The Top Reggae Bands of All Time | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 74

I curated some of the biggest hits from legendary bands: Third World, Israel Vibration, Inner Circle, Aswad, Black Uhuru, and Steel Pulse – groups who have presented fabulous reggae music performances and recordings for nearly half a century.

Reggae Lover Podcast

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Third World is a Jamaican reggae band formed in 1973. Their sound is influenced by soul, funk, and disco. Although it has undergone several line-up changes, Stephen “Cat” Coore and Richard Daley have been constant members.

Steel Pulse is a roots reggae musical band, from the Handsworth area of Birmingham, England, which has a large number of Afro-Caribbean, Indian and other Asian migrants. They originally formed at Handsworth Wood Boys School – composed of David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar), Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals), and Ronald McQueen (bass); along with Basil’s brother Colin briefly on drums. Steel Pulse was the first non-Jamaican act to win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

Black Uhuru is a Jamaican reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru (Swahili for ‘freedom’). The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Derrick “Duckie” Simpson as the mainstay. They had their most successful period in the 1980s, with their album Anthem winning the first ever Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1985.

Aswad is a long-lasting British reggae group, noted for adding strong R&B and soul influences to the reggae sound. They have been performing since the mid-1970s, having released a total of 21 albums. “Aswad” means “black” in Arabic.

Inner Circle is a Jamaican reggae group. The group was originally called The Inner Circle Band and formed in 1968. The band achieved major success in the 1970s with Jacob Miller as their lead singer but split up after his death in 1980. They reformed in 1986 and had a major hit with the 1987 song “Bad Boys”, which serves as the theme song for the long-running Spike (formerly Fox Network) television program COPS.[1] They are also well known for their song “Sweat (A La La La La Long),” a big hit in the U.S. in the early 1990s. The band is known for blending pop and rock with reggae.

Israel Vibration is a reggae harmony group, originating from Kingston, Jamaica. Lascelle “Wiss” Bulgin, Albert “Apple Gabriel” Craig, and Cecil “Skelly” Spence all overcame childhood polio and went on to be one of the most successful roots groups to form in Jamaica in the 1970s. The trio initially met as children at a rehabilitation center.

I would also want to make mention of bands like Fab 5, UB40, Big Mountain, SOJA, Tribal Seeds, Raging Fyah, and there are and have been 1000’s of musical ensembles that dedicated themselves to pushing the reggae music envelope. Big ups to all singers and players of instruments.

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The Reggae Defenders

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This Reggae Lover Podcast episode opens with the leader of the reggae revival Protoje explaining that he makes music from his heart and not for the charts. Sizzla can be heard begging “Please do not mash up the dance.” George Nooks and Mikey Spice tell stories about having a good time in the dancehall. Alborosie excerpts that Reggae and rubadub music still rock the dancehall to this day.

Garnett Silk compares music to the rod that Moses walked with as he led the Father’s people to the promised land. Luciano sings about the many positive effects of reggae music on the body and mind. Richie Stephens and U-Roy sing out about the nicest times when real reggae music used to play.

Bryan Art describes the love and confidence that overcomes one when entering the dancehall. Christopher Martin paints the picture of a reggae road block where people are dancing in the streets, creating the perfect chill spot. Crooner Kashief Lindo shares a bit of his personal story on the song “Music Is A Part Of Me.”

Steel Pulse, Dubtonic Kru, Gramps Morgan, XO, Hero and Richie Spice all give their take on why Reggae music is so good and what it means to them. Busy Signal goes in about how everybody smiles and unites when positive reggae music is played.

Gentleman teams with Sugar Minott to reminisce about the good old days when there was no drama and the musical foundation imparted love and good vibes. Inner Circle alongside The Reggae Wave sing in defense of the genre.

Specialist Presents Alborosie And Friends

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Alborosie - Specialist Presents Alborosie And Friends - Artwork

Alborosie – Specialist Presents Alborosie And Friends – Artwork

Alborosie & Friends pairs the multi-talented musician /producer with some of reggae’s greatest voices, celebrating a range of classic hits and developing talents.  The 2 CD set is scheduled to be released in the US on June 24 with a single disc vinyl LP to follow.

 

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