The Selecter started out with this self-titled instrumental on the flip-side of Gangsters by The Special A.K.A. (soon to be shortened to The Specials) in 1979. (more…)

Linton Kwesi Johnson’s imagined letter from Brixton Prison to his mother back in Jamaica, describing how a young black man was fitted up and beaten by the British police, is so heartbreaking I still find it hard to listen without weeping.


A reggae obscurity, this hymn to marijuana lives up to its title both lyrically and in a production swathed in dub effects – all echoes and strange sounds. (more…)

The ideal song for a sunny day, from another vocal trio whose harmonies shimmer and float on a melody that sticks in your head. (more…)

Steel Pulse – Ku Klux Klan

28th September 1978 · 1978, Music, Reggae

Straight outta the tenement yards of Handsworth in Birmingham, Steel Pulse formed in 1975 and were an integral part of punk’s history. (more…)

A blast of sunshine, Wayne Wade’s upbeat cover of an old Paragons tune lights up any cloudy day with his sweet vocal. (more…)

Joyella Blade – Cairo

23rd September 1978 · 1978, Music, Reggae

With its exotic ‘Arabic’ motif, synthesised strings and syn-drums, Cairo was the only song ever recorded by Joyella Blade for the new Front Line reggae label in 1978. (more…)

The only reggae singer apart from Bob Marley whose fame and ubiquity meant he was known by his first name alone… “Dennis.” (more…)

This song was all over the reggae clubs in 1978 and all over pop radio the following summer when it reached the giddy heights of no.46 in the UK singles chart. It’s one of the great reggae singles. (more…)

Freddie McGregor’s perfectly produced tune soothes the senses like the musical equivalent of sinking back into a nice hot bath for a long soak. (more…)