Cornell campbell natty dread in a greenwich town
I thought Bob Marley was a folk singer when I first heard of him around the time he died. I wasn’t entirely wrong, but it wasn’t until college that I learned from a couple dreads with a radio show that there was more to reggae than Marley. A couple decades later, I’ve absorbed hundreds of albums, visited Jamaica, read a dozen books on it, and participated in reggae discussion forums. Yet I still feel like I don’t know much. Since the early 1960s, there has been an unprecedented proportion of talented active musicians in Jamaica. I wouldn’t be surprised if musician was the top occupation, at least through the 80s. Every year previously unknown gems are being unearthed and reissued. The vast quantity of records made during the crazy and chaotic era of reggae’s 70’s peak guarantees this will continue for some time. My list is hardly definitive. It shows my obsession for Toots & The Maytals, and my preference for quirky, lesser known albums by Rico, Justin Hinds, Cedric Brooks, Ijahman and all things Lee Perry . But if your only point of reference is Bob Marley (whom I love and is well represented), or you’ve only associated reggae only with annoying hackey sack-tossing college trustifarians, you’ll find some rewarding stuff here.