Exclusive: Sting & Shaggy list their favourite reggae albums for us | #NAD
Reggae records at the ready!
Celebrating 70 years of the album format, today marks the very first National Album Day here in the UK.
Coming at the end of a week of music events and activities around the country, the first National Album Day invites people from all over to take part in the nation's biggest playback.
With a combined 30 albums between them, we invited Sting & Shaggy to get involved. Their current collaborative effort 44/876 is one that lends itself more to reggae than anything else and so we asked the pair to list their favourite reggae records and explain what makes them so damn good.
Mentioning everyone from Buju Banton and Yellowman to Dennis Brown and Bob Marley, take a look at the list Sting & Shaggy exclusively put together for us.
ALBUM: Babylon by Bus
ARTIST: Bob Marley & the Wailers
"What more is there to be said about the king of reggae? The thing to note is that there isn't one Bob Marley song that we don't like. Of course, there are some we like more than others but none that we don't like. Babylon by Bus is classic Marley. Legend includes a live version of 'War', one of Shaggy's all-time favourite Marley songs. Also, 'Heathen' is a standout track."
ARTIST: Bob Marley & the Wailers
"This is the best compilation of Marley songs. It's also a perfect holiday gift for non-reggae heads."
ALBUM: One Man Against the World
ARTIST: Gregory Isaacs
"Dubbed 'The Cool Ruler,' Gregory was known for his smooth vocals and relatable lyrics over solid dub style reggae beats, some of which were produced by Sly and Robbie ('The Riddim Twins'). This is an album that you put on and let play, a real mood setter, preferably with something to smoke!"
ARTIST: Tarrus Riley
"Known to his peers as Singy Singy, Tarrus is a true vocalist. Though he has mastered the art of reggae singing, he is very diverse in his art. He has a vocal range that allows him to sing anything. Songs like the Sly and Robbie-produced 'She’s Royal' is a favorite amongst Lover's Rock fans and Tarrus is always a showman live."
ALBUMS: Til Shiloh / Voice of Jamaica
ARTIST: Buju Banton
"Both records are timeless masterpieces, certainly within the Caribbean community. Voice of Jamaica was the second album to Buju’s break out album, Mr.Mention, which was a dancehall smash and included 'Ardent' among many other hits. But, it was Voice of Jamaica that introduced him to a more international audience. It had some memorable dancehall hits including 'Deportee'. Buju then released Til Shilo, which cemented him internationally amongst touring fans. To this day, it's one of our all-time favourites. It’s where Buju changed his style and started to do more melodies and singing with powerful lyrics - truly a great listen."
ALBUM: Welcome to Jamrock
ARTIST: Damian Marley
"This was Damian’s breakthrough album. Son of the biggest reggae icon ever, Bob Marley, Damian is considered reggae royalty so it wasn’t a surprise when he penned the powerful title track 'Welcome to Jamrock'. The record also boasts other hits such as 'Beautiful' featuring Bobby Brown. Welcome to Jamrock is a great listen and a reggae/dancehall classic."
ALBUM: The Best of Me
ARTIST: Maxi Priest
"We love this album because it’s a compilation of some of Maxi’s biggest hits which includes 'Close ToYou', 'Wild World' and 'Temptress' among others. Maxi has an amazing voice - one of the silkiest vocals in reggae. This is truly the type of LP you can listen through the whole way through."
"Chronixx is quite new to the scene, but he's one of the best artists we’ve heard in a long time and since the likes of Buju Banton. What makes Chronixx so great, apart from his smooth vocals and reality style lyrics, is his consistency. You know what you're getting when you pick up a Chronixx record. Put it on and just roll one up."
ALBUM: Love & Hate
ARTIST: Dennis Brown
"Dennis Emanuel Brown is known as 'The Crown Prince of Reggae'. The album, Love & Hate is one of his best. The Sly and Robbie-produced 'Revolution' is now a standard is the dance halls of Jamaica. Just a great listen."
ALBUM: As Raw As Ever
ARTIST: Shabba Ranks
"This is another breakthrough album for dancehall, especially in the U.S.. It contains the single 'Trailer Load A Girls', which was a massive dancehall smash. With As Raw As Ever, Shabba managed to maintain his hardcore base while delivering the crossover smash 'House Call' featuring Maxi Priest that became a Top 5 single and took the record to gold status."
ALBUM: Tease Me
ARTIST: Chaka Demus & Pliers
"Tease Me was a pioneering record not just for the artists themselves but also for dancehall music at the time. It had 'Murder She Wrote' and also 'Tease Me' which were both British chart smashes. And, at that time, dancehall records on the British chart wasn’t a common occurrence."
ALBUM: True Democracy
ARTIST: Steel Pulse
"Amazing album! These guys were instrumental in the growth of reggae music out of England and are respected in the reggae community as icons. David Hinds' vocals matched perfectly with Grizzly's drumming. They created a sound that was only theirs and still stands today."
ALBUM: Nobody Move
"Yellowman's Nobody Move had reggae beats. This is when dancehall artists were still flowing on reggae beats; during the soundsystem era. Yellowman was Jamaica’s first dancehall superstar. He took the world by storm and introduced the genre to the mainstream. This is a true masterpiece. One of our favourite tracks is 'Zungguzungguguzungguzeng' A classic!