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Tell me about reggae

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Balog, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    I'd never really been a fan of reggae, probably at least partly because I had 1. limited exposure to it & 2. the few songs I'd heard had horrific vocalists. High pitched whiny guys whining their way through the songs. I felt like I was listening to Geddy Lee in a side project. :eek: :p

    However, I recently found some stuff I quite like, with a male singer who actually sounds like a dude and I'm really enjoying the music itself. So who here listens to reggae and what are some good bands/songs/albums to look into?
  2. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010

    Dub Trio has some really cool reggae souding tracks.
  3. TBDave


    Dec 1, 2011
    Man I effing love reggae bass. Check out the album "Closer To The Sun" by Slightly Stoopid you will absolutely love it. Other good bands out there are Rebelution, Mellow Mood, The Expendables, The Skints, and SOJA. Also The Police are not really new but they have some nice reggae lines that you should check out.
  4. PaulieBe


    Jun 25, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Family Man Barrett.

    Reggae bass starts and ends there for me. Maybe my favorite bass player of all time and definitely the most melodic.

    Bob Marley music is a always duet to my ears: Bob singing on top. Family Man singing on the bottom. Everyone else plays rhythm like they mean it over the one-drop drums.

    Listen to 'I Shot The Sheriff' for near-perfect orchestration in the low end.
  5. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I know Uncle Bob is probably who everyone thinks of when it comes to reggae, but there's a reason for that. Seriously, get your hands on Catch a Fire. My favourite reggae album. Musically, lyrically, the whole bit.
  6. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    The Wailers were good but I'm not a Marley fan. Peter Tosh is always great. The trick to finding good reggae is to look for the Jamaican versions of albums.
  7. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    There are several different types of reggae. Roots is the classic reggae style, e.g. Bob Marley. Dub is instrumental/minimal vocals. Dance hall sounds more like a Jamaican rapping to a reggae beat, can sound kind of choppy. Calypso was very early "clean-cut" reggae, e.g. Harry Belafonte, and typically was more uptempo.

    I wasn't a fan of reggae until I heard Bad Brains, in particular, I Luv I Jah - great bassline. I like their punk/metal, but their reggae is awesome hardcore roots. To me, it's what reggae is supposed to be.

    Also, check out the soundtrack to the movie Countryman. Has some really good tunes on that one.
  8. bearhart74


    Feb 26, 2009
    Steel Pulse and Black Uhuru
  9. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Lee Scratch Perry, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals.
  10. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    +1 on toots and the maytals. Saw them in '07. Great show... really good music with deeeeep bass ;)

    Great stuff :D :bassist: :hyper: :bassist: :D
  11. Roger that^^^

    What is called "Reggae" nowadays, is any music coming from Jamaica from about 1960 to the present day; plus any music inna reggae style from other countries, plus some stuff no Jamaican would ever call reggae.

    So it's hard to suggest where to start, except to say "find what you like".

    As I've said before, a good place to start is the deluxe 2-cd version of the soundtrack for "The Harder They Come".
  12. This sums up my favorites.

    Absolutely know one lays it down like Family Man though. Start trying to cop his lines and a whole new door will open up.
  13. A crappy genre of music IMO; but that's just my opinion.
  14. As a bassist you are missing out on some great stuff.

    I get it though. Most people have a genre or two they can't swallow.
  15. conebeckham


    Jun 27, 2008
    Bay Area CA
    Sly and Robbie, anyone?
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Love Reggae. It's in my blood since I am of Jamaican heritage. I do not like the new modern underground dub stuff though. I like traditional reggae. My band is doing "I Need U Bad" by Jazmin Sullivan which is on the traditional, albeit popish, side!
  17. christopea


    Jul 22, 2012
    phoenix, az
    I second all of that, and would also recommend checking out some of Peter Tosh's stuff. He's on the earlier Wailers stuff, but his solo work is kind of awesome too; his voice is about as far from whiny as you can get, very deep and warm. And he had a great rhythm section that played on many, if not all, of his records--Sly and Robbie. Those guys are so prolific in the genre that i recommend just doing a wiki search on them and checking out their discography. That should keep you busy for quite a while.
  18. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Jamaican music, and reggae in particular, is a big passion of mine so I have to make a couple of corrections regarding the above paragraph. First of all, "dancehall" does not necessarily imply "toasting" (what a lot of people would think of as Jamaican rap) - although it's true that most of what would be referred to as dancehall today would include such a vocal style. Barrington Levy, Cocoa Tea and Frankie Paul are all singers who were performing dancehall in the late 70s and early 80s. As for calypso, that particular style (from Trinidad) is absolutely NOT reggae. It was, however, a popular style in Jamaica in the 50s and 60s and helped make up the soundtrack of the island, along with various other popular styles including Jamaican mento (which to many sounds just like calypso), American R&B, jump and jazz.
  19. Gaius46


    Dec 15, 2010
    Familiy Man is great but I'm more a Robbie Shakespeare man myself. Sly and Robbie wrote the book if you ask me.

    I did a stinit playing Soca a few years back. I made two mistakes - first was telling the BL that it sounded a lot like calypso. Second was saying I had experience playing reggae. Didn't endear me to those guys at all, though they did eventually forgive me.
  20. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, to be fair, some soca does sound a lot like calypso - which isn't surprising given that soca is derived largely from calypso, with common rhythmic figures and vocal delivery/lyrical content. Regarding Familyman and Robbie Shakespeare: guys like Flabba Holt and Robbie Shakespeare will often cite Familyman as a mentor. He definitely helped define reggae bass in the early 70s before Shakespeare had made a name for himself. But Sly & Robbie's output as a rhythm section is, I would say, unparalleled. Not only have they laid it down for countless Jamaican artists, they've played for various pop artists (check out their work on the Grace Jones albums "Nightclubbing", "Warm Leatherette" and "Living My Life") and have been very active as producers with their own label (Taxi).

    To the OP, there's a huge amount of reggae out there so take some time to find the stuff that appeals to you. I'm partial to "rockers" era stuff (mid-to-late 70s) and early dancehall (late 70s to mid 80s). I would recommend producers through whom you will discover scores of artists: Bunny Lee, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, the Hookim brothers (from Channel 1), Joe Gibbs and Augustus Pablo. Also check out as much Studio One (operated by Coxsone Dodd) as you can. That particular label has been more influential than any other in the history of Jamaican music and practically every noteworthy artist from the 60s and 70s passed through there.

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