100 Must Have Reggae Songs

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Classic Soul Radio 100 Must Have Reggae Recordings

Background: Reggae – Around 1960, in the slums of Kingston Jamaica, where the local bands were playing a musical mixture of American R&B, Caribbean, and pan-African sounds, drummers began to emphasize the afterbeat, the 2nd and 4th beats (4/4 time) in unison with the piano and guitar while the bass played walking quarter notes. The musicians called the sound “Upside-down R&B”. It soon became known as “Ska”. As time passed Ska slowed the beat, lost its brass sound and morphed into “Rocksteady”, performed with fewer musicians and using more harmony vocals. Around 1968 the influences of Rastafari and Africanism along with political and social unrest in Jamaica gave birth to “Reggae”, with a slower, stripped-down, less “Pop-like” sound often with accents added on the 3rd beat. Today the term “Reggae” applies broadly to all the Jamaican born music that contains the original afterbeat rhythm.

Criteria: This top 200 songs list contains the classic Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Dancehall and Dub songs from Jamaica along with newer songs from Reggae artists in the U.K., U.S. and Africa. Rankings are based on initial and lasting popularity as well as influence and impact in Reggae music.

(Note: These are Reggae songs by Reggae artists. Not the occasional reggae song recorded by non-reggae artists.)

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100 Reggae Recordings You Should Have In Your Collection

Here is our compilation of the top 100 Reggae songs of all time. This list is in no particular order. Which ones do you have? Which have we missed or left out? Comment below. Hope you like and enjoy the selection! Click on the iTunes icon beside each song to listen to a preview of the song, or to purchase the song from the iTunes store. Remember, each time you make a purchase through our web site, you help support Classic Soul Radio, a registered not-for-profit organization. We thank you for your patronage and support!

  1. No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  2. Israelites – Desmond Dekker & the Aces iTunes
  3. Stir It Up – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  4. Pressure Drop – Toots & the Maytals iTunes
  5. The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff iTunes
  6. One Love – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  7. 54-46 That’s My Number – Toots & the Maytals iTunes
  8. Satta Massagana – The Abyssinians iTunes
  9. Funky Kingston – Toots & the Maytals iTunes
  10. Montego Bay – Freddie Notes & The Rudies iTunes
  11. Many Rivers To Cross – Jimmy Cliff iTunes
  12. Marcus Garvey – Burning Spear iTunes
  13. Legalize It – Peter Tosh iTunes
  14. Redemption Song – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  15. Here I Come – Dennis Brown iTunes
  16. Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  17. Rudy Got Soul – Desmond Dekker & The Aces iTunes
  18. The Tide Is High – The Paragons iTunes
  19. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  20. Everything I Own – Ken Boothe iTunes
  21. Night Nurse – Gregory Isaacs iTunes
  22. You Don’t Care – The Techniques iTunes
  23. Vietnam – Jimmy Cliff iTunes
  24. Rivers Of Babylon – The Melodians iTunes
  25. Police & Thieves – Junior Murvin iTunes
  26. Buffalo Soldier – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  27. Red Red Wine – UB40 iTunes
  28. Cherry Oh Baby – Eric Donaldson iTunes
  29. (I Am) The Upsetter – Lee “Scratch” Perry iTunes
  30. Sitting & Watching – Dennis Brown iTunes
  31. Jammin’ – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  32. Wear You To The Ball – U-Roy & The Paragons iTunes
  33. Two Sevens Clash – Culture iTunes
  34. I Shot The Sheriff – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  35. Any day Now- Willie Williams iTunes
  36. 007 Shanty Town – Desmond Dekker & The Aces iTunes
  37. A Love I Can Feel – John Holt iTunes
  38. Revolution – Dennis Brown iTunes
  39. Queen Majesty – The Techniques iTunes
  40. Natty Rebel – U-Roy iTunes
  41. Loving Pauper – Dobby Dobson iTunes
  42. Natural Mystic – Bob Marley iTunes
  43. Equal Rights – Peter Tosh iTunes
  44. Rocksteady – Alton Ellis & The Flames iTunes
  45. Do The Reggay – Toots & the Maytals iTunes
  46. Don’t Stay Away – Phyllis Dillon iTunes
  47. Baby Why – The Cables iTunes
  48. One Blood – Junior Reid iTunes
  49. Iron Lion Zion – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  50. Book Of The Rules – The Heptones iTunes
  51. Telephone Love – JC Lodge iTunes
  52. Blackheart Man – Bunny Wailer iTunes
  53. Nanny Goat – Larry & Alvin Marshall iTunes
  54. Waste – Bob Andy iTunes
  55. Tenement Yard – Jacob Miller iTunes
  56. Ba Ba Boom – The Jamaicans iTunes
  57. I’m Still In Love With You – Alton Ellis iTunes
  58. Pass The Kutchie – The Mighty Diamonds iTunes
  59. Wonderful World, Beautiful People – Jimmy Cliff iTunes
  60. Mama Africa – Peter Tosh iTunes
  61. Fade Away – Jr. Byles iTunes
  62. How Could I Leave – Dennis Brown iTunes
  63. Soon Forward – Gregory Isaacs iTunes
  64. Trenchtown Rock – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  65. Westbound Train – Dennis Brown iTunes
  66. Cool Rasta – The Heptones iTunes
  67. My Conversation – Slim Smith & The Uniques iTunes
  68. You Can Get It If You Really Want – Jimmy Cliff iTunes
  69. Now That We Found Love – Third World iTunes
  70. Talk About Love – Pat Kelly iTunes
  71. I Need A Roof – The Mighty Diamonds iTunes
  72. 1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade) – Third World iTunes
  73. Declaration of Rights – The Abyssinians iTunes
  74. War Inna Babylon – Max Romeo iTunes
  75. Big Ship – Freddie McGregor iTunes
  76. Waiting In Vain – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  77. Guess Who’s Comming To Dinner – Black Uhuru iTunes
  78. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash iTunes
  79. What One Dance Can Do – Beres Hammond iTunes
  80. Crying Over You – Ken Boothe iTunes
  81. Someone Loves You – JC Lodge iTunes
  82. Sonny’s Lettah – Linton Kwesi Johnson iTunes
  83. What Kind Of World – The Cables iTunes
  84. Rain From The Sky – Delroy Wilson iTunes
  85. Everything Crash – The Ethiopians iTunes
  86. Love Me Forever – Carlton & The Shoes iTunes
  87. Johnny Too Bad – The Slickers iTunes
  88. Love Is My Religion – Ziggy Marley iTunes
  89. Monkey Man – Toots & the Maytals iTunes
  90. War – Bob Marley & the Wailers iTunes
  91. Can I Change My Mind – Alton Ellis iTunes
  92. Duppy Gunman – Ernie Smith iTunes
  93. Zungguzungguguzungguzeng – Yellowman iTunes
  94. Black Cinderella – Errol Dunkley iTunes
  95. Have Mercy – The Mighty Diamonds iTunes
  96. Tumblin Down – Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers iTunes
  97. My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small iTunes
  98. Hold Me Tight – Johnny Nash iTunes
  99. Angel – Shaggy & Rayvon iTunes
  100. Dreadlocks In Moonlight – Lee “Scratch” Perry iTunes

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