Help find romantic slow-tempo Jamaican ska, bluebeat, & rocksteady tunes
December 11, 2016 11:45 PM   Subscribe

Apologies in advance if this question is under-specified, but I am trying to put together a playlist of original Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and bluebeat tunes which are similar to some I have already selected. In particular I am trying to identify slow-tempo romantic dance tunes from the early era of Jamaican popular music. Examples of what I am looking for follow..

Perhaps the best-known single I can think of is the Paragons' hit recording of "The Tide Is High", though "When the Lights Are Low" (another track of theirs) is a better match for what I am looking for.

My vocabulary for describing exactly what I'm looking for is quite limited (suggestions appreciated.) Probably the best way to explain, therefore, is by way of example. Please help me identify more tracks similar to these:
posted by Nerd of the North to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Motivation for this question: Every once in a while I play "When the Lights Are Low" on my local radio show and I always get someone calling in to ask "wow, what was that?" I have a decent, modestly-sized collection of music from the era but it's not an easy period to collect and I know there are probably many gems that I've never encountered because they're out-of-print or just off my radar. Help me, hive-mind, to find some rare treasures to please the public radio listeners in this little corner of the world.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:51 PM on December 11, 2016

Will any of these do?

Sandra Cross: I Adore You
Janet Kay: Silly Games
Phyllis Dillon: One Life to Live
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:25 AM on December 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Must listen!

Susan Cadogan: Hurt So Good
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:31 AM on December 12, 2016

Best of Studio One Volume One might have some tracks of the kind you're looking for. Pretty easy to find in secondhand stores also.
posted by Kosmob0t at 2:46 AM on December 12, 2016

Alton Ellis: Ain't that loving you (Also If I could rule this world — not exactly "romantic" but still totally awesome... as is most of his other stuff. He's great.)
Phyllis Dillon: Perfidia
Derrick Harriot: Do I worry?
Delroy Wilson: I want to love you
The Jamaicans: Dedicated to you
Sensations: Long time me no see you girl

Then check out the Trojan Records Rocksteady playlist on Spotify.
posted by ZipRibbons at 3:00 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by mareli at 5:43 AM on December 12, 2016

A search term that might help is lovers rock (e.g., see the Sandra Cross link above). Not everything under that category is going to fit what you want, but a lot will.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:46 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Myrna Hague: What About Me
More recommendations at the Frightnrs Rocksteady Playlist, who are modern but poignantly beautiful.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:47 AM on December 12, 2016

My World is Empty Without You by the Heptones .
There are some amazing rock steady playlists on YouTube, check those out. I think one of the best is just called "ska and rocksteady"
posted by fshgrl at 9:15 AM on December 12, 2016

Safe Travel - Phil Pratt
Sweet Song for My Baby - Ken Boothe
Everyday Is a Holiday - The Sensations
posted by Leontine at 10:42 AM on December 12, 2016

I don't remember exactly which tracks on DJ Spooky presents In Fine Style 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records!!!! are exactly what you're looking for. There are two likely hits: B.B. Seaton covering "Summertime" and Al Barry & The Cimarons "Morning Sun."

Although most of the comp is not exactly what you are looking for, it may be a good place to start. There is a lot of what you want on Trojan, I think. Also I recognized the backing band from your first link as Tommy McCook And The Supersonics, performers of The Rooster which is not not not what you are looking for, but is both 1) thematically related to your question, and 2) fiiire.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 10:51 AM on December 12, 2016

Prince Buster, She Was A Rough Rider; Closer Together

Less romantic and more utter filth, but you can't miss Wreck A Buddy by the Soul Sisters. (Also works as a holiday-times antidote if you're incredibly sick of The Little Drummer Boy.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:17 PM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

OK, if we're doing sex tunes, you've got to give Jackie Opel's Push Wood a spin.
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:40 AM on December 13, 2016

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