Reggae, Ragga and Dancehall
Millie, Prince Buster: It's the Blue-Beat Craze
Report by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, February 1964
A LOOK AT THE LATEST CRAZE TO TAKE THE RECORD INDUSTRY BY STORM ...
Millie: A Blue Beat Bombshell!
Interview by Peter Jones, Record Mirror, April 1964
A DARK-SKINNED very feminine ball of fire named simply, Millie. A Jamaican-born bombshell who is an old trouper at the age of 16... and could ...
Mickey Finn & the Blue Men: Peter Jones's New Names: Mickey Finn's East End Image
Profile by Peter Jones, Record Mirror, April 1964
SOME GROUPS get dozens of big hits, but never manage to put an image, or at least an atmospheric image over to the public. But ...
Millie: Little Topper — Little Chart Topper Millie
Report by uncredited writer, Top Boys, May 1964
A WEEK OF MILLIE ...
The Bee Gees, Booker T & The MGs, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, P.P. Arnold, Prince Buster, Sam & Dave, The Tremeloes, The Who: Who, Prince Buster, Bee Gees et al: New Singles Reviewed
Review by Peter Jones, Record Mirror, April 1967
Top class, dramatic newie from Bee Gees, and a not so commercial Tremeloes — slow soul from Sam & Dave, & delicate new P. P. ...
The Byrds, Marvin Gaye, Gerry & The Pacemakers, John Lee Hooker, Mantovani, The Modern Jazz Quartet, The Olympics, Roy Orbison, Prince Buster, Jimmy Ruffin, The Supremes, Jackie Trent: Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston, John Lee Hooker, Byrds, Prince Buster et al Album Reviews
Review by Peter Jones, Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, May 1967
Some sophisticated new Motown albums ...
Desmond Dekker: On The Trail Of Desmond Dekker
Report and Interview by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, August 1967
A FEW years ago Bluebeat, that simple jogging West Indian pop, was all the rage among the mods of Britain. ...
The Bees, Laurel Aitken: Bluebeat!! A New EMI Label For Blue Beat Devotees
Report and Interview by Peter Jones, Record Mirror, October 1967
BLUE BEAT, Ska, West Indian sounds generally — if the pundits of pop are right, we'll be getting more and more of it in the ...
Freddie King, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Walker & The Allstars: Junior Walker & the Allstars, Freddie King, Jimmy Cliff: Saville Theatre, London
Live Review by Norman Jopling, Record Mirror, October 1967
IT WAS A 'soul show' at the Saville last Sunday, in the very widest sense of the term. Jimmy Cliff started off, and when he ...
Johnny Nash and the Need for a New Image
Interview by Alan Walsh, Melody Maker, September 1968
AMERICAN SINGER Johnny Nash flew into London last week with a problem: his act. "For a start, I've got no charts (arrangements) with me," he ...
Donnie Elbert: Soul Singer in the Suburbs... Donnie Elbert
Profile and Interview by Wesley Laine, Record Mirror, December 1968
EDGWARE, MIDDLESEX, in the vibrant heart of London'ssuburbia isn't quite where you'd expect to find a soul singer who has had hits all over the ...
Reggae: A Night at Count Suckle's and Reggae
Film/DVD/TV Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, 1969
JUST WHEN all hope had been abandoned, the ITV Network surprised us. ...
Desmond Dekker: The New Testament Goes 'Soul'..
Interview by uncredited writer, Record Mirror, April 1969
LAST TIME he was in the charts visions of James Bond were conjured up. This time: visions of the New Testament perhaps. Quite a difference ...
Desmond Dekker, Errol Dixon: Reggay: Son of R & B
Overview by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, May 1969
THERE WERE two kinds of reaction when Desmond Dekker's 'Israelites' started up the hit parades in March: blimey, I heard that before Christmas; and, the ...
Max Romeo: This Is The Record That Will Give The BBC Troubles — If It Reaches The Top...
Report by David Griffiths, Record Mirror, June 1969
HOVERING AROUND the lower end of the charts is a record that has had no plugs, and certainly no air plays nor is it ...
Max Romeo: 'It's Not A Dirty Song At All,' says Max Romeo
Interview by Alan Walsh, Melody Maker, July 1969
THE ENGLISH have got dirty minds, thinks Max Romeo, the young 19-year-old singer from Kingston, Jamaica, whose provocatively-titled single 'Wet Dream' is currently in the ...
Desmond Dekker: Sweetened Ska Beat Could Sweep The Country Claims Desmond Dekker's Producer
Interview by Alan Smith, New Musical Express, July 1969
ARE DESMOND Dekker's 'Israelites' No. 1 and his latest release 'It Mek' only flashes in the proverbial pan, man... or could a hybrid mix of ...
Derrick Morgan, Desmond Dekker, Jackie Edwards, Jimmy Cliff, Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, Johnny Nash, Max Romeo, Root & Jenny Jackson, The Skatalites, Tony Tribe: Desmond Dekker, Johnny Nash et al: Reggae Festival, Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Live Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, October 1969
Jamaica triumph ...
The Pioneers: 'Longshot' Never Let Them Down. Will 'Ramases' Do The Same?
Profile and Interview by Roger St. Pierre, Record Mirror, January 1970
'Long Shot, Kick The Bucket' brought pop fame and a trip to Britain for the Pioneers; 'Poor Ramases' is their latest disc and to give ...
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires: Byron Lee is Jamaican Idol
Profile by Richard Green, New Musical Express, February 1970
RELATIVELY unknown in this country, except to West Indians, Byron Lee is one of Jamaica's biggest attractions. In fact, he is to the Jamaicans what ...
Bob and Marcia: 'Why Marry? Our Way's Okay' says Bob Smiling While Marcia Frowns
Interview by Alan Smith, New Musical Express, March 1970
Reggae stars in London ...
Bob and Marcia Take Plenty Preparation Time
Interview by Alan Smith, New Musical Express, April 1970
DON'T BELIEVE all that stuff about black artists just jumping up on a stage and doing their thing without a moment of preparation. It happens... ...
Reggae: The Real Underground Music
Report and Interview by Mark Williams, Strange Days, October 1970
FORGET YOUR Edgar Broughtons and your Pink Floyds and your three million other 'underground' groups, ('underground' that is, until they start selling lottsa albums, when ...
Dave and Ansell Collins: 'Double Barrel' — An Attempt To Create a Different Sound Say Dave and Ansell
Interview by Alan Smith, New Musical Express, May 1971
NME's Alan Smith endeavours to interview this week's chart toppers ...
Dave and Ansell Collins: Ansell Plays It Cool While Dave Searches For His Mum...!
Profile and Interview by Phil Symes, Disc and Music Echo, May 1971
DAVE BARKER is a well-built Jamaican who talks fast and enthusiastically and punctuates his sentences with finger-clicking and hearty slaps of his right thigh. Ansell ...
Dave and Ansell Collins: 'Double Barrel' — A High Calibre Hit?
Interview by Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, May 1971
CRITICS PUT it down, musicians loathe it — and mention reggae to a progressive music fan and a string of abuse will follow. It appears ...
Alton Ellis, Dave and Ansell Collins, Desmond Dekker: Reggae
Report and Interview by Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, May 1971
"Send a reggae band for my wedding reception" said Mick Jagger. The unpredictable move by a Stone symbolised the final acceptance of the music as ...
Comment by Roger St. Pierre, West Indian World, July 1971
"REGGAE" – JAMAICA'S own form of pop music – has made a dynamic impact on the pop scene around the world and yet an amazing ...
Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, The Melodians, Toots & The Maytals: Jimmy Cliff and other artists: The Harder They Come Original Soundtrack Recording (Island ILPS 9202)
Review by Martin Hayman, Sounds, September 1972
THIS IS the full soundtrack of the film of the same name. Needless to say, with the present move towards "gentrifying" reggae music it's bound ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers, Toots & The Maytals: Reggae: Black Gold of Jamaica
Report by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1972
Reggae – in its more commercial form – has won the battle for mass acceptance, and has gone on to influence rock and soul musicians ...
Jimmy Cliff: Various Artists: The Harder They Come
Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, October 1972
HOW TO GET into reggae in two easy stages. First you go to see the film The Harder They Come, which will engross you with ...
Johnny Nash: I Can See Clearly Now
Review by Charlie Gillett, Rolling Stone, October 1972
AT LAST, REGGAE as all-around entertainment, whose rhythms will still generate movement in a crowded basement discotheque but whose arrangements and moods shift often enough ...
Johnny Nash, Billy Paul: The Bitter End, New York NY
Live Review by Ian Dove, New York Times, The, November 1972
JOHNNY NASH HEARD; BILLY PAUL ON BILL ...
Prince Buster: Reggae Part 1: Jamaica
Report by Danny Holloway, New Musical Express, January 1973
WHENEVER I've gone home to America in the past couple of years, the question I'm always asked is "What's happening in England?" And okay, I ...
Greyhound: Reggae Part 2: Reggae in Britain
Report by Danny Holloway, New Musical Express, January 1973
WHEN LABOUR IN England was becoming hard to come by during the 1950s, enticing proclamations were urgently sent to the West Indies. "Your Mother Country ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: The First Genius of Reggae?
Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1973
BOB MARLEY, slightly-built and quiet to the point of diffidence, is a leader. He's the master of Reggae, the man who's about to give it ...
Profile and Interview by David Nathan, Blues & Soul, March 1973
"REALLY WEIRD" is how Johnny Nash describes the acceptance and success he's recently received in the States via his major CBS hit 'I Can See ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: The Wailers: Catch A Fire (Island)
Review by Colman Andrews, Phonograph Record, March 1973
THE WAILERS is/are a sort of senior, "safe" reggae group, in the same way that the Roiling Stones are a sort of senior, "safe" perverto-bizarro ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers, The Wailers: The Wailers: Catch A Fire (Island)
Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, March 1973
SOME TIME during the coming summer, Reggae will become a vital force in pop music — perhaps, for a while at least, the force. For those who ...
Jimmy Cliff and Various Artists: The Harder They Come
Review by Greg Shaw, Phonograph Record, April 1973
IT'S REGGAE, MON, sweet as cola wine and m'bopo supremo. No lectures, no history lessons, if ya don't know about that sound from Jamaica by ...
Don Covay: Are You Reggae For Don Covay?
Report and Interview by Roger St. Pierre, New Musical Express, April 1973
AMERICA JUST had to catch on to reggae. After all, the roots of Jamaican music lie in the '50s out-put of Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis ...
Jimmy Cliff et al: The Harder They Come
Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, April 1973
THE REGGAE GROUNDSWELL that cups Jamaica's potential as a pop force has been heralded for many moons now, yet despite several breech-opening successes from a ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch a Fire (Island)
Review by Charlie Gillett, Creem, May 1973
WELL I SUPPOSE it serves you — America — right. For five years some of the best music has been coming out of little studios ...
Judge Dread: Working Class Hero And The Robin Hood Of Reggae
Interview by Nick Kent, New Musical Express, May 1973
NICK KENT SPECIAL interview (snigger, snigger) with the man who's rude (snigger) but heaven forbid not crude ...
Reggae: The Rape of Smaug
Overview by Penny Reel, International Times, May 1973
WHITE MAKES his move. Black makes his move. White moves and Black reciprocates. Black moves and White reciprocates. The players perpetuate the game for the ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: The Wailers: Catch a Fire (Island)
Review by Penny Reel, International Times, May 1973
WITH THE Wailers presently heralded as the reggae band by music acclaimants, I expect to see Catch a Fire amongst those record collections where Eddie ...
Will Reggae Make It? Jamaica Says It Will!
Overview by Greg Shaw, Crawdaddy!, June 1973
THE STONES, Aretha, Traffic, Paul Simon and Roberta Flack have all made celebrated pilgrimages to the island and bandwagon trend-watches are beginning to mutter about ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Wailers' Simple Message
Profile and Interview by Martin Hayman, Sounds, June 1973
BOB MARLEY looks as though he could be a heavy. Though he's of average height and spare build, he has the gleaming eye of a ...
Johnny Nash: My Merry Go Round (CBS)
Review by Charlie Gillett, New Musical Express, June 1973
LISTENING TO this record the first time through is as frustrating as trying to see a beautiful woman through a steamed-up window. But the third ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: In The Studio With The Wailers
Report by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1973
THE ROLLING STONES are upstairs in Studio 1, where they've been for the past five weeks. ...
Toots & The Maytals: Funky Kingston (Dragon)
Review by Penny Reel, International Times, June 1973
Jamaican Rock'n'roll ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dandy Livingstone, Desmond Dekker, John Holt: Reggae... The Hits You Never Hear
Report by Rob Partridge, Melody Maker, July 1973
Scores of reggae records sell enough copies to qualify as pop hits. But you won't see them on the charts and you won't hear them ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Max's Kansas City, New York NY
Live Review by Ian Dove, New York Times, The, July 1973
Waiters Serve Up Genuine Reggay ...
Toots & The Maytals: The Maytals: From The Roots (Trojan)
Review by Roger St. Pierre, New Musical Express, September 1973
IF EVER a group deserved recognition beyond the realms of its chosen music form, then it's the Maytals. ...
I Roy, Toots & The Maytals: The Maytals: From The Roots (Trojan)/I ROY: Presenting... (Trojan)
Review by Charlie Gillett, Let It Rock, November 1973
THIS STUFF IS even harder to understand than Jethro Tull's Passion Play, but nobody's going to stop singing because some dumb reviewer can't work it ...
Jimmy Cliff: From Reggae To Riches
Interview by Rob Partridge, Melody Maker, November 1973
IT MUST BE almost three years since the last hit record. God, that's an artistic lifespan for many people, but somehow he manages to suggest ...
Jimmy Cliff: Struggling Man (Island)/ Music Maker (Reprise)
Review by Ken Barnes, Phonograph Record, August 1974
LAST YEAR, 'the word' was that reggae was all set to become the next big thing. Once radio program directors and listeners heard that irresistibly ...
Jimmy Cliff: Skanking In Exile
Interview by Bob Woffinden, New Musical Express, September 1974
I'VE BEEN living in Stoke Newington for about six months. The area's one of the most cosmopolitan in North-East London, with an immigrant population that ...
Toots & The Maytals: Toots and the Maytals: In The Dark
Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1974
This, Toots, was made for dork-ing ...
Ken Boothe ...On the Kingston Line
Interview by David Hancock, Record Mirror, November 1974
UNLESS YOU'RE a committed reggae freak you probably think Ken Boothe is a bit of an overnight sensation. ...
