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Misty in Roots

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Misty In Roots
Misty in Roots performing at Islington Assembly Hall in London on 13 April 2017
Misty in Roots performing at Islington Assembly Hall in London on 13 April 2017
Background information
Years active1975–present

Misty in Roots are a British roots reggae band formed in Southall, London, in the mid 1970s.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] After a break from recording in the next decade the band returned with a new mini-album Roots Controller in 2002.[5] and continue to play concerts as of 2014.[6]

In 1979 Clarence Baker, a member of the collective, was severely beaten and injured by the London Metropolitan Police's SPG unit during a protest in Southall against a National Front march.[7] 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.

In 1989 Misty in Roots played Treworgy Tree Fayre, a free festival in Cornwall.[8]

Album Discography[edit]

Studio and live Albums
  • Live at the Counter Eurovision 79 (1979) [recorded live in Belgium] - (People Unite)
  • Misty Over Sweden (1979) [Swedish release - recorded live in Sweden] - (Nacksving)
  • Wise and Foolish (1981) - (People Unite)
  • Earth (1983) - (People Unite)
  • Musi-O-Tunya (1985) - (People Unite)
  • Forward (1989) - (Kaz Records)
  • The John Peel Sessions (1995) [New tracks plus new versions of previously-released material] - (Strange Fruit)
  • Roots Controller (2002) [6 new tracks plus previously-released material] - (Real World Records, Virgin)
  • Chronicles - The Best of' Misty In Roots (1994) - (Kaz Records)
  • Jah Sees Jah Knows (1997) [2CD version includes bonus CD of Live at the Counter Eurovision '79] - (Recall 2cd, owned by Snapper Music)
Singles & EPs
  • Six One Penny (1978) - (People Unite)
  • Oh Wicked Man (1978) - (People Unite)
  • See Them Ah Come / How Long Jah (1979) - (People Unite)
  • Six One Penny / Oh Wicked Man (1979) - (Nacksving)
  • Richman / Salvation (1979) - (People Unite)
  • Zapatta (1980) - (People Unite)
  • Wandering Wanderer / Cry Out For Peace (1981) - (People Unite)
  • Peace And Love / Bail Out (1981) - (People Unite)
  • Jah Jah Bless Africa (1981) - (People Unite)
  • Poor And Needy / Follow Fashion (1983) - (People Unite)
  • Poor And Needy / Persecution (1985) - (Tonpress)
  • Own Them Control Them (1986) - (People Unite)
  • Together (1988) - (People Unite)
  • The Midas Touch (1989) - (Kaz Records)


  1. ^ Simpson, Dave (22 April 2003). "Misty in Roots, Band on the Wall, Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  2. ^ Marsh, Peter. "BBC - Music - Review of Misty in Roots - Roots Controller". www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ Perry, Andrew (26 January 2011). "Reggae Britannia: How reggae dug its British roots" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  4. ^ "In Honor Of Misty In Roots - Biography". littlemunk.com.
  5. ^ "Misty in Roots | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  6. ^ "MIR News Update". Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  7. ^ Simpson, Dave (20 July 2007). "Dave Simpson on what happened when reggae and punk went head to head in the UK" – via www.theguardian.com.
  8. ^ "TalkTalk Webspace is closing soon!!". www.talktalk.co.uk.

External links[edit]