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My journey through reggae


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So I'm going through a bit of a reggae awakening, and I'm discovering why Bob Marley is regarded so highly. (yes, a little late for me).

This weekend I picked up Natty Dread. Man I love that version of "No woman, no cry", I've gained a whole new appreciated for that song. I'd like to start a global movement to destory everyones copy of Legend, and replace with the likes of "Rastaman Vibration", "Burnin'", or "Natty Dread", that's the real deal, not Legend. I wish I'd known years ago...

I also picked up Peter Tosh's "Equal Rights", great album! Real nice version of "Get up Stand up".

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It's funny, now that I've picked up a good portion of his album catalogue, I often go back to "Legend" just for the non-stop blast of fun songs. But yes, "Natty Dread" is excellent.

As for Tosh, I prefer "Equal Rights" to "Legalize It" but not by much - they're both fantastic. I'm aslo a big fan of his "Mama Africa" album, excellent stuff.

I love reggae so much. I wish I had a million dollars so I could just buy everything I see just to check it out. There's so much out there!

I do like the Trojan Record collections - each are themed ("Lovers' Reggae", "Roots of Ska", "Ganja Reggae" etc....) and are three discs to a set, usually around $30 each. Can't go wrong!

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Marc - yeah I like Equal Rights more than Legalize It as well. I think Mama Africa is my favourite though. I like legalize it, I mean obviously the title track is a big hit (pun intended) and there are a few other great songs on the album. But overall I find the album to be a little hokey and overrated... "Ketchy ketchy, shuby shuby"... nuff said.

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depending on the style you like (roots reggae, trad ska, rock steady, lovers rock) I suggest you investigate:

Toots & The Maytals (the perfect bridge from trad ska to reggae, with super soulful vocals and a funky rhythm section):

funky kingston

In The Dark

Reggae Got Soul

Burning Spear (killer political roots reggae):

Marcus Garvey

Man In the Hills

Dry & Heavey

Gregory Isaacs (the king of lover's rock):

Cool Ruler

Extra Classic

Night Nurse

Dennis Brown (more lover's rock mellow goodness):

Words of Wisdom

Slow Down

No Contest (with Gregory Isaacs)

and if you can find it, try and pick up "Live at the One Love Peace Concert" by Peter Tosh.. killer live record from probably the most important reggae concert/festival ever.

Hope that helps you on your way to really discovering reggae (not to say that Marley is a bad start.. but you know what I mean.. there's more to rock than The Beatles)

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i know what you mean about Legend, Trevor - i agree. too much same song.

i just got burning spear's new album FreeMan and that's a beauty.

i'll second the recommendation for Gregory Isaacs.

i only have one album of Bunny Wailer, but whenever i put it on i think he's my favourite reggae artist out there. ya, in fact i'm gonna go seek out another BW album and report back.

i like jacob miller too, but i realise his sound don't appeal to everyone.

if you're into reggae rhythms and wanna check out somn a little different - dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson is excellent. really really. i just picked up the island anthology and cannot stop playing it.

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I would have to second the Augustus Pablo and Burning Spear. But you can't forget Black Uhuru, Culture, The Ethiopians or Israel Vibration. All excellent choices!

Ohhh, so true. "Israel Vibration in Dub" is magical. I also really love the Abyssinians "Declaration of Dub" - which was the album that first made me realize what reggae truly means, and how deep it really is!

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