Reggae Music of the 80s and 90s

reggae music 80s 90s

Reggae music was deeply linked with Rastafarianism during this era. Rastafarians advocate the return of diaspora residents back to Africa, worship Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I and support equality as well as endorse using marijuana sacramentally for spiritual use.

Singers such as Gregory Isaacs became beloved figures of lovers rock, a subgenre of reggae that celebrated sexual love, while other artists featured socially conscious themes.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley stands as an icon who transcends genre and time, widely considered the greatest reggae artist ever. His music and Rastafari beliefs helped form the social consciousness of an entire generation through his songs that spoke of struggle, achievement and love with deeper messages of enlightenment and truth that continue to influence musicians today. His influence continues.

Marley converted to Rastafari during the late 1960s, donning dreadlocks as part of his faith’s concept of unity between God and humanity. Additionally, his songs often addressed power struggles across Cuba, Africa, and North America.

His music draws influences from ska, rocksteady, and jazz but has a unique sound of its own. While Ska features upbeat tempo and walking bass line rhythms that emphasize walking basslines, reggae has more relaxed rhythms that emphasize second and fourth beats of every bar to create its distinctive Reggae feel.

Reggae music stands out with its deep bass presence, offbeat guitar chords, and signature organ shuffle – along with its unique one-drop rhythm that gives Reggae its distinctive sound.

Like its surrounding culture, reggae music does not shy away from confronting social issues head on. Many songs contain religious overtones or political comment; other tunes deal with lighter topics like love or socializing.

Marley was an icon in Jamaican history and represented Rastafari’s vision of liberation through music. His most well-known song was “Small Axe,” an inspiring call to arms for anticolonialist resistance that also encouraged those dissatisfied with their current lives to take a stand against oppression.

As a result of an attempted assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1980, his band the Wailers fled into self-imposed exile in London, England. While there, they recorded their landmark album Exodus which would go on to become their best-selling work and serve as an activist call to arms against oppression – inspiring other artists of its era to take up this cause as well. Rap and hip hop emerged later but can trace their roots back to this revolutionary work by Marley and his Wailers.

Peter Tosh

Winston Hubert McIntosh, more commonly known by his stage name Peter Tosh, was a Jamaican reggae singer and devout Rastafarian. As one of the founding members of Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer’s Wailers band, Peter Tosh went on to establish an excellent solo career upon its disbandment and was an outspoken advocate for black dignity and pride in Jamaican society.

Tosh was raised by his aunt after both of his parents passed away at an early age. While working as a sound system operator he met Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer; who taught him how to sing and play guitar. Tosh stood out among Jamaican musicians at that time by being vocal about his beliefs while caring more for moral principles than fame or money which were often given out in rewards in Jamaican music scenes.

Peter Tosh began his solo career after co-founding the Wailers with Bob and Bunny in 1976. That year he released his self-produced studio album Legalize It!, calling for the legalization of marijuana use – it became a hit in Jamaica but banned by radio stations across America. Two years later in 1977 he released Equal Rights, featuring Igziabeher, 400 Years, and Stop That Train among its tracks.

Subsequently, Tosh released two moderately successful albums: Wanted Dread and Alive and Mystic Man. He switched labels in 1981 and released Mama Africa; featuring many classic tracks by Tosh such as Bumbo Klaat, Glasshouse, and his iconic 400 Years song.

At the One Love Peace Concert of 1978, Tosh lit a marijuana spliff and lectured on the importance of legalising cannabis in Jamaica. Due to his activities which pitted him against Michael Manley and Edward Seaga’s government in Jamaica, this led to his arrest and brutal beating by police; eventually leading him to die a few months later due to complications stemming from being severely beaten by police officers. Even with his passing away however, his legacy lives on in music from today’s female Jamaican artists such as Queen Ifrika Koffee Jah Nine Hempress Sativa among many more!

Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff, though never reaching the global fame of Bob Marley, remains an immense influence in reggae music. A Jamaican singer made their mark during the 1970s with memorable tracks like “Many Rivers to Cross” from his movie soundtrack for The Harder They Come; also being one of the pioneers in lovers’ rock, which focused on romantic themes; his velvety voice and emotive lyrics earned him a large fan following.

Reggae music incorporates elements from rhythm and blues, jazz, mento (a celebratory rural folk form that served its rural audience as dance music and an alternative to hymns and adapted chanteys found in church singing), calypso and traditional African folk rhythms. One of its signature traits is offbeat rhythms; staccato chords played on guitar or piano on offbeats of each measure; typically slower tempo than that found in ska or rocksteady with bass drum and guitar riffs featuring bass drum and guitar riffs that often includes hand percussion beats or hand claps or hand percussion beats as part of its sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature sound signature signature sound signature.

Reggae music features lyrics that often address social issues; others address lighter subjects like love and socializing. Reggae also has a longstanding spiritual tradition, so many artists discuss religion or use of marijuana (herb, ganja or sinsemilla) used as part of Rastafari practices as an intoxicant or sacrament.

Producers like Coxsone Dodd, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Leslie Kong and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell have played an instrumental role in shaping the evolution of ska into rocksteady and reggae music genres. Additionally, some reggae producers have ventured out into other genres such as soul and funk production.

Sister Nancy (Ophlin Russell), was one of the pioneers who broke gender barriers in a traditionally male-dominated industry when she made waves as a female dancehall artist in the 1950s. Her empowering lyrics and sensuous vocal style paved the way for generations of female reggae artists after her. Anthems from Sister Nancy such as “Bam Bam” remain popular today and have even been sampled across musical genres today! Since Britain was the primary destination for Caribbean people seeking to emigrate prior to 1950s, reggae music has become part of British culture and has even played a vital role in helping shape new genres such as dub and drum and bass styles!

Third World

Third World was one of the original Rastafari bands and refined their craft over three decades, helping bring reggae music into mainstream audiences. The group was known for its versatility and professionalism, blending genres such as soul, jazz and funk to engage audiences beyond Jamaica. Satta Amasa Gana marked the first time a Jamaican band employed the kete drum on record. “Now That We Found Love” became an unexpected crossover hit, reaching audiences who would not normally purchase reggae music. After adding drummer Willie Stewart and keyboardist Herbert “Herbie” Harris to their ranks in 1978’s Journey to Addis album release; its track “Try Jah Love” established the reggae-rap formula that became so prevalent, helping bridge the divide between old school reggae music and its younger followers.

Reemerging Jamaican female artists, following an evolution in Rastafari doctrine from its traditional patriarchy to more inclusive practices, also helped propel reggae into mainstream acceptance. Sister Nancy (Ophlin Russell) broke barriers within a male-dominated industry with her powerful lyrics inspiring an entire generation of female dancehall performers; today her song, “Bam Bam,” continues to be sampled widely by musicians everywhere.

Gregory Isaacs was another pioneering force. Known for his velvety-smooth voice and romantic ballads, Gregory Isaacs became an iconic figure of lovers’ rock, a subgenre of reggae that focused on romance. Additionally, his socially conscious songs such as “Legalize It” advocated for human rights and freedom – helping spark an anti-oppression movement through fearless activism.

Tarrus Riley rose to prominence following the release of his single, “She’s Royal.” The song’s gorgeous melody and burnished reggae rhythm combined perfectly with Tarrus Riley’s stunning vocals; listeners were drawn into its message of honoring women for their natural beauty while promising them royal treatment, while its unique sound has since inspired many subsequent reggae artists.