70The Reggae beat has been through many stages since its formulation in Jamaica in the early 1960s. It began with the Ska beat which derives from a strong influence of rhythm & blues, and then Rocksteady, before reaching it’s worldwide appeal as Reggae during the Seventies to early Eighties and producing such artist’s as:
Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Junior Delgado, Burning Spear, Third World, Pat Kelly, Matumbi, Black Uhuru, Black Roots, Big Youth, The Mighty Diamonds, One Blood, Junior English, Bunny Wailer, Prince Lincoln , Pablo Gad, Aswad, Steel Pulse, Carol Thompson, Louisa Marks, Janet Kay, Sister Love, and many more big name Reggae performers. We must remember that Bob Marley was the fore runner for all the above mentioned artist’s.
The 12″ 45rpm vinyl record was first introduced during this period of reggae history, and toasting (an early form of rapping) was a also a seventies invention. It was started by Sound System DJs at dances to further entertain their audiences and became so popular that many artist’s began adding toasting to their records to make their tunes unique.
The Reggae beat also became faster and more sophisticated musically, to keep up with the new sound coming in from the USA called Funk which used the aid of the new electronic musical instruments and included the famous syndrome used on many a tune.
Meanwhile artist’s and musicians living in the UK had a hard time establishing a foot hold in the Reggae market due to Jamaica’s dominance. Up to now Reggae did not have a romantic side, and it was felt that the lovers amongst us should be catered for, so Lover’s rock was born right here in the U.K, showing a softer side to this wonderful music. Lovers rock also covered many of the popular pop songs in the UK charts and made cover versions almost the norm.
Even the vinyl records suddenly changed colour from their usual black, to green, white, yellow, blue, multi and many others in between.
Roots music, which had a heavy Reggae bass line and lyrics to match, really captured the mood of what life is like living in the ghetto. It also became the fore runner for another style, called Steppers, an almost dance beat that you step to. Last but not least Rockers derives mainly from taking the old Rock Steady rhythms and revamping them with a new bass line and beat. Think of it as early remixing of a slow tune into disco dance tune which is used today throughout the music industry.
You can find these tunes for sale on this site.
This period was also a very enterprising time for creating your own records labels although most of them are no longer around, but this website has many exhibits of these labels, plus many more to come, they are a rarity in their own right.