Ken Boothe: Straight Down the Middle
Interview by Idris Walters, Sounds, November 1974
A RASTAFARIAN rising to number one on a cover version with a soft reggae back beat. 'Everything I Own' must have sold a lot of ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Lively Up Yourself
Overview by Idris Walters, Let It Rock, December 1974
Idris Walters on the music, the history and the Rasta background of Bob Marley and The Wailers. ...
Drums of Rasta: Roundhouse, London
Live Review by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 1975
THEY START with a simple, slow double beat on the drums. There are between 20 and 30 of them spread across London's Roundhouse stage, all ...
Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus: Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus: Nyahbinghi (Trojan Trls 113)
Review by Idris Walters, Sounds, May 1975
THERE IS a story on the sleeve — which makes a change. It tells how Haile Selassie was the last in a line of 323 ...
Interview by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 1975
SEVEN YEARS ago, Desmond Dekker was a raw, gangling boy from St Thomas, Jamaica. ...
The Beatles, Bob Marley & the Wailers: Is Natty Dread better than Sgt. Pepper?
Essay by Idris Walters, Sounds, May 1975
It doesn't matter, says IDRIS WALTERS. Rock's big enough, and the WAILERS are making waves... ...
Eric Clapton, G.T. Moore & The Reggae Guitars, Judge Dread, Keith Richards: They All Tried To Play Reggae
Overview by Idris Walters, Sounds, May 1975
...but can white rock and rollers sing the palm tree? wonders IDRIS WALTERS ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Wollman Skating Rink, New York NY
Live Review by Mitchell Cohen, Phonograph Record, July 1975
IT WAS THE first one of those muggy nights this season, when the air is so close it cuts down your breathing, that Bob Marley ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Lyceum Ballroom, London
Live Review by Philip Norman, Times, The, July 1975
BOB MARLEY and the Wailers reached the Lyceum two nights ago, in some style. By early evening, long before they were due to appear, the ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley (1975)
Interview by Karl Dallas, Rock's Backpages Audio, July 1975
The day after his legendary Lyceum show, Marley expounds on Babylon, Rastafari, Jamaica, his universal message, and the meaning of 'I Shot The Sheriff'.
File format: mp3; file size: 11.5mb, interview length: 25' 01" sound quality: ****
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: The Lyceum, London
Live Review by Idris Walters, Sounds, July 1975
Wailers join rogues gallery ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: The Lyceum, London
Live Review by Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, July 1975
"HEY, MON... WHAT are all these whites doin' here? They not here last time the Wailers play..." ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Wailin'
Report and Interview by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, July 1975
After two amazing gigs last week in London, Bob Marley is being universally hailed as reggae's first superstar. Karl Dallas watches the Wailers in action ...
Cymande, The Drums of Rasta, Rico Rodriguez: Drums of Rasta, Cymande, Rico & the Undivided: The Roundhouse, London
Live Review by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, July 1975
IF ANYONE wants to know where the underground is, from which British rock is to get its next and much-needed injection of musical energy, they ...
Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley & the Wailers: Jimmy Cliff: Music Maker (Warner Bros. MS 2188); Bob Marley & the Wailers: Natty Dread (Island ILPS 9281)
Review by Vernon Gibbs, Crawdaddy!, August 1975
IT HAS BEEN three years since The Harder They Come lifted reggae from obscurity to culthood and raised hopes that Jimmy Cliff would begin a ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Marley On The Mount
Interview by Idris Walters, Sounds, August 1975
Last week you got the low-down on Bob Marley, King of the Rastafarians. But it goes a little deeper than that. For a start the ...
Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley & the Wailers: Letter from Britain: Johnny Too Bad's Kinky Reggae
Column by Jonh Ingham, Creem, September 1975
THEY SAY that reggae is breaking into America via discos. It would be nice to think so, because if ever a music deserved to gain ...
Dennis Brown: Various Artists: Live At The Turntable Club/Reggae Hit The Town/20 Tighten-Ups/20 Reggae Disco Hits
Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1975
"DENNIS BROWN," announces Trojan manager Webster Shrowder From the sleeve of the man's album, "is one of my favourite artists, who I put in the ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: An Herbal Meditation with Bob Marley
Interview by Richard Cromelin, Rolling Stone, September 1975
LOS ANGELES This Bible is not the arcane, apocryphal version you might expect to find in the possession of these mysterious Rastas, but a ...
Overview by Kevin Allen, Record Mirror, September 1975
You either love it or hate it. It's either boring, and all the same, or the most exciting thing you've ever heard. No other current ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley et al: Jamaica
Overview by Mitchell Cohen, Phonograph Record, October 1975
FIRST DAY, RAIN. Thick clouds and then more rain. It is, I'm told, the wetter of Jamaica's two wet seasons. ...
Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey
Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1975
THIS ONE'LL SORT out the liggers. ...
Rupie Edwards, King Tubby, Niney the Observer, Augustus Pablo: Dub: Reggae's Cutting Edge
Overview by Idris Walters, Street Life, November 1975
RIGHT NOW, Dub is at the cutting edge of reggae. ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Live at the Lyceum (Island) 35 mins.*****
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, November 1975
IN THESE troubled times of ours there's very few things you can be sure of. ...
Jimmy Cliff, Keith Hudson: Jimmy Cliff: Brave Warrior (EMI EMC 3078); Keith Hudson: Torch Of Freedom (Mamba 002)
Review by Idris Walters, Let It Rock, December 1975
DEAR MAILBAG, I would have expected these two titles to sail away, hand in hand, into a black sunset. But they don't. Yours SR Gibbs, ...
Eric Gale et al: Negril
Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1975
IF EVERYONE HAD a pair of disco turntables as well as a telly, this record might sell a million. ...
Burning Spear: Man In The Hills (Island)
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, 1976
Spears album is a staggering success. It's a big challenge to follow up Marcus Garvey (I don't count Garvey's Ghost), which from the instant of ...
Jimmy Cliff, Toots & The Maytals: Jimmy Cliff: Follow My Mind (Island)/Toots And The Maytals: Funky Kingston (Island)
Review by John Morthland, Creem, January 1976
SINCE HE ELECTRIFIED audiences In The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff has been his own worst enemy. His songs in that film bristled with passion, ...
Toots & The Maytals: Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, Texas
Live Review by Joe Nick Patoski, Phonograph Record, January 1976
DESPITE THIS city's reputation as a comfy little haven for country and progressive-country backwoods folksiness, its music audiences — at least in relation to the ...
Junior Byles: From the Dread Depths of Despair
Report by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, February 1976
JUNIOR BYLES emerged as the supreme talent of the year, if not of the decade. His moving 'Bur O Boy' was without peer. ...
Toots & The Maytals: The Man Who Would Be God
Interview by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, February 1976
JAH TOOTS: "...tracks on my new album? Well, there's 'Reggae Got Soul' – that's the title track, you know – 'Never Go Down', 'Dog War', ...
Toots & The Maytals: Toots Hibbert: The Man Who Would Be God
Profile and Interview by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, February 1976
Rasta revelations courtesy of FREDERICK "TOOTS" HIBBERT of Toots and The Maytals, who'd rather incarnate here and now than talk about old times with PENNY ...
Burning Spear: Jack Ruby: Mono Reggae For The Ghetto
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, March 1976
WERE CALLING this Garveys Ghost," explained Jack Ruby, gesturing expansively towards the reel-to-reel, from whence issued sweet, sweet music. ...
Toots & The Maytals: Toots & the Maytals: Toots Got Soul
Profile and Interview by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, March 1976
FIRST BOB Marley and the Wailers. Then, Toots and the Maytals. ...
