BB Seaton - Pharaoh Gone Away / Pharaoh's Dub - Soul Beat / Ohm Records 7" 45T 1974 / 2018

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BB Seaton - Pharaoh Gone Away / Pharaoh's Dub - Soul Beat / Ohm Records 7" 45T 1974 / 2018

10.00

BB Seaton - Pharaoh Gone Away / Pharaoh's Dub - Soul Beat / Ohm Records 7" 45T  1974 / 2018

Media - Mint / New

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Ohm Records Inc. and Soul Beat Records are proud to present the long-awaited release of Pharaoh Gone Away by B.B. Seaton. Published by Metronome Music (p)(c)1972.

Pharaoh Gone Away was recorded in 1974 at Treasure Isle Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. Backed by the Conscious Minds band, mixed by the legendary Errol Brown, and written, produced & arranged by the Great Harris “B.B.” Seaton. The Conscious Minds featured, the late Maurice Roberts on bass, Derrick Stewart on drums, Joe White on piano, B.B. Seaton on guitar, Ken Boothe on organ, Derrick Hinds on trombone, and Arnold Brackenridge on trumpet.

This is the first ever physical issue available for purchase of one of the rarest and most profound recordings in reggae music history. Pharaoh Gone Away is a powerful and engaging song touching on crucial topics of the period. There was never a commercial pressing for Pharaoh Gone Away, only a pre-release of very limited quantity that is nearly impossible to find. From our understanding, there are fewer than 10 original pre-release copies left in existence.

In addition to the standard vinyl release, we have 100 marbled color vinyl copies in red, dark purple, and lavender that will be sold exclusively through our website on a first come, first serve basis. Record shops, please contact us for wholesale inquiries.

Pharaoh Gone Away was written by B.B. Seaton in 1972 during the Jamaican general election. Michael Manley came up with an idea of having a musical bandwagon of popular musicians to help his campaign for the People’s National Party. At that time, Hugh Shearer was Jamaica’s Prime Minister representing the Jamaica Labour Party.

The bandwagon was put together by Clancy Eccles with artists including Ken Boothe, Max Romeo, The Inner Circle Band, Delroy Wilson, BB Seaton, The Chosen Few, Bob Marley, and Marcia Griffiths to name a few. In the song’s lyrics there are multiple biblical references with Hugh Shearer intended as Pharaoh and Michael Manley as Joshua. Manley had gone to Ethiopia in 1969 and came back with a rod given to him by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I. Manley called this The Rod of Correction and it became an influential symbol of that era. During the campaign, Manley’s home was broken into and it was thought to be an attempt in stealing the Rod of Correction. "I know why they broke into my home. But an angel appeared to me in a dream and said, ‘Joshua, let not thy rod out of thy reach.’"

It was an election attended by many Rastafarian and political revolutionaries as Manley promised much reform and also to legalize ganja. He led the PNP to win the election and became Jamaica’s fourth Prime Minister on February 29th, 1972.

“The proverbial wind of change was blowing across Jamaica in early 1972. General elections were in the air and the country's youth were determined to be heard.

The People’s National Party (PNP) led by Michael Manley won the general election of February 29, 1972 and was sworn in as prime minister on March 2, 1972. It was the end of a political campaign that really started in 1969 when Michael Manley was selected PNP president and appointed leader of the Opposition.

Despite the booming economy of the 1950s and 1960s, many Jamaicans were still living in extreme poverty. It is in this context that the PNP’s 1972 slogan, "Better must come", should be understood.

From 1971 into 1972, for the first time ever in a Jamaican political campaign, the use of recorded music and a reggae bandwagon was employed as part of a campaign strategy.

Michael Manley went to Ethiopia and received a rod as a present from Emperor Haile Selassie in 1969. It would henceforth be called the "rod of correction". Whenever Michael Manley arrived at a meeting and displayed the rod, the crowd went wild with excitement. At one point, his home was broken into and Manley said afterwards during a political rally at the Simon Bolivar statue: "I know why they broke into my home." He then showed the rod, as if to say that the real and only reason for the break-in was to steal the rod. Then Manley said: "But an angel appeared to me in a dream and said, ‘Joshua, let not thy rod out of thy reach.’" The atmosphere got electric.

Hugh Shearer was the prime minister then, but the only person in the Jamaica Labour Party hierarchy who understood what was happening was the sociologist Edward Seaga. He produced a walking stick at a Jamaica Labour Party meeting and said that he had found the rod. Manley then called a meeting at Coronation Market and produced the original rod. Seaga would later become Jamaica’s fifth prime minister in 1980.

Rastafarian theology was popular among the younger generation and many saw Rastafarianism as a Jamaican expression of black power. Leonard Howell founded the Rastafarian Movement in 1930 at Pinnacle in St Catherine. The heightened popularity of the Rastafarianism in Jamaica might have started with the visit of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1966 and enhanced after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968 and the expulsion of Dr. Walter Rodney from Jamaica in October 1968.

The election date called by then Prime Minister Hugh Shearer was the result of a strategy of the PNP. Councilor Eric Bell, who was also a PNP-appointed senator, said at a meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Council that he was charging the prime minister to call the election by February 22 — a date that would have been beneficial to the JLP, as that date was close to Alexander Bustamante’s birthday.

But no self-respecting prime minister would comply with such a demand from the Opposition. So, Shearer announced February 29 as the election day, which the PNP said was the birthday of Edna Manley, the wife of National Hero Norman Manley. Shearer had fallen into a ‘trap’ set for him by the PNP. But Edna Manley could not have been born on February 29, 1900, because 1900 was not a leap year. No one did sufficient homework to know that it was a hoax until some years later when the late Hector Wynter, a former JLP minister of government in the 1960s (later editor of The Gleaner) pointed it out.

In any case, popularity alone does not win an election — a fact that Michael Manley understood very well. A highly organized PNP mobilized its voters on February 29,1972 and gained 37 of the 53 seats.”

[written by Michael Burke for The Jamaica Observer, March 01, 2017]