Misty in Roots are a British roots reggae band formed in Southall, London, in the mid 1970s. Their first album was 1979’s Live at the Counter Eurovision, a record full of Rastafarian songs. It was championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, helping to bring roots reggae to a white audience. At this early stage, the band was a collective with five lead singers and various musicians, though by the time of the second album proper the band had slimmed down to just three members. Along with Steel Pulse, Aswad, Matumbi, Cimarons and Black Slate, Misty in Roots were one of the most popular British reggae bands of the late 1970s.
Following their debut, Misty in Roots released four studio albums through the 1980s. The band had two BBC Radio 1 “In Concert” appearances in 1983 and 1985. They were invited to play in Zimbabwe in 1982 in recognition of their support for the independence movement, and were the first reggae band to tour South Africa, Poland, and Russia. After a break from recording in the next decade the band returned with a new mini-album Roots Controller in 2002 and continue to play concerts as of 2014.
In 1979 Clarence Baker, a member of the collective, was severely beaten and injured by the SPG during a protest in Southall against a National Front march. The punk band The Ruts, who were partners of and had their debut single released by the People Unite co-operative, honoured him in their song “Jah War” which was released as a single and on their album The Crack the same year.
HERE LIES A MOST CRUCIAL MIX OF MISTY IN ROOTS CLASSICS. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!
1. New Day (Live, Peel Sessions, cut)
2. New Day (Album)
3. Bail Out (Live, Peel Sessions)
4. No Love (Album)
5. Food, Clothes, and Shelter (Album)
6. Wise and Foolish (Album, cut)
7. Wise and Foolish (Live, Peel Sessions)
8. True Rastaman (Album)
9. Earth (Album)
10. How Long Jah (Album)
11. Judgement Coming On The Land (Album)
12. Dancehall Babylon (Album)
13. Economical Slavery (Album)
And a feature from New Musical Express in 1985…