satta Mi Nuh Born Ya) (3:44)

Satta Dub (3:44)

Voiced at King Tubby’s studio this is Bernard Collins’ reinterpretation of ‘Satta Massa Gana’ which now becomes a very different song concerned with the themes of colonialism and the slave-trade, and thereby also maintaining the relevance of the rhythm. The original Clinch B-side was Dillinger’s ‘I Saw Esua’. In its place here we have ‘Satta Dub’, a no-nonsense drum and bass workout mercifully, free of any frills or gimmicks, instead with the backing track faded out we hear The Abyssinians sing a couple of verses acapella.

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