My Top Ten Reggae Songs - Michael Barnett

My Top Ten Reggae Songs - Michael Barnett


Monday, December 30, 2019

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The Jamaica Observer rounds out its celebration of reggae's 50th anniversary with the personal top-10 reggae songs of all time by well-known personalities.

1. Inseparable — Dennis Brown: The greatest reggae love song of all time. Inseparable means cannot be separated; cannot divide. This classic cannot be separated or divided from the number one position.

2. One Love — Bob Marley: The ultimate universal song of love and harmony with a sampling of The Impressions' People Get Ready. Words cannot express... there's a message in the music!

3. Sata Masa Gana — The Abyssinians: The unofficial anthem of reggae, Rastafari and back-to-Africa movement based on the Ethiopian Amharic language. Sata Masa Gana means 'give thanks' in Amharic. “ There is a land far, far away ... where there's no night there's only day-y ...”.

4. My Conversation — Slim Smith & The Uniques: A combination of powerful messages “Love yuh brothers and love yuh sisters” with a haunting rhythm and lead singer Slim Smith at his best. Smith, unfortunately, committed suicide in 1973, at the age of 24.

5. Wear You To The Ball — U Roy: The number one all-time Jamaican party cry with Daddy Roy at his toasting best, sampling The Paragons' original song of the same title. Whenever this song is on the turntable the dancefloor is ram jam. “Chica bow, chica bow chica bow wow wow”!

6. Anything For You — Snow & Friends: My all-time favourite from the early dancehall era with a combination of the best artistes of the day... Snow, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Nadine Sutherland, Louie Culture, Terror Fabulous and Culture Knox. If the party is lagging, just throw this on the turntable and the dance floor ram again.

7. Love Has Found Its Way — Dennis Brown: The silky-smooth “Crown Prince” at his best. This classic ballad made its way to number 43 on the Billboard Singles Chart in 1983, Dennis Brown's highest international chart success. Should have made it to number one in my humble opinion.

8. She's Royal — Tarrus Riley: What more can I say about this unforgettable Tarrus Riley single, that went straight to the heart of all females. “ Well I .... never been kinda shy ...

9. Murder She Wrote — Chaka Demus & Pliers: Toots & The Maytals classic festival song Bam Bam, sampled to the highest degree! Pliers crooning and Chaka Demus riding the rhythm 'bout a girl name Maxine .... “ The wickedest kinda girl Mr Pliers buck up pon...”

10. Drifter — Dennis Walks: B-r-a-p! B-r-a-p! B-r-a-p! 60s/70s dancehall at it's peak! Arresting rhythm (with Jackie Jackson's unrelenting bassline) plus tremendous vocals by the man from Spanish Town. “... From the day I know myself ... I've been a drifter.”

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