A short-lived reggae band based in England. The original group included Barry Ford (guitar, vocals), Winston Bennett (guitar, vocals), and Michael Dan (keyboards), Dan left first and Ford and Bennett continued joined by brothers, Tony & Mike Osei (drums & keyboards respectively), Ivor Steadman (bass). The Jamaican/Ghanian line up provided for a wide spectrum of reggae sounds. Merger's debut Exile In Babylon created a stir when released in 1977, critics deemed it too soft core, and felt it catered too much to the pop market. The killer however was that Merger's lyrics rejected repatriation literalism which offended traditional Rastafarians. Merger rejected Marcus Garvey idea that all Blacks return to Babylon or Africa in some songs. This is not to say their first album was not political, it most surely was, and speaks of the injustices perpetrated on Blacks in England, and other countries. A second LP Armageddon Time, released in 1980, and a final Prisoner Of Your Love, came out and then nothing. They never got over the negativity prompted by the message of their first LP, and alienated what would have been their base of fans. Ford went on to record solo, and remained viable for years.
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