While some may profess to following the genre into its current configuration, I must admit that I'm firmly entrenched into one particular decade, with a few isolated spots of interest during the 80's.
By 1990, reggae music had become as far from my interest as the island was to the American mainland, and that gulf continues to widen.
I think the last reggae album I can claim was Aswad's Rise And Shine Again from 1995, so Out Of Many may be a good place to start in getting re-familiarized with the genre.
Some of the songs I recognize. Some of the artists I known nothing of. But I’m pretty sure that an artist named “Sizzla” is not going to be much of a draw for me. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’m going to be any help past ’92.
The 70’s rundown looks pretty good, but I can’t vouch for a lot of what’s on this massive 50 song box set celebrating
Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary
From the press release:
Out Of Many - 50 Years of Reggae Music captures the essence of every era over the past five decades with these 51 distinctive hits from artists including Lord Creator, Alton Ellis, Skatalites, Augustus Pablo, Dennis Brown, Culture, Eek-A-Mouse, Yellowman, Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, Shabba Ranks, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Ninjaman, Beres Hammond, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Tanya Stephens, Mavado, Gyptian and many more.
The collection includes extensive liner notes written by reggae historian Noel Hawks. He discusses the innovation and evolution of the island’s music, and how the iconic label VP Records - once Randy’s Record Mart at 17 North Parade in Kingston, Jamaica - played a crucial role in the production and worldwide distribution of these sounds. The album features the monumental anthems that played a pivotal role in the Jamaica’s musical history.
The disc opens with Trinidadian singer Lord Creator’s 1962 calypso track “Independent Jamaica.” This benchmark record was the #1 in Jamaica at the time and was produced by Vincent Chin, the founder of Randy’s and VP Records. It was also the first song licensed in the U.K. by Chris Blackwell’s Island label.
The set then delves into the ska era with The Skatalites’ “Malcolm X” to the soulful cool sounds of rocksteady with hits “Mouth A Massy” by Alton Ellis, “Take It Easy” Hopeton Lewis and “Ba Ba Boom” by The Jamaicans. Featured songs like Dave and Ansel Collin’s timeless “Double Barrel” (Jamaica’s first #1 hit in the UK) and Dennis Brown’s “Westbound Train” mark the defining era of reggae, which is further solidified with 70s’ roots classics like Junior Byles’ ominous “Fade Away” and Culture’s “Two Sevens Clash.”
The Out Of Many collection also includes the 1985 game-changing hit “Under Me Sleng Teng” produced by King Jammy and the track’s vocalist Wayne Smith. This song introduced computer driven rhythms, which spawned the dancehall era and created the template for contemporary reggae music as a whole.
From dancehall hits (Shabba Ranks’ “Mr. Loverman,” Beenie Man’s “Who Am I,” Sean Paul’s “Get Busy” and Mavado’s “Weh Dem A Do”) to lover’s rock anthems (Beres Hammond’s “Can’t Stop A Man” and Gyptian’s “Hold You”), roots reggae tunes (Sizzla’s “Just One Of Those Days” and Tanya Stephens’ “These Streets”) leading into dubstep (“Zungguzungguguzunggezeng (Horsepower Remix)” by Yellowman), Out of Many’s musical sphere offers a well-rounded variety of the island’s seminal sounds.
Over the past fifty years Jamaica’s music has made an indelible mark as a cultural beacon throughout the world. Today, reggae is one of the most influential musical forms. Out Of Many celebrates these achievements of the past and the promise of the future into one must-have collection. "
TRACK LISTING: Year Song Title – Artist
1962 Independent Jamaica - Lord Creator
1963 Blow Roland Blow - Joanne Gordon/Roland Alphonso
1964 Malcolm X - The Skatalites
1965 Mouth A Massy - Alton Ellis
1966 Take It Easy - Hopeton Lewis
1967 Ba Ba Boom - The Jamaicans
1968 Such is Life - Lord Creator
1969 I Love the Reggay (Do The Reggae) - The Gaylads
1970 Love of the Common People - Nicky Thomas
1971 Double Barrel - Dave and Ansel Collins
1972 Java - Augustus Pablo
1973 Westbound Train - Dennis Brown
1974 Everything I Own - Ken Boothe
1975 Fade Away - Junior Byles
1976 I'm Still In Love With You - Marcia Aiken
1977 Two Sevens Clash - Culture
1978 Smoking My Ganja - Capital Letters
1979 We Got Love - Freddie McGregor
1980 Ice Cream Love - Johnny Osbourne
1981 Wa-Do-Dem - Eek-A-Mouse
1982 Fattie Boom Boom - Ranking Dread
1983 Zungguzungguguzunggezeng - Yellowman
1984 Here I Come - Barrington Levy
1985 Under Me Sleng Teng - Wayne Smith
1986 Hello Darling - Tippa Irie
1987 Rumors - Gregory Isaacs
1988 Telephone Love - JC Lodge
1989 Twice My Age - Krystal & Shabba Ranks
1990 Mr. Loverman - Shabba Ranks & Deborah Glasgow
1991 The Going Is Rough - Cocoa Tea & Cutty Ranks
1992 Gal Wine - Chaka Demus & Pliers
1993 Return Father & Son - Ninjaman
1994 Under Mi Sensi (94 Spliff) - Barrington Levy and Beenie Man
1995 Can't Stop a Man - Beres Hammond
1996 Give Me The Reason - Lady Saw
1997 Who Am I - Beenie Man
1998 Heads High - Mr. Vegas
1999 Can You Play Some More (Pull it Up) - Beres Hammond and Buju Banton
2000 Down by the River - Morgan Heritage
2001 Give It To Her - Tanto Metro & Devonte
2002 Just One of Those Days - Sizzla
2003 Get Busy - Sean Paul
2004 Pon De River Pon De Bank- Elephant Man
2005 Living In Love - I-Wayne
2006 These Streets - Tanya Stephens
2007 Weh Dem A Do - Mavado
2008 Roots - Etana
2009 I Feel Good - Beres Hammond
2010 Hold You - Gyptian
2011 Zungguzungguguzunggezeng (Horsepower Remix) - Yellowman
2012 Independent Jamaica (2012 Version) - Peetah Morgan and Hollie Cook