The Twinkle Brothers: Rasta Pon Top
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, March 1976
EVER SINCE ITALIAN propagandists began spreading false rumours concerning the demise of the Emperor, Negus Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Conquering Lion ...
Toots & The Maytals: Toots & the Maytals: Lyceum, London
Live Review by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, March 1976
GOD, I JUST can't take it any more! Where is all this incredible music coming from? It's getting more than flesh and blood can stand, ...
The Heptones: Double Trouble: The Story of Leroy Sibbles and the Heptones
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1976
LEROY SIBBLES is the nearest thing I've ever encountered to a Jamaican reggae man acid casualty. That is to say, while obviously intelligent, he twitches ...
Toots & The Maytals: Toots And The Maytals: Reggae Got Soul (Island)***
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1976
SAD TO say, there's no track on this album that measures up to the quality of the classic tracks on Toots' last two 'rock-oriented' albums, ...
Mike Dorane: The Lone Arranger
Interview by Cliff White, New Musical Express, April 1976
"Say, stranger...who's that masked man who just wrote those songs, played all the instruments, sang all the harmonies, mixed the tracks in his home studio ...
Dr. Alimantado: The Curious Case of Dr. Alimantado
Profile by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, April 1976
"Ere Jah Man!""Ites!""Whadda word Babylon mean, dread?" ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Rastaman Vibration (Island)
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, May 1976
"Chase them crazy bald heads out of town" ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley and the Wailers: Rastaman Vibration
Review by Simon Frith, Street Life, May 1976
I DON'T KNOW how this music will be rated but my word would be mellow. This is a very uncluttered album – the rhythms are ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Beacon Theatre, New York NY
Live Review by Chris Charlesworth, Melody Maker, May 1976
NEW YORK: Bob Marley needs an enthusiastic audience to light his particular fire, but his show at the Beacon Theatre lacked this essential ingredient and ...
Mighty Diamonds: Right Time
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, May 1976
THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS emerged in the wake of the resurgence of interest in Burning Spear – "I and I, son of the Most High – ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Hammersmith Odeon, London
Live Review by Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, June 1976
RIOTS LAST NIGHT they said, marauding hordes of smart, mean kids swarming around getting illegal all over the place with property and the concession stands ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Hammersmith Odeon, London
Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1976
THERE WERE EXACTLY four things wrong with the final show by the Wailers at Hammersmith last Friday. ...
Martha Velez: Escape from Babylon
Review by Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, July 1976
WHATEVER HAPPENS, no way can Martha Velez bitch about never getting the breaks. ...
Mighty Diamonds, U-Roy, Delroy Wilson: Mighty Diamonds, U Roy, Delroy Washington: Lyceum, London
Report by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, August 1976
THIS should be a review of the Diamonds' and U. Roy's appearance at London's Lyceum on Wednesday night, but back here in the tiny ghetto ...
Peter Tosh, The Wailers: Peter Tosh: The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, August 1976
'Legalise it' says roots rock reggae hero Pete Tosh 'Yeah!' says Sounds gal VIVIEN GOLDMAN 'Evenin' all' says the man from the drugs squad ...
Burning Spear: Man In The Hills
Review by Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, September 1976
NEXT TO THE current crop of wild-eyed wired-op weird-asses coming out of JA these days, Burning Spear sound almost conservative. ...
Mighty Diamonds, U-Roy: Mighty Diamonds/U-Roy/Delroy Washington: Lyceum, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, September 1976
The Lyceum rockers wore dreadlocks, the Aldwych wouldn't do the Strand; the rude bwoys were on a ballroom blitz; and PENNY REEL reports on a ...
Burning Spear: Man in the Hills (Island ILPS-9412)
Review by John Morthland, Rolling Stone, September 1976
THANKS TO this summer's marketing blitz, virtually the entire spectrum of reggae is now available in America, although not in any depth. ...
The Gladiators: Trenchtown Mix Up
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, October 1976
RED HOT IN BABYLON OR MAUVE IN THE GROVE ...
Aswad, The Cimarons: British Reggae: Prejudiced Vibrations
Comment by Caroline Coon, Melody Maker, October 1976
ON THE SURFACE it looks as though there has been something of a major breakthrough for reggae in Britain. ...
Bunny Wailer: Reincarnated Soul Makes Year's Best Album
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, October 1976
"WHY DO THEY regard me with awe? I didn't know that peope think of me as superhuman. I've never flown or anything of that type. ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Peter Tosh: Reggae: Black Punks On 'Erb
Report and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, October 1976
'Youth is the first thing that hits you about the musicians...reggae is still a young music, further progress is made every day' ...
Jacob Miller, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus: Reggae Part 2: Black Punks On 'Erb
Report and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, October 1976
We've got wars and rumours of war...('Armagedon' by Bunny Wailer) ...
Max Romeo & the Upsetters: War In A Babylon
Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976
I WAS a soft-porn-skankin' rude boy in a mohair suit until I discovered RASTAFARI!!!! ...
Tapper Zukie: High Wycombe
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, November 1976
I-CENSE IS SWEET, but rockers is sweeter yetter; as the good brother I King Tapper Zukie would say. The man from Bosrah came to High ...
Junior Murvin: Steal Away With Success
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Melody Maker, November 1976
JUNIOR MURVIN’S ‘Police And Thieves’, currently bubbling under the chart and selling up to 1,000 copies a day some five months after its release, a ...
Aswad: Hot with the Rods
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, December 1976
"I think its only now people really see it — we suffer here as well." ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley And The Wailers: Exodus
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, May 1977
From a purely marketing point of view, this is the one. With Rastaman Vibrations appearance, there werent many music fans on the planet unaware of ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley And The Wailers: Hammersmith Odeon, London
Live Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, May 1977
And I went in there feeling conscientious, like I really wanted to take notes. But believe me when I tell you, nothing seemed less important ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Exodus (Island)
Review by Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, May 1977
THE REVOLUTION may not be televised, but sure as death and taxes it'll be packaged... the sleeve of this album looks like a Cecil B. ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Movement Of Jah People
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, May 1977
"ISN'T IT A NICE feeling... isn't it a nice day...isn't it a nice feeling..." Bob Marley croons, strumming on an acoustic guitar. He's glowing, planted ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Rainbow Theatre, London
Live Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, June 1977
THE TENSION in the Rainbow was almost painful, the only relief the appearance of the Wallers. ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Jahve, Mon
Comment by Nick Kent, New Musical Express, June 1977
We know where we're going,We know where we're fromWe're from Babylon Bob Marley – 'Exodus' ...
The Abyssinians: The Abysinnians: Forward On To Zion (Klik)
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, July 1977
IN THE SOUNDS Top Ten of 76 I voted this album (then known as Satta A Massagana) number two. ...
Burning Spear: Dry And Heavy
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, August 1977
IT ALL DEPENDS whether you're a sucker for the Burning Spear Sound. It hasn't changed too much through all their Island albums, and certain key ...
Aswad: The Other Cinema, London
Live Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, August 1977
ASWAD PLAYED on an Other Cinema music night, a reggae special, following a showing of Horace Ore's Reggae and Step Forward Youth and a documentary ...
Burning Spear: Dry and Heavy
Review by Kris Needs, ZigZag, September 1977
DRY AND Heavy indeed. The title says it all. This album is pure magic from start to finish and, in my opinion, his best yet, ...
Profile by Robin Banks, ZigZag, September 1977
I FIRST SAW Steel Pulse the night Elvis Presley died. I was soaking wet from the pouring rain, couldn't afford a drink, and my equilibrium ...
