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Summer Reggae

OK, it looks like summer has finally decided to kick it into high gear! Hot summer days means warm nights and soft breezes. Hopefully this also means cold drinks with friends and good times! To get you started, maybe it is time to explore a little reggae!

As you might know, I have been cleaning and digitally recording my record collection this past week or so. The best way for me to do this was to start with the smaller sections and the hard-to-get-to sections. This, of course, means I was digging through my reggae collection!

I realized that I had no proper digital rips of any of my Bob Marley or Black Uhuru! This listening experience, aside from putting me in an extremely mellow good mood, also put me in the mood for more reggae, so once I was done ripping the Marley and Black Uhuru, I took a break from ripping my vinyl collection, dusted off some of my favourite records, and had myself a little reggae party.

This inspired me to share some of my favourite tracks with you! (see below) Once I figure out how (remind me if it’s not there when you read this post) I will try to install a Spotify playlist instead of just a list.

There are lots of different styles of reggae floating around, rocksteady, lover’s rock, dancehall… but when the average non-hardcore reggae fan thinks of reggae, the style they most often think of, without even knowing what kind of reggae it is, is roots reggae. This is the laid back style popularized by the one and only Bob Marley. It is also my favourite kind of reggae and the one that I always come back to.

This is by no means a comprehensive or exclusive list, but it should be a good primer for you to get a feel for this gorgeous, sexy, smooth style of reggae. I have tried to avoid REALLY obvious choices that everyone already knows (ie: Bob MarleyThree Little Birds“… a CLASSIC… so no introduction needed) but there are a few well-known classics thrown in there just because they might not necessarily come to mind when it is time for you to assemble your own reggae playlist!

There are also a few tracks that you might consider too “commercial” but this wasn’t an exercise in exclusivity, it was an excuse to make a feel-good playlist inspired by the reggae tracks I often have in high rotation on my iPod. As such, although it includes mostly roots reggae, there are a few gems from other styles thrown in for fun! I hope you enjoy it!

The first rack on the list is an oldie but a goodie “Longshot Kicked the Bucket” by the Pioneers. The story behind the track is part of the fun in listening to the song. Horse racing has a long history in Jamaica, and Longshot was a horse that many people thought was poised to win a race, but while hugging the rail down the last straight, he fell and died. Despite the tragedy of a horse actually dying on the race track, the song manages to still have a feel-good vibe and on the plus side, has immortalized Longshot forever!

“It was Starbright, Combat, Corazon, Long Shot on the rear
Combat fell, Long Shot fell; all we money gone a hell”

The second track, “Stressless Tune” by Ras MacBean is wonderful! The lyrics themselves are actually an introduction to Bob Marley‘s greatest hits! Anyone who is familiar with Bob Marley‘s work will surely smile as you recognize every reference. I won’t introduce every song on the list. but do yourself a  favor and check it out! Hopefully this little list will inspire some dancing at your house!

This list started as just 10 songs… but I kept thinking of other tracks that had to get added… oh well, LOL!

ENJOY! Please share with your friends. Comments welcome!

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