World of Reggae Music Collection–Roots and Culture: Slavery Days

World of Reggae Music Collection: Roots and Culture

Slavery Days

In the final edition of the Roots and Culture volume of the World of Reggae Music Collection the selector presents Slavery Days. Over 400 years of slavery ravaged the Atlantic world. And in fact, the legacy of slavery has been nearly as destructive. The African Holocaust, as some in the reggae profession have termed the catastrophic event, unleashed horrific consequences for the people of Africa and for those enslaved Africans transplanted to the islands of the Caribbean.

Jamaican reggae artists played many of their Roots and Culture songs about the history and legacy of slavery. The iconic Burning Spear recorded one of the most enduring songs in this vein called “Slavery Days.” The Wailers recorded “Slave Driver” on the classic reggae album Catch A Fire. Both the Bob Marley and The Wailers full-band version of “Redemption Song (Band Version)” and the Bob Marley’s acoustic version of “Redemption Song (Album Version)” appears on this edition. Some of these songs of slavery are in fact songs of freedom.

The bands Steel Pulse, Culture, Third World, and the Wailing Souls; the reggae stars Gregory Isaacs, Lee Scratch Perry, Junior Byles, Judy Mowatt, and Peter Tosh; and the dancehall singjays Capleton, Anthony B, and Macka B all played wonderful roots tunes about the issues dealing with slavery and its impacts.

Burning SpearSlavery Days

Burning Spear – I and I Survive

Bob Marley & the Wailers Redemption Song (Band Version)

Junior Delgado & Lee “Scratch” Perry Sons Of Slaves

CultureToo Long In Slavery

Peter ToshDownpressor Man

Dennis Brown – Africa

Kabaka Pyramid – Never Gonna Be a Slave

Glen BrownNo More Slavery

Steel PulseKu Klux Klan

Third World1865 (96º In The Shade)

Busy Signal – Modern Day Slavery

Stephen Marley – Old Slaves

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Slave Driver

Sly & Robbie – Slave Driver Dub

Gregory Isaacs & Soul SyndicateSlavemaster

Peter Tosh & the Wailers400 Years (Jamaican Version)

Toots & the MaytalsNever Get Weary

CulturePay Day

Lloyd ParksSlaving (Every Day)

Junior Byles  & Lee “Scratch” PerryA Place Called Africa

Lucky DubeSlave

Beres Hammond – Another Day in the System

Stephen Marley – Made in Africa

Jah Bouks – No Slave

Black-Am-I – Modern Day Freedom

Third World Human Market Place

Steel Pulse – African Holocaust

Sizzla – Make It Right (Remix)

Bob Marley & the WailersRedemption Song (Album Version)

NEED

Prince Malachi – Runaway Slave

Macka B – Effects Of Slavery

Delton Screechie – Sweet Africa

Winston Prince – A Place Called Africa

Bongo Herman – African Drums

Sylford Walker – Africa Homeland

King Tubby – Africa Dub

Audley Rollens – Repatriation

Judy Mowatt – Slave Queen

Capleton – Slave Master

Anthony B – Slavery

Wailing Souls – Modern Slavery

Gregory Isaacs – Slave Master Dub

Gregory Issacs & Ranking Buckers – Slave Master / Captives

Gregory Isaacs – Runaway Slave

Dennis Alcapone & Junior Byles – Africa Stand (Place Called Africa Version)

World of Reggae Music Collection–Roots and Culture: Slavery Days

World of Reggae Music–Roots and Culture: Rastaman

World of Reggae Music: Roots and Culture

Rastaman

Red, gold, and green flags emblazoned with the Lion of Judah fly above swirling clouds of ganja smoke while pulsing bass and driving reggae riddims flow through sound systems stacked ten-feet high. This edition of the World of Reggae Music Collection is entitled Roots and Culture. This first volume of Roots and Culture features the Rastaman. The Rastaman is an integral part of Caribbean culture and the reggae movement.