Jah Punk: New Wave Digs Reggae
Report by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, September 1977
'We're gonna have a punky reggae party...the Wailers will be there, the Slits, the Feelgoods, and the Clash...' BOB MARLEY SONGS LYRIC ...
Aswad, Black Slate, The Cimarons, Matumbi, Rico Rodriguez, Steel Pulse: Jah Punk: The Black New Wave
Overview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, September 1977
ASWAD: Drummie, drums, vocals: George Oban, bass: Chaka Forde, rhythm guitar, vocals: Donald Guiti, lead guitar, vocals. Courtney Hennings, keyboards, vocals. ...
Burning Spear: Dry and Heavy in the Ozone: Burning Spear at the Rainbow
Live Review by Chris Salewicz, New Musical Express, November 1977
IN THAT it (a) got me truly into reggae, and (b) has continued to stand as a symbol of the truth and beauty that all ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Marley Beats the Devil
Report and Interview by John Swenson, Rolling Stone, November 1977
A Rasta recovery ...
Burning Spear: Error Inc.
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, November 1977
TALK ABOUT being stood up. The first time I met Winston Rodney/Burning Spear he was eight hours late. And this was, mind you, after having ...
Burning Spear: Winston Rodney is Burning Spear
Interview by Chris Salewicz, New Musical Express, December 1977
Is The Man In The Hills, is The Sound Of The Present Age ...
Rockers: Reggae On Film
Review by Vivien Goldman, Melody Maker, December 1977
LISTEN, going to the movies is cheaper than going to Jamaica. Am I right or am I wrong? As Dillinger used to say before he ...
Burning Spear: Live
Review by Peter Silverton, Sounds, December 1977
IN WRITING his plays, Bertolt Brecht operated according to a Roamin Rolland maxim: "Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will". Burning Spear's music works ...
Althea & Donna: Althea And Donna: Why It's A Hit Beyond Words...
Report by Robin Katz, Daily Mail, January 1978
See mi in mi heels and thing Them check say we hip and thing True them no know and thing We have them going and thing Nah pop no ...
Dr. Alimantado: Doctor Alimantado Meets His Duppy Uptown
Interview by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, January 1978
A DIAGNOSIS OF NEAR-DEATH ...
Black Slate: 100 Club, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, January 1978
HAVE THE Black Slate group been taking their cue from Glitterbest Promotions? ...
Keith Hudson: A Better Brand Of Dub
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, January 1978
YOU MAY recall reading, a couple of years ago, an NME recommendation of Keith Hudson's Pick A Dub LP, on the now sadly defunct Atra ...
Tapper Zukie: Tapper Zuckie: Man Ah Warrior
Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, January 1978
AN ALBUM full of dignity, grandeur and pride: Smokey swirls intertwining to form a chord of steel... ...
Althia & Donna: Nah Pop No Style, A Strictly Roots…
Report and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, January 1978
IF YOU don't like talking to strangers, don't walk through Kingston with Donna or Althia. ...
The Equators: 100 Club, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, January 1978
DURING RECENT months we have been witness to increasing media interest in the indigenous UK reggae scene, especially as focussed upon Matumbi, Black Slate, Steel ...
Don Letts: Cramp and Paralize Them and Those Who Worship Babylon
Interview by Robin Banks, ZigZag, February 1978
DON LETTS shares a comfortable flat in Forest Hill with three Rastafarian friends, a ferret named Brian, and various other permanent or transient guests. The ...
Tapper Zukie: Man Ah Warrior
Review by Paul Rambali, New Musical Express, February 1978
FAITH, HOPE AND HIP ...
Dillinger: Central London Polytechnic, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, February 1978
ON THIS opening night of his first full-length tour of the UK college circuit, Lester Bullocks better-known as Dillinger maintained an impressive, large and volubly ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: T'ings Could Be Worse
Interview by Peter Silverton, Sounds, March 1978
"Talking to no-one is strange, Talking to someone is stranger." – Kevin Coyne ...
Jacob Miller, Tapper Zukie: Jamaica: Peace Conference In A Western Kingston
Report by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, March 1978
ON JANUARY 10 of this year, Samuel Dreckett — JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Councillor for the Western Kingston district of Tivoli Gardens — entered the ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Kaya (Island)
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, March 1978
Marley runs on the spot ...
Culture: From The Roots
Report and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, March 1978
"THIS IS cactus. You can wash your hair with it. You pick it," running his finger nail down the cactus bud till a creamy sap ...
Leroy Smart: Ballistic Affair
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, April 1978
The Love Story Of Leroy Smart ...
The Congos: Heart Of The Congos
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1978
HEARING THE Congos is like recognising your favourite nursery rhyme, the one you'd forgotten. Or had knocked out of you. Like the purest folk songs, ...
Aswad: 100 Club, London
Live Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1978
REVELATION TIME. Aswad hadn't played any dates to speak of, and the audience were Aswad-starved, raring to rave. ...
Tapper Zukie: Peace Fighter
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1978
PLENTY PEOPLE don't know the other half of Tapper Zukie. "If they knew the other half of me, they'd see me different. Right now me ...
Patti Smith, Tapper Zukie: Tapper Zukie: Music Machine, London
Live Review by Jane Suck, Sounds, April 1978
OH WELL, head for new horizons, I suppose. ...
Steel Pulse: No Jah-Babble In-A Birmingham
Interview by Peter Silverton, Sounds, April 1978
REGGAE IS HIP. Punks said it was OK way back and how the parasitic shower of hustlers and sycophants who comprise the music biz are ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: One Love Peace Festival
Report by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1978
SUNDAY AFTERNOON Bob Marley relaxed on his front stoop. Everybody is still discussing the One Love peace show the previous day, on the night of ...
The Gladiators: Proverbial Reggae
Review by Peter Silverton, Sounds, April 1978
LEAFING THROUGH an ancient copy of the once-revered American fanzine Shakin' Street last night I finally chanced on the solution to the difficulties – "it's ...
The Gladiators: Soul Originators
Profile and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, April 1978
ALBERT GRIFFITHS has interesting hands. The fingers are stubby, square but deft, workman's hands. His manner is straightforward, workmanlike, direct, too. And if you do ...
Aswad: 100 Club, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, May 1978
ALL ROADS LEAD to the 100 Club in London's West End every Thursday night, where "in tune to Silver Camel Sound" the weekly ...
The Gladiators, Reggae Regular: Rafters, Manchester
Live Review by Andy Gill, New Musical Express, May 1978
OF LATE, I and I have been nursing a nagging ambivalence towards reggae. ...
The Cimarons: 100 Club, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, May 1978
FIVE LIVE Cimarons is generally cognate with an agreeable evening's entertainment, such as this duly proved. ...
Junior Murvin, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Tapper Zukie: Jamaica: The Young Lion Roars, part 1
Report and Interview by Chris Salewicz, New Musical Express, May 1978
"WELCOME TO REMA," reads the spray-can graffiti down by 7th Street in Trenchtown. "Peace, Love And Unity". Over on the other side of the Calamite ...
Culture, Peter Tosh: Jamaica: The Young Lion Roars – The JA Connexion Part 2
Report and Interview by Chris Salewicz, New Musical Express, June 1978
SURROUNDED on three sides by a raw, harshly primal terrain that combines austere Bronte-evoking moorland with a dense near-Northern Californian verdancy, the Jamaican Tourist Board ...
