King Jammy

A Man and His Music, Vol. 1: Roots and Harmony Style

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King Jammy helped move reggae into the modern production era during the 1970s as he began to use synthesizers and electronic backing, replacing the customary horns/guitar/acoustic drums backdrop. The results were both positive and negative; it improved sound quality and brought studio sophistication to the genre. But it ushered in the dancehall revolution, and lyrics turned toward sex and violence and away from the social protest, praise songs, and love ballads that had historically been the primary themes. The 15 tracks on this opening volume are mainly old-school; there's hard-hitting commentary from Natural Vibes, Wailing Souls and Wackad, as well as Sugar Minott's steamy love tunes and Junior Delgado's fiery "Liberation." But you can also hear the future in Tinga Stewart's "Aware Of Love."

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