WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Happy Music Monday! Summer's wrapping down, so we're getting in on the island music while we can. Today, in honor of Jamaican Independence Day, we're taking a look at some classic reggae music! It's a mix full of fun and politics that sounds so good in the sunshine. And here's something to drive a few people crazy: without these reggae pioneers, dubstep simply would not exist. Chilling, huh, kids? Check out Scott's first choice to start us off:

Desmond Dekker - Honor Your Mother And Father

 

I'll admit right off the bat that for this mix I'm picking reggae songs that sound good. Yes, absolutely, something like Police In Helicopter carries much more meaning for Jamaica's political history, so I greatly encourage you to run out and read more about that on your own! And while you're doing that, the warm and loving tones of Desmond Dekker will keep you company. As an early 60s star, Dekker was polite, honest, easy to dance to, and even though technically this might not be reggae… I don't care. Dekker put down groundwork for what would happen later, and that's good enough for me.

A little part inspiring, a little part fun. That's reggae! More to come, along with last week's great big Spotify playlist, right after the jump.

Oh, hey, our Spotify playlist is back. This time it's Classical Co-Credits and it's a companion to our previous Music Monday post. Go see who stole/borrowed from the greats after you enjoy our current Music Monday below.

The Paragons - The Tide Is High

 

The Paragons are more influential than you might think. Most people know this song became a Blondie hit, but those same people might not know the Paragons' I've Got To Get Away evolved into a Massive Attack track. If you already did, good on you. You're aware of the importance of The Paragons. If not, now you know a little more.

Junior Byles - Curly Locks

 

It's easy to take this as just another love song. It's a nice day, a man's flirting with a woman by mentioning how dangerous he is and how her dad would be afraid, the tune sounds like they're both smiling… but there's something more going on here. This is the story of a guy being told he's not the same now that he's taken up the dreadlocks of his new Rastafarian religion, and asking his love to respect his new beliefs. In a way, it's a more beautiful version of Signs. A great listen that also reflects how lonely it can be to stand strong for who you are while those around you hate you for it.

Bob Marley - The Sun Is Shining

 

It is literally impossible to sum up Bob Marley in a paragraph. This was a musician so beloved that he was able to sway national elections, and so serious that he played a concert two days after he was shot. Much like John Lennon, pretty much everything Marley did was some kind of statement, but I chose this song because "here I am, and you can't take the sun" is maybe the best thing a person can say in the face of adversity. Just ask any Whedon nerd, they'll be forced to agree.

Jimmy Cliff - Miss Jamaica

 

Here, on the other hand, we DO have a sweet love song. Note the confident familiarity of "Although you may not have such a fabulous shape" leading into the official crowning. Don't you get a feeling of a husband teasing his wife at their 30th anniversary party? It's clear that even if Miss J. isn't some nineteen year old showgirl, she's still just right for our hero.

Lee "Scratch" Perry - Dread Lion

 

Six? Six. I wanted to mention all those tracks above, but I'm just not comfortable making a reggae playlist without The Upsetter. You could argue that he's the reason ska evolved into reggae in the first place. You could argue that he's the reason hip hop uses samples today. You could argue that he invented production techniques we love right now, and that shaped and popularized dub, and probably about a billion other things on top of all that. Before Sly and Robbie, Mad Professor, Ticklah, and pretty much anybody who wasn't named Coxsone… there was Lee "Scratch" Perry. I picked this track because it's great, but honestly, you could say that with almost any Lee Perry track picked at random. Yhere's no way I could have left him out of my list.

So let's face it: Scott's gettin' old, and a lot has happened to reggae over the years. Jump in the comments and throw down your own tunes, be they modern-day Reggaeton or rare 60s dub plates. Then feel free to reeeee-wiiind! and visit our Turntable.fm room for the regular Music Monday enjoyment. Also, in the spirit of evolving riddims: some images come from their corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.



Quality Posts


kchoschton


quality posts: 17 Private Messages kchoschton

Can't wait to hear Snoop Lion's stuff. Snoop Lion being the former Snoop Dogg.

CowboyDann


quality posts: 715 Private Messages CowboyDann

I'm surprise you didn't put this on the list, In case you didn't hear Snoop Dogg is recording reggae music as Snoop Lion.


I can't actually verify because I'm at work but I am pretty sure this is a full length sample track from what he's been working on IIRC

Also, So let's face it: Scott's gettin' old How could I forget! Happy Belated Birthday Scott!