Culture: Africa Stand Alone
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, June 1978
IF THE word hadn't grown flabby through over-use, I'd say that Culture were strictly roots. ...
Mighty Diamonds: The Mighty Diamonds: There's No Ganja In Nassau
Report by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, June 1978
DAWN FLUSHED the sky like tomato juice infiltrating a shot of vodka, as a precarious caravan of dreadlocks weaves between stately lines of towering palm ...
Judy Mowatt: Black Woman
Profile and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, June 1978
JUDY MOWATT of Wailers' I Three fame is wearing a blue denim button-through skirt, and her hair is hidden under an elaborately rimmed scarf tied ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Bingley Hall, Stafford
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, June 1978
BETWEEN I AND I, a writer's relationship with his reader is a balance of equal power: the former dictates terms, but only at the latter's ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: A Puff Away from Huge
Interview by Fred Schruers, Circus, July 1978
Bob Marley and the Wailers Gain Fans Near and Far with Kaya ...
Black Slate: Music Machine, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, July 1978
THE ACCOMPLISHED Black Slate roadshow has reached just about the limit of its capabilities without coursing a drastic change of direction. ...
Culture: Support the New Ministry of Culture
Interview by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, July 1978
Better Living Through Roots Reggae! Harder Than The Rest! ...
Gregory Isaacs: Presenting Mr Isaacs
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, August 1978
PRIOR TO the glorious advent of soulful lover Pat Kelly in more recent weeks, lean, laconic crooner Gregory Isaacs was recognised as possibly the most ...
Linton Kwesi Johnson: Poet And The Roots: Dread Beat An' Blood
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, August 1978
'All oppressionCan do is bringPassion to de heights of eruptionAn' songs of fire we will sing' 'All Wi Doin' Is Defendin' ...
Linton Kwesi Johnson: Poet Of The Roots
Interview by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, September 1978
"The one crowded space in Father Perry's house was his bookshelves. I gradually came to understand that the marks on the pages were trapped words. ...
Third World: Journey To Addis
Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1978
SINCE THEIR appearance in 1975, Third World have always seemed the most likely candidates to follow Bob Marley through the gates marked Reggae/Pop Crossover. ...
Dr. Alimantado: Dr Alimantado: Best Dressed Chicken In Town
Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, October 1978
INTRODUCING THE august surgeon of ital nourishment on a ten track album of selected singles dating from 1973-6. ...
Keith Hudson: A Dread Tale
Report by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, October 1978
ONE NIGHT I AM standing outside the Jamaican pattie shop in Portobello Road partaking of the same when a car pulls up on the street ...
The Abyssinians: Arise
Review by Vivien Goldman, Sounds, October 1978
I LEARNT to love the Abyssinians at the kitchen sink, age 7 or so. As I sang Beatles tunes in three-part harmony doing the washing ...
Steel Pulse: Rainbow Theatre, London
Live Review by Paul Morley, New Musical Express, November 1978
THE RAINBOW Theatre seemed a poor venue for Steel Pulse's Big London Gig, but reconsidering during this performance, it was probably second choice only to ...
Aswad: Reggaematic Survival
Report and Interview by Vivien Goldman, Melody Maker, November 1978
The attention nowgiven to British reggae bandsis largely due to the pioneering work of Aswad, who invented live dub and played alongside the early punk bands. But, ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: A Lost Leader? Bob Marley & the Wailers’ Babylon By Bus
Review by Simon Frith, Melody Maker, November 1978
THE BEST RECORD Bob Marley ever made was the live single version of No Woman, No Cry. The reasons for its success were complex, but ...
Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley & The Wailers: Babylon By Bus
Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, November 1978
ALL THE points are easily made. You have your join-the-dots special Christmas present package. Bob Marley and The Wailers skank in and out the Western ...
Third World: 100 Club, London
Live Review by Penny Reel, New Musical Express, November 1978
IT IS surely not coincidental that now Island seem to have relegated Bob Marley and company to the status of lampoonery with joke titled albums ...
Interview by Kris Needs, ZigZag
This article is about the genre of music. For other uses, see Dance hall (disambiguation).
Dancehall is a genre of Jamaicanpopular music that originated in the late 1970s. Initially, dancehall was a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated much of the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, digital instrumentation became more prevalent, changing the sound considerably, with digital dancehall (or "reggae") becoming increasingly characterized by faster rhythms. Key elements of dancehall music include its extensive use of Jamaican Patois rather than Jamaican standard English and a focus on the track instrumentals (or "riddims").
Dancehall saw initial mainstream success in Jamaica in the 1980s, and by the 1990s, it became increasingly popular in Jamaican diaspora communities. In the 2000s, dancehall experienced worldwide mainstream success, and by the 2010s, it began to heavily influence the work of established Western artists and producers, which has helped to further bring the genre into the Western music mainstream.
Dancehall is named after Jamaican dance halls in which popular Jamaican recordings were played by local sound systems.
They began in the late 1940s among people from the inner city of Kingston, who were not able to participate in dances uptown. Social and political changes in late-1970s Jamaica, including the change from the socialist government of Michael Manley (People's National Party) to Edward Seaga (Jamaica Labour Party), were reflected in the shift away from the more internationally oriented roots reggae towards a style geared more towards local consumption and in tune with the music that Jamaicans had experienced when sound systems performed live. Themes of social injustice, repatriation and the Rastafari movement were overtaken by lyrics about dancing, violence and sexuality.
Musically, older rhythms from the late 1960s were recycled, with Sugar Minott credited as the originator of this trend when he voiced new lyrics over old Studio One rhythms between sessions at the studio, where he was working as a session musician. Around the same time, producer Don Mais was reworking old rhythms at Channel One Studios, using the Roots Radics band. The Roots Radics would go on to work with Henry "Junjo" Lawes on some of the key early dancehall recordings, including those that established Barrington Levy, Frankie Paul, and Junior Reid as major reggae stars. Other singers to emerge in the early dancehall era as major stars included Don Carlos, Al Campbell, and Triston Palma, while more established names such as Gregory Isaacs and Bunny Wailer successfully adapted.
Sound systems such as Killimanjaro, Black Scorpio, Gemini Disco, Virgo Hi-Fi, Volcano Hi-Power and Aces International soon capitalized on the new sound and introduced a new wave of deejays. The older toasters were overtaken by new stars such as Captain Sinbad, Ranking Joe, Clint Eastwood, Lone Ranger, Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin, General Echo and Yellowman — a change reflected by the 1981 Junjo Lawes-produced album A Whole New Generation of DJs, although many went back to U-Roy for inspiration. Deejay records became, for the first time, more important than records featuring singers. Another trend was sound clash albums, featuring rival deejays /or sound systems competing head-to-head for the appreciation of a live audience, with underground sound clash cassettes often documenting the violence that came with such rivalries.
Yellowman, one of the most successful early dancehall artists, became the first Jamaican deejay to be signed to a major American record label, and for a time enjoyed a level of popularity in Jamaica to rival Bob Marley's peak. The early 1980s also saw the emergence of female deejays in dancehall music, such as Lady G, Lady Saw, and Sister Nancy. Other female dancehall stars include artistes like Diana King and in the late 1990s to the 2000s Ce' Cile, Spice, Macka Diamond and more. 
