31/05/2018: “Satta Massagana” by The Abyssinians


From the moment the trumpets blare out, and the bass thumps, it is obvious why “Satta Massagana”, from the 1976 album of the same name, was such a hit. The song announces itself with such insistent style.

The bassline is like a rolling wave; there’s a fair bit of space at the bottom, but when the bass kicks, you know its there. Sometimes less is more!

The riddim has been versioned extensively by various artists, not least by Augustus Pablo and King Tubby with “Satta Dub”.

The album, like many roots reggae albums from this era, is deeply spiritual. The track title here means “He Gave Praise” in Amharic, one of the main Ethiopian languages.

The lyrics are very much in this vein, and are sung with a correspondingly religious fervor.

One of the all time greats, and deservedly so.

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