This is one of my more popular posts. What can I say? Ya got good taste!

See my “Amy8Trak” reggae and disco playlists on Spotify

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Bunny Wailer Sings The Wailers

This is an excellent set.  If ya na know Bunny Wailer, ya na know reggae. Listen to ‘Rule This Land’

Best Dressed Chicken In Town by Dr. Alimantado.

Listen to ‘Just The Other Day’

Very musical and rhythmical stuff. It chugs along like a clattering, unstoppable train. Like the album by Culture below, it grows on you.

These tunes were put together about 1973-1976. Hard times were coming in Jamaica: the man’s talking ’bout “Poison Flour”, killing all man; or if not that, it’s high prices in “Just The Other Day”; or a gunman backing him up around a corner in “Gimme Mi Gun”, which addressed the growing climate of political terror and violence.

A very dread set, indeed. And this was before drugs, greed, corrupt politics, NAFTA, the World Bank and the long shadow of the US made of JA a wasteland; and of reggae, a pale shadow. Of course, the greed and exploitative nature of the recording industry did not help!

Actually, it was in the resolve, conviction and integrity of  the people and artists such as  these in Jamaica – in the face of such repression and deprivation – that made reggae great, transcendent in it’s “golden era”.

Two Sevens Clash by Culture

Very vital, primal music; funky and rootsy;  like a fresh, pure breeze out of Africa that wipes everything else clean with it’s utter authenticity. I love it’s clattering rhythms and musicality; stylistically similar to the above album by Dr. Alimantado.

Listen to ‘Two Sevens Clash’

The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style by Big Youth

I love the song “Streets in Africa”, which is sung to the tune of “The World Is A Ghetto”. Big Youth is da bomb!

Listen to ‘Streets of Africa’

Farover by Burning Spear

There’s a note of weary, resigned patience to this set that grew on me.

Listen to ‘Greetings’

Red by Black Uhuru

A very fiery set. A classic, a masterwork. Some standout tracks are “Sistren”, “Journey”, and “Utterance”. “Youth of Eglington” and “Carbine” warn against gunplay while raising the unasked question, “What’s driving people to it?”

Sandra “Puma” Jones, who sang with the group on this album, was a social worker from South Carolina.

Listen to ‘Sistren’

Sugar Minott, “Good Thing Going”, original 1981 vinyl version

I’m talking strictly about the original 1981 vinyl version which contained these 7 songs (and three more): 1. Good Thing Going 2. Never My Love 3. My Sisters 4. Jasmine 5. Life Without Money 6. Lonely Days 7. Walk On By.

Nice album in original form! and I don’t know why they had to delete some of these crucial songs on subsequent versions and still call it the same album! Yechh!
Sugar Minott, rest in peace, 1956-2010. He had the sweetest, most endearing, slightly off-key lovers rock croon on these songs that ya never gonna hear nowhere else and puts the autotuners to shame, yuh!
So straight from the heart – do yourself a favor, give these songs a listen & let your smile glisten, you’ll soon be a raver

Listen to ‘Good Thing Going’

Here’s a link to Fire Pashon, Sugar Minott’s daughter, doing an inspirational song in the classic reggae style,    “Mek It Inna Life”

Knock Out! by Toots and the Maytals. This is a great album. See my review at the link below.

Listen to ‘Careless Ethiopians’

 See my review here.

Natty Rebel by U-Roy. I haven’t heard the whole album, but the version of “Natty Rebel” is one of my all time favorite songs. See link to my review below.

Listen to ‘Natty Rebel’

 See my review here

Another of my favorites was Jacob Miller with Inner Circle. He used a dynamic quaver or vibrato in his singing to a very expressive effect. “All Night Till Daylight” is a good example.

Steel Pulse have a really smooth sound – great production, singing, melodies etc. Here’s a link to their song   “Your House”  The song was featured in the cool UK film ‘Fish Tank’ about a troubled, tough adolescent girl.

Also recommended: the movies “The Harder They Come” and “Rockers”.

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