Anyone know about 70' British reggae music?

What kind of reggae music would British skinheads and rockers have listened to? I need to get some of it for a film I’m wanting to make.


Yes, what FutileGesture says. And he/she picked a good boxed set - those are First Wave artists.

If I recall my “years of ska” correctly, the Second Wave was more like The Specials and would have been like late 70s and 80s. Third Wave is mostly American bands in the 90s.

You might like to check out a film made in 1980 called Babylon.
This should be a link IMDB entry
It’s about some friends in Brixton who run a reggae sound system; it’s generally quite lighthearted, but does have some quite moving scenes… Great soundtrack, too.

This CD documents the reggae listened to by London’s very first punk rockers – before they had any punk records to listen to – played to the them by the legendary Don Letts.

Please make sure they’re listening to second wave ska, not the Jamacian variety dating from 1963-66. Third Wave ska is primarily American stuff like Fishbone, Sublime, the Voodoo Glow Skulls, the Mighty Mighty Boss Tones, and eventually No Doubt (although I consider No Doubt to be just a pop band, having almost no reggae or ska left in them.)

What’s interesting about that album is that there’s virtually no ska on it. King Tubby and Lee Perry and the Upsetters were full-on dub by that time. Big Youth and U-Roy were “toasters”–actually proto-rappers that are some of the unsung forefathers of hip hop. “Marcus Garvey” is a brilliant song about the spiritual founder of Rastafarianism. Junior Murvin’s “Police and Thieves” was the nexus of punk and reggae, famously covered by The Clash. The Mighty Diamonds and Culture were full-on Bob Marley-style reggae with little resemblance to the fast, cut time oompah ska rhthyms that the Specials and Madness were so enamored with.

That CD looks great. I’ve got most of those tracks, but I don’t think I have any Tappa Zuki in my collection. I’ll have to try and pick it up.

Tappa Zuki spelt his name in a variety of ways - I think the stuff I’ve got is by Tapper Zukie!

Trojan issued a batch of 4 track, 7" singles in the late 70s - Desmond Dekker, Greyhound, Ken Booth(?), I forget who else - tracks like Ram Goat Liver, Suzanne Beware of the Devil… if you wanted a break from punk, these singles were everywhere…