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Roots Rock Reggae

You are currently browsing the archive for the Roots Rock Reggae category.

Rude boy



“Israelites” Desmond Dekker & the Aces   UNI Records.   (1969)   One of the great ones.     From “007” to “Rudie Got Soul” to “Israelites”, Desmond was the first international Reggae star before Bob Marley and continued to perform until his death in 2007.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (31 votes, average: 3.39 out of 5)
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All night mover


“Moonlight Groover”   A great ska compilation featuring Tommy McCook, John Holt, Winston Wright and others.   I’m in love with her too.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 3.81 out of 5)
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Rock Steady



Byron Lee and the Dragonaires “Rock-Steady Explosion”   Cool songs here like “Napoleon Solo” and “Pup-a-Lick”   On Soul Records.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (30 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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Soul’d-jah woo-mahn


Originally issued in 1970, Soul Rebels was the first album credited to Bob Marley and the Wailers and it was also the band’s first full-length collaboration with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry for whom they had already recorded a string of fairly successful singles. Check it out and the other more than 200 ska, rock steady and early reggae singles cut by Marley before he signed with Island Records in 1973 and became Bob Marley, the international Reggae superstar.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (28 votes, average: 4.21 out of 5)
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Soil music


Ska Mania “The Sound of the Soil” Carlos Malcolm and his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms. (1965) Upbeat Records.

Ska bandleader Carlos Malcolm was an underappreciated figure of the music’s early days, and also made some recordings in New York in a more Americanized vein. A native of Kingston, Malcolm received formal musical training and broke into the business playing trombone with the legendary Don Drummond in a jazz group in the late ’50s. In 1962, he was tapped to head the ten-piece house orchestra of the newly established state radio organization the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation, and wrote some of the first formal ska arrangements as a result. He also composed uncredited music for the soundtrack of the first James Bond film, Dr. No (which was partly filmed in Jamaica), and formed his own group, the Afro-Jamaican Rhythms, whose music melded ska, African, Latin, and jazz rhythms. They scored hits in Jamaica with “Rukumbine” (1963) and, especially, “Bonanza Ska” (1964, a reworking of TV’s “Bonanza” theme song); they also recorded three albums, the most prominent of which was Ska Mania. During the ’60s, Malcolm also traveled to New York and recorded three albums that blended a Caribbean sensibility with American musics. The Roulette release Don’t Walk, Dance! (around 1964) was the first of these, boasting a jazzy, Latin-flavored sound; it was followed in 1966 by Sounds of the Caribbean (Scepter), credited to Carlos Malcolm & the Jamaica Brass. Perhaps the most prized item in Malcolm’s catalog, Bustin’ Outta the Ghetto (released on AJP in the late ’60s) was a collection of full-fledged funk instrumentals that touched only tangentially on Jamaican music. Malcolm eventually settled in San Diego. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)
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Toots sweet!


“The Sensational Maytals” Recorded in 1965, shortly after their stint with Prince Buster, this record features a bigger, more polished sound than their earliest ska songs. The Ronnie Nasralla/Byron Lee produced LP is packed with ska hits from beginning to end. From rowdy ska hits like “It’s You” and “Fever” to deeply soulful ballads like “Daddy” and “It’s No Use” this album proves that the Maytals are indeed sensational. – Maytals.net

The band’s musical career was rudely interupted in late 1966 when founder and leader Toots Hibbert was arrested and imprisoned on drugs possession charges.

Following Hibbert’s release from jail towards the end of 1967, the band officially changed their name to Toots and the Maytals and began working with Chinese-Jamaican producer Leslie Kong, a collaboration which produced three classic albums and a string of hits throughout the late sixties and early seventies – “Do the Reggay”, a 1968 single widely credited with coining the word reggae, “Pressure Drop”, “54-46 was my number” and “Monkey Man”, the group’s first international hit in 1970 . The group was featured in one of reggae’s greatest breakthrough events – The Harder They Come, the 1972 film and soundtrack starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair’s Top 10 Best Soundtracks of all time.

Following Kong’s death in 1971, the group continued to record with Kong’s former sound engineer, Warwick Lyn; produced by Lyn and Chris Blackwell of Island Records, the group released three best-selling albums, and enjoyed international hits with Funky Kingston in 1973 and Reggae Got Soul in 1976.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (24 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)
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Big man Taitt


Lynn Taitt & The Jets “Rock Steady. A greatest hits package by one of the originators of Ska and the Rock Steady sound from Jamaica in the mid-sixties. This is a 1970 compilation on Merritone.

Napoleon Solo/Solomon/To Sir With Love/Winey Winey/Why Did You Leave/Soul Shot/Pressure And Slide/Just Like A River/Last Waltz/Long Story/Julie/Talking Love/Unity/Theme From Romeo And Juliet/Nice Time/Only A Smile/Rock Steady/Move Up/I Don’t Want To See You Cry/Old Beirut/Mother/Young Gal/Puppet On A String

“Deep within the bubbling Jamaican cauldron of ska, mento, and soul, Nearlin ‘Lynn’ Taitt called for the rhythm drop that sparked rocksteady and made the subsequent emergence of reggae inevitable. A Trinidad-born guitarist who relocated to Jamaica in 1962, Taitt became a workhorse session player, arranger and composer in the 1960s. As a longtime Skatalites member, he backed everyone from Toots & The Maytals to the Wailers to Desmond Dekker, as well as the countless other artists who came to Kingston to make records; by 1968, his involvement spanned some 1,500 recordings. Today, Taitt lives in Canada and continues to make a living as a music maker.” – Lynn Taitt: Rocksteady a new documentary

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.19 out of 5)
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Ghost Town


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (32 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)
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Tighten Up


Byron Lee and Dragonaires

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (24 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)
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Hip Hug-Her


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes, average: 4.53 out of 5)
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