Sound systems and the development of other musical technology heavily influenced dancehall music. The music needed to "get where the radio didn't reach" because Jamaicans often times were outside without radios. Especially because the audience of dancehall sessions were lower class people, it was extremely important that they be able to hear music. Sound systems allowed people to listen to music without having to buy a radio. Therefore, the dancehall culture grew as the use of technology and sound systems got better.
The Jamaican dancehall scene was one created out of creativity and a desire for accessibility, and one that is inseparable from sound system culture. The term ‘Dancehall’, while now typically used in reference to the specific and uniquely Jamaican genre of music, originally referred to a physical location. This location was always an open-air venue from which DJs and later “Toasters”, a precursor to MCs, could perform their original mixes and songs for their audience via their sound systems. The openness of the venue paired with the innately mobile nature of the sound system, allowed performers to come to the people. At the onset of the dancehall scene, sound systems were the only way that some Jamaican audiences might hear the latest songs from popular artist. Through time, it transformed to where the purveyors of the sound systems were the artists themselves and they became whom the people came to see along with their own original sounds. With the extreme volume and low bass frequencies of the sound systems local people might very well feel the vibrations of the sounds before they could even hear them, though the sound itself did travel for miles. This drawing force attracted people to the dancehall scene along with outside promotion and the entertainment of sound system battles. The resulting atmosphere, though very high energy and celebratory, was also one of competitiveness and performance, hypersexuality and agresiveness. These factors contributed to the creation of a new type of "club culture" that was not in a club at all, but in a dancehall.
Jamaica was one of the first cultures to pioneer the concept of remixing. As a result, production level and sound system quality were critical to Jamaica's budding music industry. Since many locals couldn’t afford sound systems in their home, listening to one at a dance party or at a festival was their entry into audible bliss. Brougtton and Brewster in Last Night a DJ Saved My Life states that sound systems were a product of Jamaican social lifestyle. The cultural importance and appreciation of sound systems allowed DJs to really experiment with their sound. With the rising appeal to electronically distorted and enhanced music, musicians wanted to capitalize on this interest and thus that drove innovative collaborations between producers and performers. The success of music wasn’t just in the hands of one person anymore, it was a factor of the DJ, speaking poetic words to the audience, the Selector, harmonizing beats in an aesthetically pleasing way, and the Sound Engineer, wiring the sound systems to handle deeper and louder bass tones. Music became a factor of many elements and the physicality of that sound was a strategic puzzle left for musicians to solve. 
King Jammy's 1985 hit, "(Under Me) Sleng Teng" by Wayne Smith, with an entirely-digital rhythm hook took the dancehall reggae world by storm. Many credit this song as being the first digital rhythm in reggae, featuring a rhythm from a Casio MT-40 keyboard. However, this is not entirely correct since there are earlier examples of digital productions, such as Horace Ferguson's single "Sensi Addict" (Ujama) produced by Prince Jazzbo in 1984. The "Sleng Teng" rhythm was used in over 200 subsequent recordings. This deejay-led, largely synthesized chanting with musical accompaniment departed from traditional conceptions of Jamaican popular musical entertainment.
Dub poetMutabaruka said, "if 1970s reggae was red, green and gold, then in the next decade it was gold chains". It was far removed from reggae's gentle roots and culture, and there was much debate among purists as to whether it should be considered an extension of reggae.
This shift in style again saw the emergence of a new generation of artists, such as Buccaneer, Capleton and Shabba Ranks, who became the biggest ragga star in the world. A new set of producers also came to prominence: Philip "Fatis" Burrell, Dave "Rude Boy" Kelly, George Phang, Hugh "Redman" James, Donovan Germain, Bobby Digital, Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson and Cleveland "Clevie" Brown (aka Steely & Clevie) rose to challenge Sly & Robbie's position as Jamaica's leading rhythm section. The deejays became more focused on violence, with Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mad Cobra, Ninjaman, Buju Banton, and Super Cat becoming major figures in the genre.
To complement the harsher deejay sound, a "sweet sing" vocal style evolved out of roots reggae and R&B, marked by its falsetto and almost feminine intonation, with proponents like Pinchers, Cocoa Tea, Sanchez, Admiral Tibet, Frankie Paul, Half Pint, Conroy Smith, Courtney Melody, Carl Meeks and Barrington Levy.
By the early 2000s, dancehall inspired pop music saw increased popularity in Jamaica, as well as in the United States and international markets. This was first seen with artists such as Sean Paul, whose single "Get Busy" (2003) became the first dancehall single to reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Unlike traditional dancehall songs, "dancehall-pop" music is characterized by using material which is common in mainstream pop music, such as repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks, as well as cleaner lyrics featuring less sexual content and profanity.
The 2000s saw domestic success for dancehall-pop artists, such as Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Konshens, Mr. Vegas, Mavado and Spice, some of whom saw international success.
Dancehall-pop saw a new wave of popularity in Western markets in the mid-late 2010s, with immense commercial success being achieved by a number of dancehall-pop singles, including Drake's "One Dance" and "Controlla" (2016), Rihanna and Drake's "Work" (2016)
A variety of western artists have spoken of being inspired by dancehall music, including Major Lazer, whose commercially successful singles Lean On (2015), Light It Up (2015) and Run Up (2017) all heavily rely upon dancehall music. Several hip-hop and R&B artists have also released material inspired by dancehall music, including Drake, who has cited Vybz Kartel as one of his "biggest inspirations."
Donna P. Hope defines dancehall culture as a "space for the cultural creation and dissemination of symbols and ideologies that reflect the lived realities of its adherents, particularly those from the inner cities of Jamaica." Dancehall culture actively creates a space for its "affectors" (creators of dancehall culture) and its "affectees" (consumers of dancehall culture) to take control of their own representation, contest conventional relationships of power, and exercise some level of cultural, social and even political autonomy.
Kingsley Stewart outlines ten of the major cultural imperatives or principles that constitute the dancehall worldview. They are:
- It involves the dynamic interweaving of God and Haile Selassie
- It acts as a form of stress release or psycho-physiological relief
- It acts as a medium for economic advancement
- The quickest way to an object is the preferred way (i.e., the speed imperative)
- The end justifies the means
- It strives to make the unseen visible
- Objects and events that are external to the body are more important than internal processes; what is seen is more important than what is thought (i.e., the pre-eminence of the external)
- The importance of the external self; the self is consciously publicly constructed and validated
- The ideal self is shifting, fluid, adaptive, and malleable, and
- It involves the socioexistential imperative to transcend the normal (i.e., there is an emphasis on not being normal).
Such a drastic change in the popular music of the region generated an equally radical transformation in fashion trends, specifically those of its female faction. In lieu of traditional, modest "rootsy" styles, as dictated by Rastafari-inspired gender roles; women began donning flashy, revealing – sometimes X-rated outfits. This transformation is said to coincide with the influx of slack lyrics within dancehall, which objectified women as apparatuses of pleasure. These women would team up with others to form "modeling posses", or "dancehall model" groups, and informally compete with their rivals.
This newfound materialism and conspicuity was not, however, exclusive to women or manner of dress. Appearance at dance halls was exceedingly important to acceptance by peers and encompassed everything from clothing and jewelry, to the types of vehicles driven, to the sizes of each respective gang or "crew", and was equally important to both sexes.
One major theme behind dancehall is that of space. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, in her article "Mapping Black Atlantic Performance Geographies", says
Dancehall occupies multiple spatial dimensions (urban, street, police, marginal, gendered, performance, liminal, memorializing, communal), which are revealed through the nature and type of events and venues, and their use and function. Most notable is the way in which dancehall occupies a liminal space between what is celebrated and at the same time denigrated in Jamaica and how it moves from private community to public and commercial enterprise.
