Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Jamaican popular music

Roots reggae
Zeroto180

Rare Reggae Roots Mix — Annotated & Illustrated

Thanks and praise to Rastawelt for posting this righteous reel-to-reel roots reggae mix: Listed below is the running order of songs for this special cross-faded set that — based on the original Jamaican release dates — could have been assembled in the late 1970s (though not 1973, as claimed), were

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"Horns of Paradise"
Zeroto180

Trans-National Musical Exchange

Musical fight!   Compare the opening sequence of these two songs, and note how the second one (from 1972) closely mirrors the first one released the year before: “Music for Gong Gong” [1971]  – vs. – “Horns of Paradise” [1972] “Music for Gong Gong” was selected as the A-side of the

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Bob Marley +/- the Wailers
Zeroto180

Early Wailers: Pre-Island Years

Thanks to the local public library, I am no longer the same person I once was after reading Roger Steffens‘ comprehensive and thoughtfully organized oral history of Bob Marley and, by extension, The Wailers, from their earliest days.  Halfway through the book I felt compelled to take notes about a

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Chris Blackwell
Zeroto180

Trojan Records History Highlights

It always helps to have streaming audio within arm’s reach to make music history more of a ‘multimedia’ experience. From reading Young Gifted and Black:  The Story of Trojan Records by Michael de Koningh & Laurence Cane-Honeysett, for example, I have picked up a number of helpful listening tips and

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"Festival Rock"
Zeroto180

“Festival Rock”: History Lesson

Jamaican DJ Dillinger toasts each of the winners to date of the Independence Festival Song Competition in “Festival Rock,” his entry for the 8th annual event in 1973: “Festival Rock”      Dillinger     1973 1966:  The Maytals with “Bam Bam” 1967:  The Jamaicans with “Ba Ba Boom” 1968:  Desmond Dekker

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“Can’t You See”: Rare (?!) Wailers

Back in 1966 when The Wailers were three vocalists (and not a backing band for reggae music’s most famous artist), Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer were under contract to Coxsone Dodd‘s Studio One label.  Recently, after re-watching the 1992 Peter Tosh documentary, Red X, I suddenly got the urge to

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Forgotten 1968 UK Rocksteady 45

Thanks again to record collector extraordinaire, Tom Avazian — underwriter of numerous Zero to 180 research initiatives (most recently, Scotland’s The Poets) — who provided a vinyl copy of 1988 UK anthology, 20 One Hit Wonders, an album that includes a strong track from a band of Birmingham musicians, The

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"Oooh-Diga-Gow"
Zeroto180

“Oooh-Diga-Gow”: King-a-binghi

One can be forgiven for mistaking the heartbeat bass line and the off-kilter, syncopated hand drumming in this 2-minute heavy chant as being part of the Jamaican Nyabinghi tradition.  Note the special effect at song’s end — somewhat “high tech” for King in 1954: “Oooh-Diga-Gow”     Cecil Young Quartet     1954 And

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“Yancey Special”: Prog Reggae II

Keith Emerson would captivate me as a grade schooler with the deep, heavy Moog sounds he conjured for “Lucky Man” — the final track, fittingly, on a 4-LP box set from 1973 that got a lot of mileage in our household growing up, Superstars of the Seventies, one of the

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Van Morrison’s 1969 Pop Reggae

All these years I’ve naively assumed “I Shall Sing” to be a Judy Mowatt early reggae original (and 1974 Jamaican chart-topper, according to this Los Angeles Times piece from 1986).  And yet that same Times piece makes clear, Judy Mowatt was taking her musical inspiration from Miriam Makeba (not Art

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