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Roots Rock Reggae

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Cliff notes

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Jimmy Cliff   “Struggling Man” (1973)   Jimmy’s follow-up to one of the greatest records ever “The Harder They Come”.     Not as celebrated musically, but the cover is pretty damn cool.   Cliff is one of the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (74 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5)
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Ska’s the limit

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“Space Flight”   Carlos Malcolm and His Afro-Jamaican Rhythms (“The Sound of the Soil”)   Carlos plays Trombone and (little did I know til just now) wrote most of the incidental music to the James Bond movie “Dr. No”     He had a big mid-sixties hit with his version of the “Bonanza” TV Theme called…”Bonanza Ska”   I like his song “No Jestering” a hit in 1974.   And who can forget his other million seller, “Fattie Bum Bum”.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (57 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)
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Dancehall days

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“One the Hardway”   Chuck Turner   Reggae from 1988.   Produced by King Jammie and Lloyd James

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (43 votes, average: 3.05 out of 5)
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Wax on, wax off

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A Blue Elephant compilation of ska and early reggae.   “Whaaauw Ooooooohh”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (24 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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Fingers crossed

“Wonderful World, Beautiful People”   Jimmy Cliff   A&M Records   1969.   One of my favorites!   Supposedly Bob Dylan said that “Vietnam” was the best protest song he ever heard.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (46 votes, average: 2.89 out of 5)
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Reggae princess

One of the cool UK PAMA label covers and rocksteady/reggae compilations, “Straighten Up Vol. 4.” (1972) Trojan Records, PAMA’s rival reggae label put out a similar series called “Tighten Up.”

The Groovers– Soul Sister / Jerry Lewis– The Godfather / BB Seaton – Lean On Me / Winston Reedy– Breakfast In Bed / Cornell Campbell – My Confession / Delroy Wilson – Here Comes The Heartaches / The Avengers – Life And All Its Dreams / U Roy – Black Heart / The Avengers – Hijack Plane / BB Seaton – I Want Justice / Stranger Cole – Our High School Dance / Les Foster & Ansel Collins – The Man In Your Life / Junior Byles – Fever / The Clarendonians – Good Hearted Woman / Owen Grey – I Hear You Knocking / Junior English – I Don’t Want To Die

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 3.78 out of 5)
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Third World, Man

Third World “Journey to Addis”   (1978)   Including the hit reggae version of the O’Jays song “Now That We Found Love”, (which was later done as a rap song by Heavy D and the Boys).   Also on this record are the songs “Cool Meditation” “Journey To Addis”, “One Cold Vibe”, “Cold Sweat” and “African Woman”.   Nice island illustration.   I like the hemp lettering of the title too.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (37 votes, average: 3.43 out of 5)
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Catch A Fire

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Bob Marley “Catch A Fire”   Island Records.   1973.   This is the record that made Bob Marley an international star.   His first on a major label.   With Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and Aston and Carlton Barrett on bass and drums. Produced by Chris Blackwell.   The album including the classics “Stir It Up”, “Concrete Jungle” and “Kinky Reggae” is 125 on Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500 list (the highest of Marley’s four Lps to make the list).   The first 20,000 copies released were encased in this Zippo lighter die-cut sleeve.   The sleeve opened like a lighter case with a side hinge.   Rob Weiner and Rod Dyer designed.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (57 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
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The smoking gun

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“Double Barrel” Dave and Ansell Collins Big Tree Records. A Trojan Record Production.   Written and produced by Winton Riley. (1971) One of the earliest recordings to feature renowned drummer Sly Dunbar, who was reportedly 14 when the song was recorded.

The single reached #1 on the UK singles chart for two weeks in April 1971 and became the first reggae single to reach the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #22. The song has been covered by late ska acts such as The Selecter and The Specials.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 3.52 out of 5)
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Jamaican me dance

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Ska from 1964 featuring Byron Lee and the Dragonaires Jamaica’s number one band backing the Maytals, the Charmers, Ken Lazarus and others. Keytone Records.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (26 votes, average: 3.85 out of 5)
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