Merger Band
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Merger Band
Merger (band).jpg
Background information
Origin England
Genres Reggae
Labels Sun-star Muzik Co, Bellaphon, President, Makasound
Pam Nestor
Barry Ford, Winston Bennett, Michael Dan, Tony Osei, Michael Osei, Ivor Steadman

Merger were an English reggae band of Jamaican/Ghanaian descent that formed in 1977 and lasted until 1980. Their name "Merger" comes from the fact that they blended reggae music with their other musical influences.[1][2] Their debut album, Exiles Ina Babylon was released in the UK in 1977 at a time when many British reggae bands, such as Aswad and Steel Pulse, were popular.[3] Politically, the band's songs addressed issues of racial injustice in Britain and other countries, but they rejected the Marcus Garvey idea that all black people should return to Africa.[1]


  • "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." (Andrew Hamilton, Allmusic)[1]
  • "They integrated blues, soul, rock, funk and experimental influences in their musical efforts" (Teacher & Mr. T, Reggae Vibes)[2]
  • "Merger's reggae performance of "Soweto"... is a serious piece of polital pop, whose pretesting lyrics and skilful musicianship are more impressive than many of the fashion-rock bands" (Dr Ian Inglis, Popular Music And Television In Britain)[4]
  • "Led by the ever-so-soulful vocals of Barry Ford and the unusual deep voice of Michael Dan, with heavyweight compositions like "77" and "Understanding"" (Record Collector)[3]
  • "Merger created an experimental variation on the contemporary roots reggae formula and made many friends amongst those on the London gig circuit" (Dub Vendor)[5]
  • "At a time when the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, boned socialism in English, "Exiles in Babylon" celebrates the fusion ( "merger" in English) of influences: reggae, punk, blues, jazz" (Reggae France)[6]


Merger appeared at the high-profile concert "The Picnic at Blackbushe" in 1978, alongside Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Joan Armatrading. [7]


  • Barry Ford (guitar, vocals)
  • Winston Bennett (guitar, vocals)
  • Michael Dan (keyboards)
  • Tony Osei (drums)
  • Michael Osei (keyboards)
  • Ivor Steadman (bass)



  • Exiles In A Babylon (Sun-star Muzik Co, 1977)
  • Armageddon Time (Bellaphon, 1980)
  • Prisoner of Your Love (President, 1996)[8]
  • Exiles In A Babylon (re-issue, Makasound, 2009)


  • "Seventy Seven" (CBS, 1979)
  • "Biko" (Barclay, 1980)
  • "Prisoner Of Your Love" / "You Are To Me" (Emergency, 1981)
  • "Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him" (with Tcha) (WEA, 1982)


  1. ^ a b c Hamilton, Andrew. Merger at AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  2. ^ a b Teacher & Mr. T (2009-01-31). "Exiles Ina Babylon". Retrieved . 
  3. ^ a b "Exiles in a Babylon". Record Collector. 2009-04-01. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ Inglis, Dr Ian (2010-12-01). Popular Music And Television In Britain. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0754668640. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Merger - Exiles In A Babylon (Makasound) CD". Dub Vendor. 2009-03-06. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ Jobart, Se;bastien (2009-01-26). "Exiles in a Babylon" (in French). Retrieved . 
  7. ^ "The "Picnic" at Blackbushe Aerodrome 1978". UK Rock Festivals. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ ASIN B00130O5NE, Prisoner Of Your Love - Winston Bennett & Merger (2016-02-03)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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