Reggae Music in the 70s, 80s, and 90s

reggae music 70s 80s 90s

Jamaican reggae music has gained worldwide acclaim and many European bands have taken notice. Reggae-influenced punk rock acts such as Clash and Ruts have written songs inspired by it.

Rastafari musical genre has an established tradition of social commentary in its lyrics. Furthermore, Rastafari often discuss spiritual issues related to cannabis (known as herb or ganja). They consider cannabis an integral part of religion.


Dub reggae was developed during the 1970s. Known for incorporating various instruments and techniques into its composition, dub music typically features drums, bass guitar, synthesizers, organs and even vocal samples into its rhythms to produce its signature style – drums, bass, guitars, synthesizers organs vocal samples etc. are frequently employed to achieve this rhythmic quality. Dub has had significant influences across several genres of music. Dub reggae originates in Jamaican sound systems with its emphasis on offbeat rhythm (one two three four) as well as dance called rub-a-dub. Additionally it utilizes poly-rhythm which involves switching back and forth between several rhythms of same beat to achieve its unique style of dub reggae music which often promote social justice or antiracist themes among others.

Dub reggae incorporates elements of Jamaican culture while drawing upon influences from America as well. Public Image Ltd’s John Lydon was also part of Sex Pistols; other bands like California’s Bad Brains also adopted dub reggae for use within their modern rock sound; its slower pace has been likened to dancehall music.

“Rub-a-Dub” refers to a dance style in which men and women rub close together while dancing to an electronic beat that mimics drum machines or guitar players striking offbeat chops. This genre originated with early Jamaican styles like ska and mento which combined R&B music forms like burru and nyabinghi with R&B-influenced local forms such as burru. Additionally, fanga music also plays a significant role in its development.

Dub reggae’s initial recordings were instrumental and often included on B-sides of records. Remixed by Jamaican sound systems, these tracks, known as versions, featured vocal samples that became the foundation for this genre. Later on, dub artists started using microphones and effects of their own to produce more innovative versions of their songs; this process became essential in shaping dub reggae as it has had an influence over genres such as techno, jungle, drum and bass, dubstep, house music punk and post punk punk punk and ambient music among many others.

Lover’s rock

Lovers’ rock is a genre of reggae music characterized by romantic themes both musically and lyrically, first developed in Britain during a time when reggae music shifted away from Rastafarianism towards political issues and Rastafarian ideology. Lovers’ rock challenged the perception that black music should only be considered “musical”, instead providing part of a larger movement towards liberation. Although often produced by women musicians, men groups also took part in creating this subversive and empowering genre that was subversive against anti-black perceptions and stereotypes.

Lovers’ rock was instrumental in showing black people’s humanity and working toward liberation.


Dancehall reggae music has grown far beyond Jamaica’s borders, becoming popular around the globe thanks to artists like Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. Additionally, Germany adopted it through Mighty Crown sound system. Today German artists adhere to Jamaican culture while adapting it to fit their culture; creating their own version of reggae/Dancehall which empowers musicians to share cultural stories through this genre.

The 1980s was an influential decade for reggae music. Thanks to digital technology, more producers including Sly & Robbie could produce music for multiple artists simultaneously on multiple riddims at once; this enabled artists to record multiple records within short amounts of time using shared riddims; thus leading to more sexually charged language being featured within songs as well as shifting musical styles away from traditional reggae towards something known as bashment (ragga-reggae hybrid).

Artists like Yellowman and Eek-a-Mouse were major hits, with Eek-a-Mouse’s song Stab Out Mi Meat drawing massive audiences. Female performers like Lady Saw and Ini Kamoze also found great success; Lady Saw’s 1990 single Sleng Teng proved particularly beloved internationally.

Changes led to a shift away from themes based on social justice and spirituality, yet dancehall music continued to reach local audiences. Buju Banton, Super Cat and Mad Cobra helped spread dancehall across global borders.

At this time, production techniques were also shifting dramatically with digital instrumentation slowly replacing analog equipment and helping shape its current form. Bobby Digital, Gussie Clarke and Steely & Clevie quickly established themselves as leading rhythm sections that rivalled Sly & Robbie for dominance within this genre.

Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mad Cobra and Ninjaman emerged as dancehall superstars during this era, capturing its essence for younger audiences while appealing to contemporary trends. Crossover artists like J Capri, Charly Black and Buju Banton became prominent reggae-pop figures within America during this era as well.