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Chapter 120: Israelites

Roots reggae & rocksteady

The first reggae chapter, tracing the genre’s origins from sweet melodic rocksteady to smoky, paralyzing euphoria. Nothing makes me want to collapse into a hammock like good reggae, but these musicians also understand exhaustion can be political and even existential. These cuts show off reggae’s more soulful side - Bob Marley of course, but also the gently affirmative “Still In Love,” the almost journalistic “Song Of Blood,” and “Black Woman,” with a wordless chorus that evokes generational pain better than any lyric could.
1. Bob Marley & The Wailers

Is This Love

2. Judy Mowatt

Black Woman

3. Buju Banton

Hills And Valleys

4. The Techniques

Travelling Man

5. Gregory Isaacs

Night Nurse

6. Alton Ellis

I Am Still In Love

7. Jackie Mittoo

Summer Breeze

8. Desmond Dekker


9. Poet and the Roots

Song Of Blood

10. Junior Murvin

Police & Thieves