Reggae music and culture has endured for generations around the world, inspiring generations of black people to embrace its dance, fashion, food and philosophy – especially its spiritual foundation of Rastafari with its message of One Love.
The genre’s distinctive vocal style, marked by tremolo, also contributed to creating its distinct sound.
1. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Love Is Love
Bob Marley and the Wailers had been around as a band since 1963, initially as Teenagers, Wailing Rudeboys, then finally as Wailers – eventually experiencing various lineup changes through its existence until reaching prominence with albums like Kaya.
This album may not have the same feel as Legend, but it still represents some of the finest music ever written by this group. Nearly all songs from Legend appear here with only “Satisfy My Soul” and “Burnin'” missing from its track listing. After Bob Marley died in 1981, various offshoots of his band continued performing as The Wailers; furthermore they released several more albums since.
2. Wayne Wonder – Is Your Love Big Enough?
Wayne Wonder rose to prominence as a dancehall reggae artist but has branched out into many genres throughout his career. His music speaks volumes of the power of love and faith while championing personal development.
Reggae was first created in Jamaica during the 1960s. Originating as an offshoot of ska and rocksteady music, reggae quickly evolved by incorporating R&B, jazz, and African folk elements. Boasting an infectious backbeat rhythm featuring regular chops, off-beat chords, and bass guitar-centric melodies; reggae quickly achieved international renown for Jamaican music.
Reggae music features vocal harmony parts sung in Jamaican patois or other dialects of English that often feature in its songs about spirituality, community issues and social injustice. Rastafari influences in reggae have long promoted peace through a belief in an almighty higher power; musicians frequently chant religious phrases while talking about their personal spiritual beliefs within its lyrics.
3. Bob Marley & The Wailers – One Love
This song — actually an amalgamation of two tracks by Curtis Mayfield (“People Get Ready” and Bob Marley’s “One Love”) — appeared on Bob Marley’s 1977 album Exodus during times of political unrest in Jamaica. Marley described their release after several failed attempts on their lives which was “the most serious business I have ever been in.”
The track stands out for the broad array of Jamaican music drawn upon by Marley and his band. Tender love ballads and spirituals alternate with lively odes to Kingston rude-boy culture; all infused not just with traditional Jamaican influences, but doo wop and late 50s/early 60s American R&B influences as well. This remarkable synthesis creates an unforgettable sound experience unlike anything found anywhere else on reggae records.
4. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
Bob Marley is not only a cultural icon but an international pop-culture prophet. Many cultures around the world, from Hopis and Maoris to Indonesians and Indonesians alike, see him as an effective figure who will lead humanity out of chaos and confusion.
Marley’s student of Rastafarianism delivers both a spiritual message and seductive dancehall come-on as he promises his lover that no matter her transgressions he’ll remain faithful to them both. A version of this track appeared on Legend, an album which critics claim deliberately featured less-political songs to appeal more easily to white audiences.
Original to Catch a Fire album side two, “Don’t Break Our Circle of Friendship” burst onto the live double LP Babylon by Bus with Bunny and Tosh’s haunting harmony vocals to accompany Marley as he sang about giving up current intimacy for better prospects in life – truly timeless classic!
5. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
Bob Marley and the Wailers are widely considered the pioneers of Reggae music. His songs and music have had an incredible global influence; his Rastafarian beliefs played an integral part in his music as did activism for poor and disenfranchised rights; as an advocate, he encouraged listeners to form global families with love at its center.
Reggae music can be defined by African hand-drumming style, an offbeat guitar chord called “skank,” and lyrics in Jamaican patois. Reggae originally emerged during the 1960s from ska and rocksteady genres of music.
Reggae music soon found itself popular throughout Britain, where musicians like Aswad, Steel Pulse and UB40 became widely respected. Reggae songs often carry social political messages about black nationalism, antiracism, political system reform and Babylon, all with organ shuffle effects played on an organ (increasing beat one and three so that there are empty beats) giving off an undulating organ sound which creates an choppy feel in songs such as these.
6. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
As Marley regained spiritual and political control, he also developed his oratory skills. Rastaman Vibration, his 1975 LP title track is an outstanding example; an anthem for peace and love heard all around the globe as the Irish Republican Army began terrorising British hostages.
Producer Chris Blackwell’s bass and drums create an infectious funk-rock rhythm on the album version, providing the backdrop for Tosh’s melodica and Bunny’s animal noise background chirps to complement Tosh’s melodica playing and Bunny’s animal noise backing chirps – this song first introduced Marley to America as it made his first commercial impactful statement.
Marley stood out among Jamaican artists of his day by regularly listening to American soul and rock & roll music, such as this 1971 single that sees him and his band move into an intriguing groove reminiscent of calypso or other global forms of music.
7. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
“Is Your Love Strong Enough?” was one of Bob Marley’s signature hits and an impassioned call to action for all humanity. This popular roots reggae tune features keyboards, guitar and percussion and was first heard on 1978 album Kaya; later it was covered by Hawaiian reggae band Three Plus on 2003 album 3+ 4 U.
This song evolved out of Marley and Lee Perry’s disagreement, during which Lee Perry made threats against Rastafari leader Bob Marley’s life. It demonstrates the Wailers’ unique talent for turning political turmoil into beautiful music.
This song provides an excellent showcase for drummer Carlton Barrett. It opens with an infectious groove that abandons the typical reggae rhythms for something far more energetic; featuring Tosh and Bunny Wailer providing their trademark piercing harmonies, and reminds us all that Marley was truly an artist unafraid of speaking his mind.
8. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
Bob Marley remains one of the world’s iconic folk heroes and cultural prophets since his passing, with numerous musicians covering and sampling his songs – especially “Kaya”, his emotional tribute to an intoxicating herb which broadened one’s mind.
As originally recorded for Island Records, Legend benefited from Chris Blackwell’s penchant for American funk (think Sly Stone’s There’s a Riot Going On). Later featured on their 1984 greatest-hits collection Legend, its menacing basslines, siren-chorus backing vocals, and nonstop drum pattern still sound powerful today.
On this track, Marley expressed strong feelings he had toward someone but wasn’t sure if they were love. Even so, despite this uncertainty he wanted to spend every day with them and take care of them, showing a profound understanding of responsibilities and obligations associated with love.
9. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
As one of the Wailers’ most politically charged songs, this anthem establishes a spiritual hierarchy in which men hold dominion over women. Marley’s soulful vocals drift over an infectious groove reminiscent of Steve Cropper’s guitar licks; animal noise backing chirps flutter like duppies from Jamaican folklore; animal-noise backing chirps echo duppies from folklore; in 1974 amid rising violence it still felt fresh and relevant; it still resonates today as much as ever!
Marley’s love song to mind-expanding herb has never been more sensual, conjuring up both its wonder and hazy, drowsy state during peak ganja high. Erykah Badu famously covered this tune; with doomy piano chords and siren chorus of backing vocals creating tension that’s both dark and hopeful at once.
10. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
An emotive song celebrating humankind’s resilience. This powerful anthem by Marley from Rastaman Vibration offers the ideal counterpoint.
Chris Blackwell had high hopes that when he signed Marley to Island Records in 1972, he could transform him into an international rock icon like Jimi Hendrix. Although “Roots, Rock, Reggae” did not top U.S. charts as predicted, its powerful confidence still resonated years before rappers’ Billboard boasts. Furthermore, it marked an ongoing partnership between Marley and bassist Peter Tosh and drummer Carlton Barrett that would remain together throughout numerous defections and lineup changes and continue performing until Marley died in 1996.