Published on August 6th, 2012 | by CMcCalla

Top 50 Reggae Songs Of All Time

- Casey Gane – McCalla

Picking the 50 best reggae songs is an almost impossible task, I’m sure someone could make a list of 50 different songs that are as good or not better than this one. Bob Marley probably could have 50 songs himself. But this list represents the various subgenres of reggae and contains many hits that are still played at reggae clubs all the time.
1. The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff: This song epitomizes the resilient determined sprit of reggae music, its pride its pain and its passion
2. Stir It Up – Bob Marley: Maybe the best love song of any genre
3. Legalize It – Peter Tosh: The ultimate marijuana anthem
4. Here I Come – Dennis Brown: The crown Prince of reggae’s uplifting hit
5. Pressure Drop – Toots And The Maytals: Great songs highlighting Toots gruff baritone and the Maytals falsetto harmonies
6. Marcus Garvey – Burning Spear: A booming tribute to Jamaican’s militant leader
7. Night Nurse – Gregory Isaacs: A beautiful melancholy love song by
8. Untold Stories – Buju Banton: Gargamael’s powerful moving ballad about Jamaican poverty
9. Ghetto Red Hot – Supercat: This song shows the realities of political violence and gangsterism in Jamaica with the bravado of the gunmen that live it.
10. Police And Thieves – Junior Murvin:  This Lee Scratch Perry hit lives on forever through movies
11. One Of Those Days – Sizzla: A passionate yet subtle moving love song
12. Concrete Jungle – Bob Marley: A graphic musical depiction of the poverty that still plays the Kingston Garrisons
13. I’m Still In Love With You – Alton Ellis: An early R&B influenced classic from one its pioneers
14. Many Rivers To Cross – Jimmy Cliff: An epic gospel style ballad that details the struggle and perserverance of the Jamaican people
15. Bam-Bam – Sister Nancy: One of a few classic reworking of Toots And The Maytals hit, inna dancehall stylee
16. Stepping Razor – Peter Tosh: A tough theme song for a tough man
17.  Too Experienced – Barrington Levy: Classic dancehall chune done with Barrington’s unique vocal delivery
18. 96 Degrees in the Shade – Third World: This song was inspired by one of Jamaica’s national heroes, Paul Bogle
19. Rockaway – Beres Hammond: A brilliant piece of musical nostalgia from Beres
20. Welcome To Jamrock – Damian Marley: A powerful song about the harsh realities of Jamaica
21. Everything I Own – Ken Boothe: Another great Jamaican love song from reggae’s Rocksteady era
22. Romie – Beenie Man: A classic tale told showcasing Beenie Man’s clever lyrics and vocal dexterity
23. Sorry – Foxxy Brown: A forever living cover of the Tracy Chapman song done in a distinct dancehall style
24. Cherry My Baby – Eric Donaldson: An upbeat happy love song from reggae’s early days
25. Flex – Mad Cobra: A rough and ready dancehall anthem for sexual intercourse
26. Big Ship – Freddie McGregor: A Big tune from Mr. McGrgor with a sublte sexual metaphor and a great praceful melody
27. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner – Black Uhuru: A great haunting songs announcing the arrival of the “natty dreadlocks”
28. Tomorrow People – Ziggy Marley: Ziggy’s biggest song one that his father could’ve easily writtern.
29. Living Dangerously – Barrington Levy And Bounty Killer: A great dancehall chune with the diverse styles of Bounty and Barrington
30. Tease Me – Chaka Demus And Pliers: This song exudes the sexuality and energy of regae music.
31. Tempted To Touch – Beres Hammond And Cutty Ranks: Beres at his best with a sweet melody and Cutty handling the deejay business
32. Waiting In Vain – Bob Marley: A sweet passionate and subtle love song
33. Revolution – Dennis Brown: Mr. Brown’s anthem for systematic change in th system
34. Murderer – Buju Banton: Buju harsh condemanation of the culture of violence and killing in Jamaica is more necessary than ever
35. Big And Ready – Supercat, Frankie Paul And Heavy D: Classic collaoaboration between Mr. Cat , his hop-hop bredren Heavy D. and the blind regae crooner, Frankie Paul
36. Mavado – On The Rock: A haunting powerful anthem about resilience independence and price
37. Tour – Capleton: A grand dancehall chune that introcuced Spaleton into the world of music.
38. Youth Dem Cold – Richie Spice: This tune reflects the anger driven by poverty in the Third World, specifically Jamaica
39. Ganja Farmer – Marlon Asher: An upbeat ganja anthem chronicling the life of the carribean ganja planter.
40. When I See You Smile – Singing Sweet: A great everlasting cover song in a dancehall style
41. Uptown Top Ranking – Althea And Donna: A great homage to the upperclass of Kingston and the Uptown area they reside.
42. Never Be The Same – Sean Paul: Sean Paul’s melancholy ode to lost loves ones remains his most poignat songs
43. My Boy Lollipop – Millie Smalls: The first reggae song to gain international attention still lives on to this day.
44. Jah Jah City – Capleton And Morgan Heritage: A great collaboation between Capleton and the fanily bond bound group Morgan Heritage
45. It’s a Pity – Tanya Stephens: A moving bluesy dancehall hit showcasing Tanya’s distinct female voice and Jamaican attitude.
46. O Carolina – Shaggy: O great dancehall style reworking of a classic Jamaicn folk song.
47. Sticky – Jah Cure: A great upbeat, uplifting postivcie song with gospel overtones
48. Police In Helicopter – John Holt: Defiant marijuana chune
49. When The 2 77 Clash – Culture: An epic song that showed pre-riots Britain attitude and the tension between the west Indian and other ones inspired this song
50. Beware – Tarrus Riley: Tarrus Riley offers warnings on the harsh tensions in Jamaica’s urban jungles

 

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6 Responses to Top 50 Reggae Songs Of All Time

  1. Rev. Michael McCarthy says:

    Ghetto People Song – Everton Blender

  2. Greg says:

    Good list. Everything I Own, Uptown Top Ranking, Untold Stories. Some of my favorites. Waiting in Vain is fine, but not one of my favorite BMW tunes, so I’d probably sub in Rebel Music or, if I wanted to represent the later Bob, Could You Be Loved.

  3. tunde says:

    Untold stories by Buju Banton and Redemption song by Bob Marley is my all time favorite… Mr loverman by Shabba Ranks should be in that list….

  4. Stanley Chauke says:

    African teacher, African post man by the Burning spear are one of my favourate, i dont leave out waiting vain by Bob Marle

  5. Frankkul says:

    Reggea music is one of the best miusic in the world.

  6. uwelito says:

    As you just wrote, so much incredible music was produced in JA during the 60′s, 70′s and 80. If you like to hear some more real stuff, mainly without making it to the charts outside Jamdown, check out my playing list ‘for true raggamuffins’ on youtube.com

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