Walshy Fire stated that “Jamaican artists are on the verge of creating a new genre” in a recent interview. This claim warranted further exploration so we went in on the topic.
Before analyzing today’s music we reviewed the many genres that Jamaica has created. That amazing history includes Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall. Reggae sub-genres Nyahbingi, lover’s rock, and rub-a-dub are also popular styles.
Download Reggae Lover episode 140 by clicking the image above.
There was a peak in dancehall popularity in the early 2000s followed by a decline in quality reggae. At that time vinyl formats transitioned to CD. Then CDs went out and digital downloads came in. DJs started using laptops to play music and consumers turned to personal electronics. This transitional period led to what we call the reggae revival.
The current global dancehall and reggae revival movements are creating genre-bending trends. Artists like Protoje, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, and Koffee are synonymous with such trends.
Based on our analysis there either is a new emerging genre, or the concept of genres is simply dead. Distinctions between genres have become blurred and young audiences around the world are embracing that change.
- Lord Fly with Dan Williams – Medley of Jamaican Mento
- Koffee – Toast
- Culture – Two Sevens Clash
- Lila Ike – Biggest Fan
- Toots and the Maytals – Do the Reggae
- Reggae Lover Episode 20 – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry,
- Johnny Osborne – Water Pumping
- Reggae Lover Episode 21 – Augustus Pablo,
- The Skatalites – Guns of Navarone
- Reggae Lover Episode 120 – Dub.
- Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus – None of Jah Jah Children
- Hood Celebrity – Walking Trophy
- King Tubbys – King of the Arena
- Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
- Justin Beiber – Sorry
- Koffee – Rapture
- Bob Marley – Talking Blues
- Reggae Lover Episode 126 – Dancehall vs Reggae
- Reggae Lover Episode 133 – The Influence of Reggae
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This episode features roots reggae songs from the Gregory Isaacs catalog. I chose to curate his songs about the reality of everyday life and the strife of poor people.
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Gregory Isaacs was born in Jamaica on July 15, 1951. He made his debut in 1968 with a recording for Byron Lee. He then started the African Museum record label and shop along with Errol Dunkley. Isaacs recorded for other producers as well. His single ‘My Only Lover,’ is credited as the first lover’s rock song ever.
He released music throughout the 70s. In 1978 he signed to the Virgin Records offshoot call Frontline records. That led to his appearance in the movie “Rockers.” He also opened a record shop called Cash & Carry in Kingston. He performed yearly at Reggae Sunsplash from 1981 to 1991.
In 1982 he signed to Island Records and released the massive single, “Night Nurse.” Isaacs was only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley in touring. Gregory recorded and released at least 70 original studio albums. He has over 500 albums including compilations. He maintained an amazing standard of quality in most of his recorded songs.
Gregory Isaacs was nominated for four Grammy Awards, the last of which in 2010 and 2011. One of the things associated with Isaacs was cocaine use. He had many arrests during the years that he battled with addiction.
When you listen to this mix compared to my lover’s rock mix (Episode 116), you can sense a different vibration. Gregory’s passionate lyrical delivery on social issues is very believable. He passed away in 2010 to lung cancer.
I would love to hear what you think about this singer – the musical giant known as “The Cool Ruler.” Comment here, tweet @ReggaeLoverPod, or send an email to email@example.com.
Gregory Isaacs is one of the greatest reggae singers of all times. He’s in my Top 5 along with Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, and Buju Banton. Many people around the world rate The Cool Ruler as their number 1.
Gregory Isaacs was active from the 60s all the way through the 2000s. There is a great deal of material in his catalog. This mix provides sweet reggae music with a love-related theme. The music can set a relaxing, romantic mood so please listen responsibly.
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Gregory songs about roots and culture are in an upcoming episode. Here The Cool Ruler sings the finest love songs. That’s right, A Mix of Gregory Isaacs LOVERS ROCK Only – Selections of Reggae, rubadub, lovers rock, rocksteady, and dancehall for lovers.
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