Saturday, May 5, 2012

5 Reggae tunes

So I just watched the "Marley" documentary. It was long but pretty good. There wasn't much interview footage with him in the 2 1/2 hrs. What was used was mostly from audio interviews and was good. Lots of interviews with friends, family and bandmates. Worth checking out to remind you that he was more than a "brand" . It gets nauseating seeing the constant overkill of the sale of Marley T-shirts, etc. It has overshadowed the music. And the music itself is often overplayed and reduced in stature.

While most of us had heard "I shot the Sheriff" from Eric Clapton or were fans of the Police, chances are as young white sububanites we didn't listen to much real reggae.
I first got into reggae the summer of 1984. I had just graduated High School. It was a time of freedom, discovery, expanding my view of the world. Branching out in my musical taste was all part of that. The "blueprint" for reggae was released that summer , Bob Marley's "Legend" collection, probably now the biggest selling reggae album of all time. It was a good place to start. Marley had that same passion and vibe as Dylan and Lennon. 
I also checked out Peter Tosh's "Mama Africa". the pop reggae of Eddy Grant and the excellent Black Uhuru album "Anthem".

Marley's "Legend" has gone on to sell millions. Listening to it as a teen is almost a right of passage. Probably usually involving some care free time at the beach partying with good friends. I first heard this song covered by Pat Travers (!) He did a good version on his 1980 album "Crash and Burn"

                      "Is this Love"

Eddy Grant is probably viewed as a sell-out but he did some ok pop-reggae

"Boys in the Street"

Probably my favorite reggae album. The band features the excellent rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare who played on some Dylan albums and worked with Mick Jagger as well. They even covered Little Steven's  " Solidarity"
 Black Uhuru  "What is Life"
 live 1984


Peter Tosh's "Mama Africa" was another fav that summer

                        "Peace Treaty"

The English Beat had incorporated ska and reggae into their sound. The guys continued some of that with their work in General Public 

                        "Limited Balance"

No comments:

Post a Comment