Rita Marleyintroduced Robert Nesta Marley to the foundations of the Rastafarian religion or “way of life.” She had seen the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I on his visit to Jamaica and had been struck by the spirit on seeing what she believed to be an incarnation of God, Jah Rastafari. Bob Marley and The Wailers later became a great messenger of the “king’s music.”

Bob Marley and The Wailers, the I-Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, and Marcia Griffiths), Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailerall professed to the wisdom of Jah in their music. Not only did Marley and the Wailer family play roots and culture reggae, but so did the great rastaman icons Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, and Jacob Miller. The Rastafarian-inspired bands The Abyssinians, Black Uhuru, Aswad, Gladiators, The Melodians, The Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, Culture,Wailing Souls, Third World, Israel Vibration, The Itals, and The Heptones rocked reggae for crowds of thousands of listeners and fired the souls and imaginations of millions of fans.

Not only the great reggae bands played tribute to the roots and culture of the rastaman, but so did the finest singjays from Dillinger, Barrington Levy, Ranking JoeSizzla, and Luciano to Buju Banton, Half Pint, Capleton, Anthony B, and Konshens. From the young to the old, from Tarrus Riley, Gyptian, Morgan Heritage, Alborosie, and Bushman to the old-school reggae originals of Jimmy RileyHorace Andy, Johnny Clarke, and Cornell Campbell, Rastafarian culture and reggae still captures the pulse of an Island people.

The AbyssiniansSatta Massagana

Capleton – Raggy Road

Bob Marley & the WailersRastaman Chant

Sly & Robbie – Rastaman Chant

Stephen Marley & Ziggy Marley – The Chapel

Black Uhuru & the Revolutionaries Dread In The Mountain

AswadCandles

The Melodians Rivers Of Babylon

Linval Thompson & U-Roy – Don’t Cut Off Your Dreadlocks & Joyful Locks

Steel PulseNot King James Version

Josey Wales – Bobo Dread

VC – By His Deeds

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Live Up!

Burning Spear – Old Marcus Garvey

Burning Spear – Farther East of Jack

Chronixx – Capture Land

Sizzla – Praise Ye Jah

Peter ToshIgziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)

Alborosie & Michael Rose – Callin’

