Australian Reggae history - No Fixed Address.

in #reggaesteemlast year

Reggae in Australia mainly developed in the 80's. Predominantly inspiring Aboriginal acts, it found a place as protest music and a way to raise the nations awareness of race issues at the time. One act to adopt this theme and achieve success was the band "No Fixed Address". Originally forming as a Pub Rock band in 1979, The band become one of the first Aboriginal acts to be recorded.

In 1982, the band released their first Album, which was launched by Australia's Prime Minister at the time, Bob Hawke. That year they toured Australia as support act for Peter Tosh. After this tour, they made their way to England and played a 9 city tour of Great Britain, the first Aboriginal Band to tour overseas.

Their 1982 album "From my eye's" contained the band's most notable work. The song "We Have Survived" raised the issues of discrimination and racism, and became an unofficial anthem for many Aboriginal people. The song was originally from a movie in 1980 called "Wrong side of the road".


Source: Brotherwhitelion - YouTube channel

Despite growing up in the 80's I had never heard of this song until today. It goes to show that the disparities between the indigenous Australians and the rest of us were significant, even in our recent history. The lyrics cut through and expose the struggles and racism that goes unnoticed by many of us, but are an everyday fact of life for some. It has certainly made me look back on growing up in the 80's, and how much of the reality of life for many was unseen at the time.

Here are the full lyrics:

You can’t change the rhythm of my soul,
You can’t tell me just what to do.
You can’t break my bones by putting me down,
Or by taking the things that belong to me.

We have survived the white man’s world
And the horror and the torment of it all.
We have survived the white man’s world
And you know you can’t change that.

All the years has just passed me by,
I’ve been hassled by the cops nearly all my life.
People trying to keep me so blind,
But I can see what’s going on in my mind.

We have survived the white man’s world
And the horror and the torment of it all.
We have survived the white man’s world
And you know you can’t change that.

You can’t change the rhythm of my soul,
You can’t tell me just what to do.
You can’t break my bones by putting me down,
Or by taking the things that belong to me.

We have survived the white man’s world
And the horror and the torment of it all.

We have survived the white man’s world
And the horror and the torment of it all.

We have survived the white man’s world
And the horror and the torment of it all.

These Lyrics were sourced from National Film and Sound Archives website which added the song to the registry in 2008.

The band broke up and reformed several times over the years with regular lineup changes. They reformed in 1987 for a tour of Europe. In 1988 the leads singer left and joined Yothu Yindi, an Aboriginal Rock band that achieved mainstream success, becoming the most successful indigenous act in Australia.


I hope you have enjoyed this little look back at one of Australia's earliest Reggae acts. Background information for this post came primarily from Wikipedia

Peace...

J.K.


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very good excellent good story I loved music .. ..


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You took the words right outta my mouth!


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Thanks for the introduction to this band - reggae and the history of how it inspired many I’d exciting. Will be checking out more of their music.


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I really did enjoy this Australia reggae history. I learned a new thing both with reggae and history. Thanks for sharing.


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In 1982, the band released their first Album, which was launched by Australia's Prime Minister at the time, Bob Hawke.

That is some interesting history into Australia and Reggae music. Good research. The lead singer definitely has a Bob influence. What is the situation there now with the indigenous people?


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It has improved, but is still not great. Just before the time this song came out, many Aboriginal children were being taken from their families and re-homes with white families - The "Stolen Generation" it is referred to. Since then there has been efforts to improve the situation and make right the wrongs of the past. Reconciliation has been a big thing in Australian politics for a number of years, but there is still a big disparity in living standards between white Australia and the original inhabitants (who's history stretches back 40,000 years in this land).

Improved, but still a long way to go.


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Yeah, I figured that was the case, some improvement is better than none though. Was learning about Uluru the other day and how the land is sacred ground for the Aboriginal people, it is good to see that they are steps to preserve their heritage.


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I forgot all about this. I am an 80s kid too. Dad wasnt a massive reggae fan but he did have Toshs Bush Doctor on vinyl. I still love that album.

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@jk6276.jahm, I've experienced one thing here so far and that is, most of the countries have History of Reggae and that's the beautiful aspect and it shows, how long this Musical Culture travelled. Stay blessed.

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