Friday, October 18, 2013

1973 in Reggae

With 1972's The Harder They Come soundtrack finally entering the US charts, Johnny Nash scoring hits like "I Can See Clearly Now" and "Stir It Up" and The Wailers touring with Sly and the Family Stone, Reggae was ready to seduce black record buyers. And yet, for whatever reason, it was white audiences that bought albums like the Wailers Burnin' and Toots and the Maytals Funky Kingston.

The second of the Wailer's great albums of 1973, Burnin' is the last to feature Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, both of whom would go on to solo careers. Highlights like "Get Up, Stand Up", "I Shot the Sheriff" ( a #1 pop hit for Eric Clapton in 1974) and "Bunin' and Lootin' " reveal Marley at his most political. And yet the music never fails to groove. One of the year's essential albums.

For infectious, joyful reggae nobody beats Toot and the Maytals.  After contributing two cuts to The Harder They Come soundtrack ( " Sweet and Dandy" and "Pressure Drop") , the band released Funky Kingston with its cover of "Louie Louie" and the the classic title cut. In 1975, Island Records would release a different version of the album with the same title and cover art but featuring mostly songs from1974's In the Dark.

THE first dub record. Only 300 copies were originally released in Jamaica by producer Lee "Scratch" Perry's house band which at one time included Sly Dunbar and future Wailers Aston "Family Man" Barrett and brother Carlton. 

 As Burning Spear, Winston Rodney released his lo fi debut album in 1973, His lamenting of the days of slavery would make 1976's Marcus Garvey and Man in the Hills his classic albums.

Deejay I Roy ( Roy Samuel Reid)is one of the world's original rappers. First class dance hall toasting.

[Out of Print]

To keep him out of trouble,  deejay Tapper Zukie's mom send him to the UK where he recorded the songs that would make up his debut album Man Ah Warrior.

Jimmy Cliff's follow-up to The Harder They Come has some decent tunes ( the title cut, "Better Days Are Coming") but sounds as though he was trying too hard to go pop.

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