Barrington LevyA Yah We Deh

Bunny Wailer, Toot & the MaytalsTake A Trip

The Heptones Cool Rasta

Luciano – It’s Me Again Jah

The ShadowsBrother Noah

Buju Banton – Untold Stories

Gregory IsaacsThief a Man

Jacob MillerTenement Yard

Israel Vibration Jericho

Busy Signal – Nah Follow Dem

Morgan HeritageDown By The River

Bob Marley & the Wailers Positive Vibration

The Mighty Diamonds – I Need A Roof

Ini Kamoze – I Want Ital

Delroy Wilson – Rascal Man

Tony Rebel – Jah Is By My Side

Kiddus I – Graduation In Zion

Sizzla – Rastaman Chant

Third World – Cool Meditation

Jah Cure – Trod in the Valley

Dennis Brown – To the Foundation

Luciano & Sizzla – Jah Blessing

Fred Locks – Black Star Liner

Willie Williams – Armagideon Time

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Jah Live

Sly & Robbie – Jah Live

Raging Fyah – Jah Glory

The Abyssinians – Declaration Of Rights

Buju Banton – Give I Strength

Steel Pulse – Babylon Makes The Rules

Chronixx – Rastaman Wheel Out

Burning Spear – Red, Gold & Green

Burning Spear – Workshop

Alborosie – I Rusalem

The Wailing Souls – Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall

Black Uhuru – Whole World Is Africa

Alton Ellis – Back To Africa

Gentleman – Jah Jah Never Fail

Tenor Saw – Jah Guide and Protect Me

Tenor Saw – Jah Guide Dub

Alborosie – Rastafari Anthem

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Natty Dread

Irie Love – Put Jah First

Garnett Silk – Kingly Character

Horace Andy – Psalm 68

Horace Andy – Dub 68

Half Pint – Bless Us

Buju Banton – ‘Til I’m Laid To Rest

Johnny Clarke – Satta Massagana

I-Roy – Satta

Cocoa Tea – Heathen

Anthony B & Horace Andy – Enter The Kingdom of Zion

J.O.E. – Rasta Chant

The Abyssinians – Y Mas Gan

Alborosie – Dung A Babylon

Toyan – Dread in a Babylon

Damian Marley & Nas – Africa Must Wake Up

Sugar Minott – Black Roots

Burning Spear – Lion

Third World – Dreamland

Tarrus Riley – Love Created I

Johnny Clarke – Be Holy My Brothers And Sisters

Israel Vibration – We a De Rasta

Burning Spear – Jah No Dead

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Iron Lion Zion

Tenor Saw – Who’s Gonna Help Me Praise

Black-Am-I – Samson Strength

Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie

Mad Cobra – Salassi I Rule

The Mighty Diamonds – Africa

Busy Signal – Jah Love

Ranking Joe & Michael Rose – Poor Man Struggle

Alborosie – Humbleness

Steel Pulse – Biko’s Kindred Lament

The Gladiators – Roots Natty

Sizzla – Black Woman & Child

Busy Signal – Run Whey

Gentleman – Strange Things

Raging Fyah – Music Isn’t Biased

Alborosie – Still Blazing

Yabby You – Conquering Lion

Burning Spear – Calling Rastafari

The Itals – Roll River Jordan

Johnny Clarke – Enter Into His Gates

Third World – Satta Massagana

Raging Fyah – Behold

Israel Vibration – Sodom and Gomarrah

Cornell Campbell – Lion of Judah

Freddie McGregor – Be Alright

Anthony B – Give Praises

Cocoa Tea – Holy Mount Zion

Bunny Wailer – Rastaman

The Mighty Diamonds – jah Will Work It Out

Johnny Clarke – False Rasta

Alborosie – Grow Your Dreads

Richie Spice – Better Tomorrow

Alton Ellis – True Born African

Black Uhuru – Leaving to Zion

Culture – Get Ready To Ride The Lion To Zion

Aswad – Back To Africa

The Mighty Diamonds – Jah Jah Bless The Dreadlocks

Ras Michael And The Sons Of Negus – Rise Jah Jah Children (The Lion Sleeps)

