<Smile Jamaica Lovers Rock Showcase; 80 sec.>
For three plus decades if you have listened to Smile Jamaica, you know that with the Ark-ives I ‘n’ I have given regular showcases for 420, Jah-loween, Mutant Dub, UFOria, Bobfest, Roots Dawtas, etc.
But not a full show of the Reggae genre called Lovers Rock. This format is very popular in places like the United Kingdom and the Pacific Islands. For me, it’s a little too smooth when I’m going more for grit. Many a Reggae love song won’t make the playlist if I ‘n’ I hear strings overdubbed on the track.
The day before Valentine’s Day was all Lovers Rock Smile Jamaica.
I ‘n’ I subscribe mostly to Big Youth’s “No more songs about girls”. But there are many people in JA UK and worldwide who favor more of the John Holt’s, Beres Hammond’s and Eddie Lovette’s than the Spear’s, Tosh’s and Prince Fari’s.
Me being a Reggae curmudgeon, I ‘n’ I can and will chant down Babylon all the live long day. But in places like mid 70’s UK, in the dancehalls and shebeens around London, if you wanted the dawtas to come down and rub a dub, you better juggle-in some sweet ladies and smooth operators to the mix.
The gals dress up nice, want to go out and have a dread buy her a drink, take her on the dancefloor for a little rub a dub session and see ya later! And they weren’t gonna leave their seat for heavy militant Rasta protest.
Women artists and groups like Brown Sugar, 15 16 17 (2 sisters and a cousin), all the great Mad Professor dawtas like Aisha, Kofi and Sandra Cross ruled the airwaves with smoother Reggae focusing mostly on themes of love and love lost.
So maybe there is a way, I ‘n’ I can split the difference. Can I keep to the rootsy Reggae riddim accompaniment while blending in a focus of all romance and not have it sound wimpy or soggy?
Started with Gregory Isaac singing about the Night Nurse “only you alone can quench this here dry unproductive cough, cough, cough”. Dubbled up the Roots Dawta quotient, hit the Lovers Rock stalwarts like Barrington Levy, Cornell Campbell and George Faith. End it with a half hour of Mutant Lovers.
Listen for yourself. Would this Ark-ive edition get the lovelies on the dancefloor or is it still the Roots head fraternity in the corner burning spliff and plotting revolution?
Smile Jamaica Lovers Rock Special Playlist: Feb. 13, 2021
- Ronnie Davis – All I Have Is Love; Crucial (Big Mac Soul Power) Can. Vinyl; Gregory Isaacs cover
- Jah Shaka – Deliverance – Commandments of Dub Chapter 6 (Jah Shaka) ’87 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
- Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse; Night Nurse (Mango) ‘82
- 15 16 17 – Someone Special; Magic Touch (DEB) ‘79
- Toots & the Maytals – My Name Is So Strong; Pass the Pipe (Mango) ‘79
- Cornell Campbell – Girl of My Dreams; Natty Dread in a Greenwich Farm (Striker Lee) ‘75
- The Silvertones – Take a Little Love; Rare Reggae Grooves From Studio One (Heartbeat/Studio One) ‘79
- June Lodge – Kiss and Say Goodbye; Someone Loves You Honey (Joe Gibbs) ’80 Manhattans cover
- Culture – Roots Girl; Roots & Culture (Jah Life) ‘82
- Junior Delgado – Love Tickles Like Magic; Treasure Found (Incredible Music) ‘75
- Brown Sugar – I’m in Love With a Dreadlocks; I’m in Love With a Dreadlocks (Soul Jazz) ’79 UK female lovers rock trio
- George Faith w/ Dillinger – To Be a Lover; To Be a Lover (Mango) ’77 Lee “Scratch” Perry/Black Ark prod’n
- Pat Rhoden – Boogie On Reggae Woman: Just My Imagination vol. 3 (Trojan) ’75 Stevie Wonder cover
- Akabu – My Love; Warrior Queen (ON U Sound) ’95 UK female group
- Aswad – Hooked on You; To the Top (Simba) ‘86
- Leroy Smart – This Love; King Tubbys at the Controls vol. 2 (Original) late 70’s
- Blackbeard – Electrocharge; I Wah Dub (EMI) Dub ’80 Album of the Hour
- Afro Omega – All My Love; Pick Up the Pieces EP (Afro Omega) 2006 SLC w/ female vox
- Joe Higgs – My Baby Still Loves Me; Life of Contradiction (Esoldun) ‘75
- Empress Rasheda – True Love; Hail H.I.M. (Roots) ‘95
- Barrington Levy – Loving You; Time Capsule (RAS) ‘82***End of Set 4
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital Lovers Set
- The Heptones – Soul Sister; Legends From Studio One (Trenchtown) ’72 Allen Toussaint cover:
- Barry Brown – True Love Is the Answer; Step It Up Youthman (Jackpot) ’79 UK
- Jah Woosh – Falling in Love; Dreadlocks Affair (Trojan) ’75 UK dj to Midnight Train to Georgia
- Honey Boy – Will You Be My Girl; In Dreamland (Taretone) ’81 UK
- Sheila Hylton – Breakfast in Bed; 12” (Ballistic) ’79 UK Dusty Springfield cover
Set 6: Wailers Family Tree Lovers Rock
- Bob Marley & the Wailers – Turn Your Lights Down Low; Exodus (Tuff Gong) ’78 Peter Tosh feat. Gwen Guthrie – Nothing But Love; Wanted Dread & Alive (EMI America) ’81 US vinyl
- Marcia Griffiths – The Way I Feel About You; Steppin’ (Shanachie) ‘79
- Bunny Wailer – Love Fire; Solomonic Singles vol. 2 (Solomonic) ‘78
- Linton Kwesi Johnson – Lorraine; Bass Culture (Mango) ‘80
- Aisha – Love Is So Simple; High Priestess (Ariwa) ‘88
- Susan Cadogan – Say a Little Prayer; Songs of Aretha (Ariwa) 2019 Aretha Franklin covers
Set 8: Lovers Rock Mutant Dub Set
- Singers & Players – Thing Called Love; Revenge of the Underdog (ON U Sound) ’82
- New Age Steppers – My Love; 7” (Statik) ’81 UK picture sleeve
- Bim Sherman – You Are the One; ON U Sound Reggae Archives vol. 2 (ON U Sound) BB Seaton cover
- Claude Fontaine – Love Street; Claude Fontaine (Innovative Leisure) 2019 Fr. dawta
- Dry & Heaven – Love Explosion; Full Contact (BSI) 2000 Jah-pon w/ female vox
- UB40 – Love Is All Is Alright; UB44 (Virgin)