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Classic Reggae Is The Ultimate Beach Vibes

A Global pandemic, civil unrest, a cockroach infestation and watching my poor pregnant wife get destroyed by hormones in the 1st trimester. Needless to say, I was absolutely ready for a vacation. Traveling with my pregnant wife during this pandemic seemed like an unnecessary risk. So, what was the next best thing? Take advantage of living in Florida, drive 45 minutes and go spend a week at the beach. Perfect, got a nice spot on the beach, a cooler filled with cold beer and Pub subs, now what? VIBESSSS. To accompany my relaxed state on the beach, I opted to listen to some reggae. Usually I pick a Bob Marley or Sublime album to listen to but I decided to be a bit more adventurous this vacation and found a playlist on Spotify entitled “Classic Reggae” and I don’t think I have ever found a more fitting playlist (click picture for direct link to Spotify).

I, no joke, went hours without skipping this playlist and just let it run its course. It was a fantastic mix of old school reggae and Ska that managed to absolutely speak to my inner beach soul at that moment and it was a refreshing change from the Reggae I had become accustomed to. I definitely challenge you to take a listen for yourself next time you’re at the beach or overall just trying to chill. When you do so, take a listen some of my favorite songs from the playlist:

#5 007 (Shanty Town) by Desmond Dekker

This is such a great upbeat, old school reggae song by the late great Desmond Dekker. 007 is one of his biggest hits that actually scored some favorable attention in the growing “Rude Boy” scene in Jamaica at the time, where some of Jamaica’s youth were craving songs of rebellion and justice. Little known fact about Desmond Dekker, he actually discovered the one and only Bob Marley while they were working together as welders.

#4 The Loser by Derrick Harriot

Slowing it down a little bit, this song is a Jamaican classic hailing from the year 1967. It’s a classic love song with fantastic harmonies and a great melody. Absolutely love the addition of an acoustic piano which is pretty rare in a reggae song. Guaranteed you will find yourself singing along to this golden oldie.

#3 Bam Bam by Sister Nancy

If you’ve never heard this song you definitely have heard this sampled in some form or fashion. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Billboard stated this was one of the most sampled reggae songs of all time. Crazy story, Sister Nancy was watching TV 32 years after writing this song and heard it on a Reebok commercial. She then decided it was time to get royalties for the song but was relatively unsuccessful and was only able to obtain 50% of the rights of this song.

#2 Legalize It by Peter Tosh

If you claim, you are a fan of reggae then you most definitely have heard this song before. Peter Tosh is widely considered one of the best reggae artists of all time coming oh so close to the late great Bob Marley. This song was actually on Tosh’s first solo album after leaving the Wailer’s (Bob Marley’s band). According to Wikipedia, “the song was written in response to his ongoing victimization by the Jamaican police and as a political piece for the legalization of cannabis, particularly for medical use”. It’s safe to say that this song truly was ahead of its time. Roughly 40 years to be more exact.

#1 Let Down by Easy Star All Stars

This song is just near and dear to my heart. The band Easy Star All Stars is famous for “reggaefying” rock songs and this version of Radio Heads “Let Down” is arguably better than the original (FYI Larson is steaming mad reading this right now). This song’s upbeat tempo, catchy chorus, great use of horns make it an absolute classic for me and will instantly put me in a good mood. Check out the rest of the Radiodread, as it is one of the coolest covers of an entire album to date.

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