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Big Dave's Reggae selections

As you can probably tell from the artists that I work with here at Mr Bongo, I am passionate about reggae and dub. I have been collecting the music since the late 70's and still feel the same buzz about the music now as I did back then. In this post I have pulled together five of my all time favourite reggae albums. Some I am sure you will know, but there may be a couple that you may not have heard yet. Enjoy... 

Selection 1: The Abyssinians - Satta Massagana

My first pick is this ground-breaking record. Originally released in 1976, widely considered The Abyssinians crowning achievement and of course a classic roots reggae album. Such a great vocal and those heavy horn arrangements!.. A divinely inspired record. Not that rare, but a personal favourite.

I was on tour with Joe Arroyo (the king of Colombian music) many years back and was lucky enough to meet The Abyssinian guys. Got the chance to tell them how much I loved the record, and share some highs...

Selection 2: Steel Pulse - Handsworth Revolution

Named after the Handsworth district of Birmingham, England, the band's home.This is the first reggae record I bought. The start of a life-long love affair with the music. Purchased from Our Price, Hammersmith in 1978. This was the sound of Black Britain at the time.


Selection 3: Pirate's Choice - Studio One Compilation

So heavy, you can't get to track two! All cuts that had been pirated in the past so Coxon Dodd decided to put them out on one comp. Came out in 1981, and still is a total killer.

Selection 4: Burning Spear – Rocking Time

Burning Spear’s second album on Studio One. Released in 1974. Burning Spear are in my opinion second only to the Wailers (maybe Toots, maybe). Led by one of the most recognisable voices in Reggae, Winston Rodney.

Selection 5: Alpha Blondy - Apartheid Is Nazism

I heard it on the Jon Peel radio show some-time around 1985. It was one of the first records that I associated with artists standing up against the South African apartheid regime. This ivory coast singer broke the mould for African reggae and later went on to record with the wailers.