In Kingston's Dancehall: A Story of Space and Celebration, she writes:
Dancehall is ultimately a celebration of the disenfranchised selves in postcolonial Jamaica that occupy and creatively sustain that space. Structured by the urban, a space that is limited, limiting, and marginal yet central to communal, even national, identity, dancehall's identity is as contradictory and competitive as it is sacred. Some of Jamaica's significant memories of itself are inscribed in the dancehall space, and therefore dancehall can be seen as a site of collective memory that functions as ritualized memorializing, a memory bank of the old, new, and dynamic bodily movements, spaces, performers, and performance aesthetics of the New World and Jamaica in particular.
These same notions of dancehall as a cultural space are echoed in Norman Stolzoff's Wake the Town and Tell the People. He notes that dancehall is not merely a sphere of passive consumerism, but rather is an alternative sphere of active cultural production that acts as a means through which black lower-class youth articulate and project a distinct identity in local, national, and global contexts. Through dancehall, ghetto youths attempt to deal with the endemic problems of poverty, racism, and violence, and in this sense the dancehall acts as a communication center, a relay station, a site where black lower-class culture attains its deepest expression. Thus, dancehall in Jamaica is yet another example of the way that the music and dance cultures of the African diaspora have challenged the passive consumerism of mass cultural forms, such as recorded music, by creating a sphere of active cultural production that potentially may transform the prevailing hegemony of society.
In Out and Bad: Toward a Queer Performance Hermeneutic in Jamaican Dancehall Nadia Ellis explicates the culture of combined homophobia and unabashed queerness within Jamaican dancehall culture. She details the particular importance of the phrase "out and bad" to Jamaica when she writes, “This phrase is of queer hermeneutical possibility in Jamaican dancehall because it registers a dialectic between queer and gay that is never resolved, that relays back and forth, producing an uncertainty about sexual identity and behavior that is usefully maintained in the Jamaican popular cultural context.” In discussion of the possibility of a self identifying homosexual dancer performing to homophobic music she writes, “In appropriating the culture and working from within its very center, he produces a bodily performance that gains him power. It is the power or mastery, of parody, and of getting away with it.”
The popularity of dancehall has spawned dance moves that help to make parties and stage performances more energetic. Dancing is an integral part of bass culture genres. As people felt the music in the crowded dancehall venues, they would do a variety of dances. Eventually, dancehall artists started to create songs that either invented new dances or formalized some moves done by dancehall goers. Many dance moves seen in hip hop videos are actually variations of dancehall dances. Examples of such dances are: "Like Glue", "Bogle", "Whine & Dip", "Tek Weh Yuhself", "Whine Up" (a mix of various genres), "Boosie Bounce", "Drive By", "Shovel It", "To Di World", "Dutty Wine", "Sweep", "Nuh Behavior", "Nuh Linga", "Skip to My Lou", "Gully Creepa", "Bad Man Forward Bad Man Pull Up", "Keeping it Jiggy", "Pon Di River","One Drop", "Whine & Kotch", "Bubbling (Similar to twerking) ", "Tic Toc", "Willie Bounce", "Wacky Dip", "Screetchie", "One Vice" (an underground dance) and "Daggering".
Despite dancehall culture's ability to challenge social inequality, it is a hybridization of American aesthetics and the hardships of Kingston, Jamaica. Kingsley Stewart writes that the "Jamaican cultural model or worldview" has been very influenced by that which it was arguably created to oppose, namely Babylon or the Western influence. This is seen, in the more obvious sense, in the use of gun talk by artists like Buju Banton and Capleton, or the sporting of bling-bling by "Gangsta Ras" artists like Mavado and Munga. The term Gangsta Ras, which seeks to reconcile thuggish imagery with Rastafari is an example of how in dancehall, "the misuse of Rastafari culture has diluted and marginalised the central tenets and creed of the Rastafari philosophy and way of life".
What Kingsley regards as the "socioexistential imperative to transcend the normal" is exemplified by artists like Elephant Man and Bounty Killer doing things to stand out, such as putting on a synthetic cartoonish voice or donning pink highlights while constantly re-asserting one's hypermasculine attributes. Donna P. Hope argues that this trend is related to the rise of market capitalism as a dominant feature of life in Jamaica, coupled with the role of new media and a liberalized media landscape, where images become of increasing importance in the lives of ordinary Jamaicans who strive for celebrity and superstar status on the stages of dancehall and Jamaican popular culture.
Another point of dissension of dancehall from reggae, and from its non-western roots in Jamaica, is on the focus on materialism. Dancehall has also became popular in regions such as Ghana and Panama. Prominent males in the dancehall scene are expected to dress in very expensive casual wear, indicative of European urban styling and high fashion that suggest wealth and status. Since the late 1990s, males in the dancehall culture have rivalled their female counterparts to look fashioned and styled. The female dancehall divas are all scantily clad, or dressed in spandex outfits that accentuate more than cover one's nakedness. In the documentary It's All About Dancing, prominent dancehall artist Beenie Man argues that one could be the best DJ or the smoothest dancer, but if one wears clothing that reflects the economic realities of the majority of the partygoers, one will be ignored.
Further information: Stop Murder Music
After the popularizing of Buju Banton's dancehall song "Boom Bye Bye" in the early 1990s, dancehall music came under criticism from international organizations and individuals over anti-gay lyrics in a few songs though in recent years these attitudes have changed. In some cases, dancehall artists whose music featured anti-gay lyrics have had their concerts cancelled. Various singers were investigated by international law enforcement agencies such as Scotland Yard, on the grounds that the lyrics incited the audience to assault homosexuals. Buju Banton's 1993 hit "Boom Bye Bye" advocates the murder of homosexuals by shooting or burning, or both ("like an old tire wheel"). Many of the affected singers believed that legal or commercial sanctions were essentially an attack against freedom of speech. Some artists agreed not to use anti-gay lyrics during their concerts in Europe and the United States, although some artists, such as Capleton, continue to have their concerts cancelled due to the Stop Murder Music campaign.
Donna P. Hope argues that dancehall culture's anti-homosexual lyrics formed part of a macho discussion that advanced the interest of the heterosexual male in Jamaica, which is a Christian society with strong Rastafari movement influence as well. Even while dancehall culture in Jamaica sported images of men in pseudo-gay poses and costumes, the cultural, religious, social and gendered imperatives of the society advanced and promoted the ideal man as macho and heterosexual and men who are homosexual were identified as inadequate and impure portraits of true masculinity. Dancehall music has played into and with this divide in an extreme and lyrically graphic fashion that has been rendered politically incorrect in many places globally but remains culturally relevant in Jamaica.
The international backlash to Banton's violently anti-homosexual "Boom Bye-Bye", and the reality of Kingston's violence which saw the deaths of deejays Pan Head and Dirtsman saw another shift, this time back towards Rastafari and cultural themes, with several of the hardcore slack ragga artists finding religion, and the "conscious ragga" scene becoming an increasingly popular movement. A new generation of singers and deejays emerged that harked back to the roots reggae era, notably Garnett Silk, Tony Rebel, Sanchez, Luciano, Anthony B and Sizzla. Some popular deejays, most prominently Buju Banton and Capleton, began to cite Rastafari and turn their lyrics and music in a more conscious, rootsy direction. Many modern dancehall Rasta artists identify with Bobo Ashanti.
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