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best reggae covers?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I would like to get into playing some reggae. Besides bob marley what are some popular reggae songs that are sort of known as the standards in the reggae genre?
  2. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Telephone Love by JC Lodge!
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    96 Degrees in the Shade - Third World
  4. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Many Rivers To Cross - Jimmy Cliff and many others
    Sitting Here In Limbo
    Check out Steel Pulse, Peter Tosh, UB40 and Dread Zeppelin!

    Willie Nelson (yes, that Willie Nelson) has a reggae album out. It's called "Countryman".
  5. Oddly enough the Nelson album is pretty good. I would also add some Dessmond Dekker, and Toots and The Maytals. Ziggy Marley has a good record out called 'Dragonfly,' that is really chill and good. Flea played some nice bass lines on that album. Junior Marvin is pretty good aswell, the Clash covered his tune 'Police and Thieves."

    If you are looking for more ska-reggae I would say check out The Slackers. Also Dessmond Dekker is more ska I guess, but its all good.

    Hope I helped.
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    PM coming in your direction, once I get out of work.
  7. :ninja: If the PM is concerning soem good reggae/ska bands, can you send it to me aswell, since you know what you are talking about really well under this subject i've noticed...
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    thanks guys!

    more suggestions welcome.
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yeah, but the willie nelson album pretty much sucks,. Skip the UB40, who after the first album or two became watered down adult-contemporary reggae muzak(for Brit reggae there's better: ASWAD, Steel Pulse, Cimarons, Black Slate and my favorite, Misty In Roots), and the Dread Zeppelin (it was a JOKE. I know because I hung out with those guys when they were riding their big album and they told me as much).

    If you want a non-reggae performer pulling out a REALLY GOOOOOOOOD reggae album, then check out the new Sinead O'Connor album, "Throw Down Your Arms". It's got KILLER song selection (great tunes, not the obvious ones but ones that SHOULD be heard, not tailored for a female vocalist) and it's got SLY & ROBBIE doing all of the backing tracks.

    Also, anyone who's interested in checking out Jamaican music should start by taking a trip to your local bookstore for a copy of the Rough Guide to Reggae. I know it seems cheezy, but it's not. It's written by Steve Barrow of Blood & Fire fame, and he's a guy who knows his stuff. It's history, ethnography and a pretty dead-on guide to MUCH classic Jamaican music.

    There's sooooo much good out there, that I'm not really able to make a list...it would be huge.

    Literally hundreds of classic albums and amazing bands or producers, not to mention that my tastes aren't the same as everyone. Fer instance, while I love Sly & Robbie, my heart belongs to Roots Radics. I love King Tubby dubs WAAAAY more the Scratch. For Ska stuff, I really like Justin Yap's Top Deck Skatalites recordings more than Coxsone Dodd's Studio One recordings. And, while he's no big deal now, I will forever be grateful to Yellowman, who could be a huuuuge jerk, but was the nicest guy and gave me a great inspirational talking to as well as acting like a friend and gentleman while hanging out (not to mention the invite to Europe and Jamaica just to hang).

    I can tell you some of the less obscure favorites I have:

    -The Duke Reid Treasure Chest (2 disks of classic Rock Steady)
    -The first 3 Marley Albums on Island and the Perry pre Island songs.
    -The Abyssinians SattaMassagana
    -The Congos Heart of the Congos
    -Burning Spear Marcus Garvey + Dubs
    -Jacob Miller - anything and everything he ever did
    -Augustus Pablo - start from the classic rockers era and go from there.
    -Horace Andy - In the Light + Dubs
    -King Tubby Freedom Sounds in Dub(just to start)
    -Dennis Brown. There's so much, and lots of it is so good, but I like the Niney the Oberserver produced stuff.
    -Gregory Isaacs- More Gregory & Night Nurse are my favorites of his.
    -Charlie Chaplin - 2 Sides of Charlie Chaplin & Take 2. Probably the BEST way to understand how reggae riddim would be run in Jamaica for a yardie crowd.
    -Mighty DIamonds - I need a Roof
    -Third World- the first 3 albums
    -Yabby You -Jesus Dread 2 disc set
    -Wailing Souls - Wild Suspense
    -Junior Byles
    -Barrington Levy - Here I come
    -Buju Banton - Til Shiloh, VOJ
    -Yellowman - Junjo era stuff, but the LIVE CD from SFCA is a real favorite too.
    -Half Pint - Greetings era singjay stuff
    -Sizzla, Capleton,Luciano, and the other pile of modern roots artists.

