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Old 06-08-2010, 06:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In honor of reggae week, I looked up the one reggae-style song for which I actually remember the title: "Red Red Wine."

I learned that the original song was written by Neil Diamond! Huh, I thought to myself. Huh. That doesn't sound very promising as a reggae song...and it isn't. The song is more of a ballad and I don't think I missed much by never having heard it before today.

The song was then covered by Tony Tribe, a Jamaican rocksteady singer who recorded a reggae-influenced version in 1969. I feel Tribe's version is a little better than the original. Many other people covered this song, too.

Finally, in 1983, UB40 created the version that I always liked and that probably most of you have heard. I don't think I heard this song when it came out in 1983 but later in college, so it brings back memories of dorm rooms and drunk people and failed love.

Here, if you wish, you can compare the progression of songs, culminating in UB40's performance of "Red Red Wine," which I enjoy the most.

As an aside, I really think the UB40 song is pretty and melancholy, but drinking oneself into oblivion to forget someone is not a very productive coping mechanism!! Maybe that's why people like the song: it shows human frailty...and sometimes it is nice to know you aren't the only weak one pining away stupidly for someone. Since I hate wine, I'd probably just use some nice fruit juice...maybe rice drink mixed with coconut-pineapple juice (yum!).

Neil Diamond - Red Red Wine (written and sung by him)



Tony Tribe - Red Red Wine (cover) (1969)



UB 40 - Red Red wine (cover) (1983) --my favorite!

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I apologize for not getting that out, but I was mainly spending my time in the bathroom with a bucket.

--
1950's
The first true Reggae grew from African folk/dance music mixed with some European influences of the early 50's/late 40's. You may ask "If this is all European and African inspired why is Jamaica the mother-ship of all things reggae. Well as you may know the small island is very poor and its people very culturally biased towards music with a primal type of beat. (not to mention they love herb) Between this and mainly the fact that they were poor and could not afford entire bands to come and play events like we are used to today, they have DJ's who would play a recording and spin or toast over these simplistic rhythms. Toasting is an almost stream of consciousness type of spoken word that is considered by some to be social commentary.

Shortly after this Jamaica started creating its own record labels which allowed more and more artists to keep expanding the sound. By the mid 50's New Orleans blues had taken over in America, which as result spilled over into this music being created in Jamaica. This added any instruments to the mix; Sax, Trumpet, Piano, Drums...etc... Naturally this gave the music a very soulful and primal sound with the social aspect of the lyrics contributing.




1960's
This music was classified as Ska. Very bass heavy and Jazz/Blues oriented. This led directly to what we today call Reggae. (term comes from the music sounding very ragged and outproduced) The wonderful thing about this genre is the instrumental roles are reversed. Your typical rock/blues band has a background drum and bass part with leading vocals guitar/sax etc... Reggae turned the bass into a much more popular and dominant instrument within many cultures all over the world. A big misconception with reggae is that it started in Jamaica, when in reality like mentioned above its roots draw directly from Africa and the United States. So all you white boys without dreads listening to Marley can feel at home now because you, YES YOU are the reason he is there.

The sound focuses not only around the aforementioned instruments and vocal styles but many effects that alter the quality and timbre of sound coming from rapidly evolving amplifiers. Re-verb (a big room type echo) was common among bass/guitar players. The music tended to be very treble heavy with guitars sounding almost like passing waves of altered sound. Tempo was most often slower and more relaxed with the attitude of making each note count rather than playing with efficiency and speed. Guitar wise this really popularized single coils like stratocasters because of there natural clean tones. Of coarse many other were used; considering the most famous rhythm player (Marley) used a humbuckerd Les Paul. The drum sets are typically smaller with more off time beats than general speed and virtuoso.




1970s

Decade of Dub.

I still feel horrible so forgive me but I will finish this later tonight or in the morning.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If I'm interrupting, feel free to delete this post. Just thought I'd drop off a song I enjoy grooving to.

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Old 06-11-2010, 05:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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hmmm, and here i thought Jamacian wasn't a language.
He is speaking Patois which is cultural slang and not a language as such. I could listen to patois all day long bloodclaat!
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