Solidarity is from the 1984 Black Uhuru album Anthem, and was also released on the 45 RPM 12″ single What Is Life, together with the track Party Next Door.
Rudolph “Garth” Dennis, Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, and Don Carlos originally formed Black Uhuru in a1974, possibly earlier. (ie.1972) In 1976 Garth Dennis left to join The Wailing Souls, and Don Carlos went on to establish himself as a solo artist.
Duckie Simpson continued Black Uhuru with Michael Rose, (who was already an established solo artist), and also, be it briefly, with Errol Nelson, (formerly of The Jayes), who in 1977 left to re-join The Jayes.
In late 1978 Sandra “Puma” Jones joined Black Uhuru.
With Puma sharing backing vocals with Duckie Simpson, together with Michael Rose on lead vocals, and musically backed by Lowell “Sly” Dunbar on drums, and Robbert “Robbie” Shakespeare on bass, Black Uhuru became a formidable musical force of the 1980’s.
During this period Black Uhuru and Sly & Robbie produced the albums Black Uhuru (1979), Sinsemilla (1980), Red (1981), Chill Out (1982),and Anthem (1983/4)
(Note: The Anthem album was originally released in 1983 with the track Party Next Door, which due to marketing issues was omitted on the 1984 re-release, replaced instead with the track Solidarity. Each release came with it’s own distinct album cover, the 1984
re-release being issued with two different covers, one each for the UK & US.
Solidarity was a 1984 composition written by “Little Steven” Van Zandt,a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
In 1984 Steven Van Zandt had left Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, to purse human rights issues through his music, particularly the struggle against South African apartheid. Steven was one of a number of artists who formed Artists United Against Apartheid.
His original version is a true musical hybrid of Rock and Reggae, mastered with humanitarian lyrics… Presumably Black Uhuru / Sly & Robbie heard Solidarity, liked it,
and decided to cover the song.
1985 saw Michael Rose leave Black Uhuru to further pursue his own successful solo ambitions, which saw Delroy “Junior” Reid being asked to take up lead vocals for the 1986 release Brutal.
Sadly this was to be the last album featuring Puma who became ill with cancer. (Puma died on the 28th January 1990, aged 36 years)
Junior Reid recorded one more album with Black Uhuru, Positive in 1987, leaving in 1988 to continue as a successful solo artist.
In 1990 the original Black Uhuru members Duckie Simpson, Garth Dennis, and Don Carlos reformed…
Uhuru is an East African Swahili word meaning Freedom.
(Black Uhuru-Solidarity: 0:05, sound recording administered by UMG)