    *sigh* now the list goes on and on, and for everyone I put on the list there's 20 that could go. As I suggested in my PM to VB, the timeline of 'reggaemusic' is as long as the one for 'rock'...how do you pick out stuff from a 50+ year musical continuum? Like, when I put down Tubby, I think that I'm not putting Scientist or Pablo or Mad Professor. Or when I put down The Mighty Diamonds, I'm not putting down Earth and Stone. For every Yellowman there's a Eek-A-Mouse or Josey Wales. You know?

    Besides, for many classic riddims, there's a HUGE number of songs over them by different artists, many of which are classics in their own right...Heavenless, Revolution, Tings & Times, Taxi, Boops, 5446, Kutchie etc....

    Anyway I love to talk about it, (obviously).
  10. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Check out Peter Tosh's version of Johnny B. Goode. To me this defines what Raggae is, just as Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" serves as a prime example of what jazz is all about.

    - IMHO
  11. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks for all that great info. After a little more digging I have come to think what I am after is dub reggae or modern reggae. I hope there is no rap in that. I downloaded the suggested "telephone love" by JC Lodge. Great groove in that song. That is sort of the style i am after.

    I rented that "rough guide to reggae" cd sampler. Alot of good stuff, but i didnt care for some of it. Havent read the book though.

    I really want to check out that Sinead O'Connor album. She is very talented. I loved "Gospel Oak".

    Thanks again for all the suggestions, BS. It definitely gives me a place to start at least.
  12. Peter Tosh - just about any song
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Cool. I'm about half way in on that project for you. There's also a dub plate of the Sinead album, so maybe you see that soon too.

    Dub is very interesting, although I find it like diving into the deep end of the pool musically. I find myself taking apart the tracks as I listen to them, trying to figure out what the producer is doing and how the tracks are structured. I end up being distracted from whatever I am doing!

    I had the honor of sharing a bill or two with Mad Professor a couple of years ago, and it was amazing to watch him to live multi-track dub mixes. He even brought along a few singers (one doing some nice dancehall chat) and then would sample, re-sample and mix it in to his tracks. He had clones of a TON of really hot classic riddim tracks, including a lot of the Channel one stuff.
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Smash, I think remember reading that you are into the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I could give you a copy of one of those albums if you like. I dont have much, if any reggae. But I do love it. Being at your place last week inspired this whole reggae thing in the first place!

    BS - Thanks again! I have a limited understanding of the genre so I cant really comment intelligently at this point.
  15. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Well, sure. And a durn funny one! I love that stuff.
  16. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I think it was more of what we were discussing, but I did like everything I heard. I think being in a reggae band would be cool because everything is danceable while with rock its kind of hit and miss.
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    You got it.

    Back around 93 or so I had had enough with being in a band that played heavier stuff. We played some good gigs in some big rooms, but always felt like people were there to stand and show how cool they were by NOT looking like they were having fun. We got tired of the pose...both ours and the audience. And to be honest, none of us were that angry anymore.

    The guitarist and I both decided to start a Ska band (this was well pre-third wave ska) because we wanted to play party music. Music that we knew people would enjoy and show their enjoyment.

    Been doing it ever since, through a rock steady band and for the past bunch of years reggae. The only thing better than making them dance, is making them smile.
  18. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    You said it bro. My current band is a classic rock covers thing and my guitarist says that all rock is danceable and then he proceeds to show me with a little jig. He is a funny guy. There is no way all rock is danceable. bs. I'd say maybe 1/3 of the classic rock we play is danceworthy. Unless your'e doing the "helicopter" that is.

    When my current band dies which it eventually will I'd like to have my reggae chops ready so that for my next band I will be ready to lay down some reggae grooves. [​IMG]
    I assume the best instrumentation for a reggae band is bass, drums, keys and guitar. Does it make any difference if your vocalist is male or female?
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    I've been working with female vocalists for quite a while, and it's a bit of a preference for me, but male vocals are great too. I personally like the gigs where we have a female singer, male singer and one or two people doing dancehall chat.

    The quintessential 70's roots reggae band probably has more people involved than you know. Most of the ol' bands used to tour with 2 or 3 guitars, and several keyboard players, sometimes horns and also alternate percussion. These days you usually see the single guitar, single keyboard player with the bass and drums. Once you get a chance to check out some stuff, you'll see that in the early 80's Sly & Robbie re-wrote the script, and made it ok to run with just guitar, bass & drums! Real stripped down, but if you've got the heavyweight sound, you don't need all sorts of instrumentation.
  20. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    One thing I was thinking about is that perhaps many drummers, keyboardists and even guitarists might find themselves bored playing reggae after awhile. Correct me if I'm wrong, arent these instruments relegated to playing the same sort of chording chops on almost all songs in the reggae genre? Perhaps its my lack of experience but I think that could be an issue. Attracting other musicians who play these instruments and maintaining their interest may prove challenging. Ultimately, if they love the genre it shouldnt be an issue I guess.

    Of course, for bass playing it rules!

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