Reggae Best Sellers
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The breakthrough album that—in conjunction with the film of the same title—burst reggae through into the mainstream with its release in England in summer 1972 and in the US, on Island’s newly inaugurated reggae specialist imprint Mango, in spring 1973.
As film director and co-writer Perry Henzell said of the film, the first of its kind produced in the island nation’s first decade of independence, “There is no impact you will ever have greater than the impact of showing a society itself on the screen for the first time.”
The album captured the sound of Jamaica, and remains a vital document and evergreen collection of the best in Jamaican music.
Fourteen years into an effervescent career, California reggae band and touring juggernaut Rebelution remains abundantly creative. Its members (singer/guitarist/lyricist Eric Rachmany, keyboardist Rory Carey, drummer Wesley Finley, and bassist Marley D. Williams) are as focused and committed as they are easygoing and laid-back. And they haven't lost a step since Falling Into Place, their 2016 studio album, became the band's fourth release to top the Billboard reggae chart, earning them their first ever Grammy nomination in the category of Best Reggae Album. Ever expanding and reaching wider audiences, the Rebelution phenomenon continues to spread good vibes on tour, and in the studio.
Free Rein, their sixth studio album, while still rooted in the Jamaican inspiration that Rebelution's songs and sounds have always paid homage to, takes experimental leaps and new adventures too, welcoming old fans and new audiences alike. The musicians collaborated with Jamaican artists on three of the 12 new tracks. Don Corleon (Sean Paul, Rihanna) produced Rise On Top, a pointed reflection on celebrity and ambition; and Winta James, producer for Damian Marley and Chronixx, worked with the band on Settle Down Easy; and City Life, two songs that reflect a more confessional perspective.
Celebrate, the new album's opening track, nods to the classic Rebelution sound. It has special meaning for the band too. In their long months on the road they've met fans with health struggles who've said that their music has helped them get through tough times. An energizing shout-out to one and all, the song celebrates the oneness of artist and audience.
Patience, a reggae-R&B hybrid, is another hymn to human connection, a haunting message from the well of romantic love: Maybe isn't good enough / I'm patient, I ain't giving up…Can I be your everything and more?
Other tracks take a wider perspective. City Life is one that hits home for Rachmany. There are moments, he says, speaking for urban dwellers everywhere, when I just want to get out and find some solitude and find the beauty of mother nature. The uptempo groove conveys the positive energy of this universal desire.
The band remains in touch with the traditions that it builds on. Much of the style, the songwriting, and the quality of the instrumentals derive from Jamaican roots, says Rachmany, stressing what an honor it is that producers from reggae's birthplace signed on to work with Rebelution.
2018 marks the 40th Anniversary of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ KAYA. Recorded in part during Marley’s and the band’s 1977 exile in London, KAYA is very much the sibling record to EXODUS. Fittingly, as Ziggy Marley revisited the original session recordings for last year’s EXODUS 40 celebration, this year sibling Stephen Marley revisits the original session recordings to commemorate KAYA, bringing a fresh perspective to this suite that’s quietly referred to as the ‘Peace Treaty’ album.
Vinyl LP pressing. Debut album from the former Slits member and daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook. With cues from Phyllis Dillon and Janet Kay, Hollie Cook has officially launched her career with an excellent Reggae album in a Lovers Rock style. Mr. Bongo.
Vinyl: $24.98 Buy
MP3 Album: $10.99 Download
The Specials are one of the defining bands of the late 70’s/early 80’s along with Jerry Dammers iconic label Two Tone Records. Originally formed in 1977, as The Coventry Automatics, The Specials combined Jamaican ska and Rocksteady, mixed with the energy of punk they launched a whole Ska Revival. They also helped likeminded bands such as Madness, The Beat, The Selecter to release their first singles. The Specials released ‘Gangsters’ as their first single in the summer of ’79, quickly releasing the classic singles A Message To You Rudy, Do Nothing and Rat Race. They released their debut album ‘Specials’ in 1979, followed by ‘More Specials’ in 1980. During this time, the band has two UK Number One singles, a live version of ‘Too Much Too Young’ from ‘The Special AKA Live EP’ and the unforgettable ‘Ghost Town’ in the summer of 1981. Jerry Dammers continued as The Special AKA following the departure of band members in late 1981, releasing their third album ‘In The Studio’ which included the iconic single ‘Nelson Mandela’. This 20 track compilation collects all their key singles and album tracks, made available on heavyweight 180g vinyl for the first time.