CowboyDann


quality posts: 715 Private Messages CowboyDann
kchoschton wrote:Can't wait to hear Snoop Lion's stuff. Snoop Lion being the former Snoop Dogg.



rats beat me by a couple minutes. -sigh- that's what I get for trying to embed links and do work at work.

Slydon


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Slydon

Staff

CowboyDann wrote:Happy Belated Birthday Scott!



Thank you! I am also amused how fast you guys namechecked Snoop. I'm really looking forward to that record as well, the guy knows a TON about music and can afford to hire the right people so it might be a very good record.

Hi, I'm one of the writers. My powers are limited but I'll do what I can.

fistsofham


quality posts: 1 Private Messages fistsofham

hampy belated day.

me say slydon beat dem bad.

LarryLars


quality posts: 65 Private Messages LarryLars

Scott, Happy belated birthday !!!!


!

Have you checked your Private Messages lately?

bluebeatpete


quality posts: 4 Private Messages bluebeatpete

Thanks for the nice tribute to reggae and ska. Some nice choices. You are right, without reggae, modern music would not be the same. Thinks about it, dub was the original remix...

I guess I have to be the lone dissenter on Snoop Lion. "La La La" is mediocre at best. A simple rehash of Ken Boothe's "Artibella" with over used Rastafari platitudes. Perhaps the full album will be better, Diplo is a good producer.

lalligood


quality posts: 3 Private Messages lalligood

Fantastic list. I do feel that you left off one really important artist on the list though: the man credited with inventing the word 'reggae': Toots Hibbard of Toots & The Maytals. While I'm partial to "Funky Kingston" (most people would recognize an instrumental version of it as the theme to TLC's 'Miami Ink'), I think "Pressure Drop" might be a better choice for your list.

http://youtu.be/6rb13ksYO0s

CowboyDann


quality posts: 715 Private Messages CowboyDann
bluebeatpete wrote:Thanks for the nice tribute to reggae and ska. Some nice choices. You are right, without reggae, modern music would not be the same. Thinks about it, dub was the original remix...

I guess I have to be the lone dissenter on Snoop Lion. "La La La" is mediocre at best. A simple rehash of Ken Boothe's "Artibella" with over used Rastafari platitudes. Perhaps the full album will be better, Diplo is a good producer.




Yes, I agree with scott, you know your stuff. could you please add some tracks, and essential reggae albums if you could be so kind?

citizenavila


quality posts: 1 Private Messages citizenavila

1) Miss Jamaica is one of my favorite Jimmy Cliff tracks! It's just so much fun to dance to.

2) Speaking of Jimmy Cliff, a great essential album to have is "The Harder They Come" soundtrack. Still one of my favorite start to finish albums.

Katie.

http://katieavila.tumblr.com

strawhousepig


quality posts: 60 Private Messages strawhousepig

About the only reggae I've really listened to has come from the Bad Brains.

Bad Brains - I Love I Jah - YouTube
Bad Brains - Leaving Babylon - YouTube

bluebeatpete


quality posts: 4 Private Messages bluebeatpete
CowboyDann wrote:Yes, I agree with scott, you know your stuff. could you please add some tracks, and essential reggae albums if you could be so kind?




Alright, here's a few essential reggae albums and artists. I don't have time to hunt down links, but all should be on Spotify, Grooveshark or MOG.

The Abyssinians - Satta Massagana
Augustus Pablo - Original Rockers
Burning Spear - any early albums
Culture - Two Sevens Clash
Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse and other early albums
King Tubby - Any of his dub albums
Niney the Observer - Observation Station
Prince Far I
The Skatalites
Yabby You

Hope y'all find something you like.

Slydon


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Slydon

Staff

I'd also recommend Esstern Standard Time on WKCR each Saturday morning. It's a nice way to wake up and a really really great set most weeks. If you're looking to learn more about reggae, Dann, that'll be an easy way to start.

Mr. Pete has also made next weeks Spotify list AMAZING with just one post!

Hi, I'm one of the writers. My powers are limited but I'll do what I can.

scapsinger


quality posts: 21 Private Messages scapsinger

Saw the Skatalites live in ATL about 14 years ago. Not a great show (they were quite old of course) but amazing to see the roots of ska and reggae right on the stage in front of me. Went backstage and even got a signed promo poster that hangs in my garage to this day. It's right next to a Moon Ska/Toasters signed promo.

I'd agree Toots warrants some mention here as well, but still a good rundown.