The Wailing SoulsJah Give Us Life

Winston Francis Going to Zion

Sylford Walker & Welton Irie – Chant Down Babylon

Alborosie – Call Up Jah

Morgan Heritage – Hail Up the Lion

Michael Prophet – Jah Love

NEED

Capleton & Luciano – Hail King Selassie

SizzlaReally And Truly

Patrick Andy – Living in Mount Zion

Wayne Wade – Poor and Humble

Ras Bug – Fisherman

I-Roy – Rootsman

Freddie McGregor – Rastaman Camp

Willie Francis – Let’s Go To Zion

Earth & Stone – False Ruler

BushmanKing Selassie I

Determinejah a mi sponsor

LucianoJah Is My Navigator

Horace Andy – Children of Israel

Justin Hinds & the Dominoes – Jordan River

Sugar Minott – Rome

Devon Irons – When Jah Comes

Max Romeo – Babylon’s Burning

Luciano – Jah Live

Morgan Heritage – Set Yourself Free

Bushman – What’s the Matter With the World

Beres Hammond & Flourgon – I Love Jah

Garnett Silk – Mama Africa

Culture – Humble African

Anthony Cruz & Marlene Johnson – Africa

Tarrus Riley – Marcus Teaching

Sylford Walker – Jah Golden Pen

Black Uhuru – Going To Zion

Hell & Fire – Show Us The Way

Little Roy – Bongo Nyah

Junior Byles – King Of Babylon

Konshens – Rasta Imposter

Luciano & Candy Man – Dem No Know Jah

Max Roemo, Conrad Crystal, & Suga Roy – Chant Rasta

Peter Tosh – Mama Africa

Alborosie – I Am

Frankie Paul – Red, Gold, and Green

Cornell Campbell – I Heart Is Clean/Zinc Fence

Dillinger – Gate Number

Pancho Alphonso & the Revolutionaries – Never Give Up In Babylon

Burning Spear – Jah Is Real

Jimmy Riley – Tell The Youths The Truth

Dolphin Morris & Prince Far I – Su Su Pan Rasta / Heavy Manners

Gregory Isaacs – Babylon Too Rough

Culture – Jah Rastafari 

The Wailing Souls – They Don’t Know Jah

Jacob Miller – I’m A Rastaman

Conrad Crystal, Suga Roy, & Gyptian – Jah Jah See Dem

Jah Is My Navigator

World of Reggae Music–Roots and Culture: Rastaman

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae

I was lucky enough to be in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to see the opening of the film Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae by Swiss director Stascha Bader. What a wonderful film. Just amazing. The film narrated by Stranger Cole captures rocktsteady legends reuniting to cut an album of legendary hits and perform a reunion concert. The impressive lineup included Stranger Cole, U-Roy, Hopeton LewisSly Dunbar, Ernest Ranglin, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley, Dawn Penn, Ken Boothe, Derrick Morgan, Leroy Sibbles, the Tamlins, Gladstone Anderson, Hux Brown, Bongo Herman, and Scully Simms. Moss “Mossman” Raxlen, the Montreal based reggae producer recorded the reunion session at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica.

The king of the toasters U-Roy performs “Stop that Train.” This version is amazing and steeped in deep meaning. For historical context one must know about the trains in Jamaica and the boom and bust of economic development in newly independent Jamaica (Jamaica won independence from the United Kingdom in 1963). The film does a brilliant job of contextualizing the songs. We know exactly where U-Roy is coming from when he toasts over this classic tune. After the bust the trains stopped, the jobs ran out, the rude boys started to roam the streets, and many Jamaicans sought jobs overseas. When U-Roy toasts over “Stop That Train” he talks about the trains stopping and the people leaving. There is so much soul and history and culture wrapped into one song.

The vocal-group trio the Tamlins are in tip top form and the band leader/guitarist Ernest Ranglin has still got the goods. The drummer Sly Dunbar forms the backbone of the band as he has for decades and the rest of the legendary studio musicians perform magnificently recapturing the fire of the past.

There are some real gems in this film. Hopeton Lewis lays down the rocksteady anthem “Take It Easy” and later sings an excellent rocksteady version of “Rivers of Babylon.” Dawn Penn records her bread and butter track “You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)” and she talks about the endurance and popularity of the song. Derrick Morgan’s “Tougher Than Tough,” Ken Boothe’s Freedom Street,” Leroy Sibbles’s “Equal Rights,” and Judy Mowatt’s “Silent River Runs Deep” all appear, as well as a great rendition of Desmond Dekker’s classic “007 (Shanty Town)” by Ken Boothe. Marcia Griffiths performs “The Tide Is High” and reminiscences with Judy Mowatt about their time with the producer Coxsone Dodd, the legendary vocal group the I-Threes and with Bob Marley and the Wailers. A guest appearance by Rita Marley follows the widow through Trenchtown where she elaborates on the conditions of the ghetto and recalls her time with Bob in the yard.

I don’t want to give too much away about the film, but it will make you smile, laugh, and tap your toes. For people interested in music and culture, I highly recommend seeing this film. The album will release on the heels of the movie. The Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae album, which releases in August 2009, promises to be a big hit too. Many critics are comparing it to the Buena Vista Social Club, but I think it will be even bigger than Ry Cooder’s classic documentary about Cuban jazzmasters. Rocksteady will be an instant classic!

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae