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The Abyssinians

Over the years, The Abyssinians have set the standard for vocal harmonies and roots consciousness in reggae music, touring the world in front of huge crowds, appreciative of the chance to see these statesmen of reggae.


The Abyssinians

Few groups better captured the heart and soul of roots reggae than the Abyssinians; the vocal trio's heavenly close harmonies, dark melodies, and Rastafarian themes, all delivered with a deep spiritual feeling, were instrumental in defining and refining the genre. Bernard Collins and Donald Manning were longtime friends, and neither initially planned a career in music. That all changed one night in 1968, when during a creative burst, the pair composed "Satta Massa Gana" (also spelled "Satta Amassa Gana"). Proof of their Rastafarian devotion is found in the title, which is Amharic for "give thanks and praise", Amharic being the language of Ethiopia. The song's deeply devotional message, its dreams of far-away Africa, its throbbing rhythm, and its melancholy melody struck a chord across the island, and the record was an instant classic. The Abyssinians released three further hit singles in 1971. First up was "Declaration of Rights," and never has a call to revolution sounded so sweet and heartfelt. The equally evocative "Jerusalem" also appeared in 1971, and completing a quartet of hits for the year was "Let My Days Be Long."

The trio finally cut its debut album, Forward Onto Zion, in 1976. Including hits, re-recordings of older classics, and new material, the record remains a roots masterpiece and brought the group international acclaim… The Abyssinians have since built an international career with many albums, tours, band brake ups, but remain active until today and still have the energy to make audiences move and understand rasta culture.

Since the famous hit Satta Massagana, the vocal trio The Abyssinians has never disappointed its fans!

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