Category Archives: Reggae

Lloyd & Kerry – Tubbys In Full Swing (1972)

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Osbourne Ruddock (aka King Tubby) was one of the original purveyors of the remix. The fact that that his domain was reggae and dub music is neither here nor there, the man was a mixologist. By 1972, his influence was being acknowledged by others in their growing experimentation. One example appeared as a B-side to Pat Satchmo’s ‘What’s Going On’; the Prince Tony-produced ‘Tubbys In Full Swing’ was credited to singer Lloyd Young and Carey ‘Wildman’ Johnson. A radio announcement, a few false bars of the Staples Singers’ ‘I’ll Take You There’, followed by Kerry, a drum roll, an organ and a trombone instrumental. Reggae was a-changing. Have a great weekend.

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Bob Marley & The Wailers – Don’t Rock My Boat (1971)

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Rather later than normal, I bring you Bob Marley & The Wailers. The sounds helps soothe the sickness that’s pestered me for the last couple of days. “I Like It Like, I Like It Like.” ‘Don’t Rock My Boat’ was originally released in 1968 in a rocksteady style. By 1971, the group had hooked up with Lee Perry and resurrected the track with a stripped back sound and Marley’s new-found soul. This version of the track first appeared on their Soul Revolution album.

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Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives (1977)

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elvis-costello

A last dip into 1977 before we get all contemporary again, Elvis Costello’s ‘Watching the Detectives’ was his first single that credited his backing band, The Attractions, and fair reward for the archetypal reggae beat that makes the track. Have a great weekend.

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Bob Marley – Jamming (1977)

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bob-marley-1977

Let’s continue with 1977. This song should need no introduction. Recorded in London following an attempt on his life, the album Exodus features the one, the only ‘Jamming’. Hooj.

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Lambchop – Is A Woman (2002)

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Kurt Wagner

‘Is A Woman’ is the title track off Lambchop’s 2002 long player. The album sealed Kurt Wagner’s move away from alt-country. The dry sing-speak voice is the same, but in this single – the closing track on the album – Wagner turns his hand to a touch of reggae. As if Randy Newman was backed by the Wailers.

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Major Lazer and DJ Snake feat. MØ – Lean On (2015)

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Major Lazer and DJ Snake

Since Katy Perry and Taylor Swift’s great strides in the last couple of years, there seems to have been a renaissance in the pop song. This year has seen a plethora of well crafted radio friendly singles… Galantis, Nick Jonas, The Weeknd, Skrillex and Diplo, Years & Years etc. Major Lazer has featured on this blog before, but not for something this humongous. The US-based duo Diplo and Walshy Fire partnered with French producer DJ Snake and Danish singer MØ – and together they dreamt up this global monster. ‘Lean On’ features on Major Lazer’s third studio album, Peace Is the Mission, and like 2012’s ‘Get Free’, there is a distinct taste of reggae/dancehall for the masses. Have a great week.

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Max Romeo And The Upsetters feat. Prince Jazzbo – Chase The Devil (1976)

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Max Romeo and Lee Perry

Speaking of homage, The Prodigy sampled the song ‘Chase the Devil’ for 1992’s dance floor beast ‘Out of Space’. However, Max Romeo’s original chorus is backed by Lee “Scratch” Perry’s house band The Upsetters. The Prodigy could only do their best to copy some of that Jamaican magic.

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Dr. Alimantado – Poison Flour (1978)

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Dr. Alimantado

Reggae is the sound of sun. Unexpectedly, the distinctive Dr. Alimantado found fame outside of Jamaica after Johnny Rotten recommended a listen. Hearing the fun-infused pressing Best Dressed Chicken in Town, you can understand how the appreciation crossed genres. ‘Poison Flour’ is a version of a Horace Andy vocal; I guess neither of them are fans of carbs.

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Prince Fatty feat. Hollie Cook – Milk and Honey (2007)

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Hollie Cook

Now for an early take on a classic early dub sound. Prince Fatty is the offspring of producer Mike Pelanconi, who had already made a name for himself behind the desk for Lily Allen. He knows how to pick his singers – ‘Milk And Honey’ features the irie vocals of Hollie Cook. Have a great weekend.

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Ozric Tentacles – Iscence (1990)

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Ozric Tentacles

When I was a lad, the Ozric Tentacles sounded and looked like they had fallen down from a scary outer space and landed in the woods of Wimbledon Common. Someone then handed them a recording contract and in 1990 they released their first major pressing Erpland. I overlook the the album’s spacerock signature ‘Eternal Wheel’ in favour of the reggae-influenced ‘Iscence’. Why? Because there are some vocals; proof of human life.

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Hopeton Lewis – Take It Easy (1966)

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Hopeton Lewis

I end the week with a Jamaican-born Hopeton Lewis singing his rocksteady classic ‘Take It Easy’ from 1966. Seasonal it is not, but here’s hoping for a ray of sunshine this weekend. Enjoy.

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Taj Mahal – Queen Bee (1997)

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Taj Mahal too

Taj Mahal has the cool and that’s why this is a third feature in this blog. But ‘Queen Bee’ is the first of the three he penned himself and the only one that he wrote for his 1997 album Señor Blues – a journey through some of his favourite blues styles. As with much his great work, he’s able to blend his influences seamlessly – in this case blues and reggae. Say it’s so, Taj, your queen bee rock you to your soul.

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UB40 ‎– Food For Thought (1980)

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UB40

Released on Graduate Records, ‘Food For Thought’ was the first single to reach the UK Top 10 without the backing of a major record company. It helped that it was released as a double A side along with phenomenal ‘King‘.  Their recent feature on Later with Jools Holland was a reminder of just how good UB40 were at the outset, before the 1980s got hold of them.

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Joyella Blade – Cairo (1978)

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Joyella Blade

I sign out for a summer hiatus with a classic slice of reggae – a true sound for the sun. Joyella Blade’s ‘Cairo’ was released on Virgin’s Front Line label. I’ll be back in mid August. Until then…

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Stevie Wonder – Master Blaster (Jammin’) (1980)

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Stevie Wonder 1980

A tribute to legend Bob Marley, ‘Master Blaster (Jammin’)’ brought Stevie Wonder’s midas touch to reggae. It featured on his underrated 1980 album Hotter than July. The song reminds me so much of my childhood – fond and distant summer memories. Have a great week and let’s hope this weather holds out.

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