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40 years of reggae with David Rodigan

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Playlist: 40 years of reggae with David Rodigan

by Qobuz UK

  • 23 tracks - 01h23m

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All the artists and tracks we covered during our interview with David Rodigan, the voice of reggae in England. A trip to the Jamaica of the 70's-80's-90's, between the different versions of the famous riddim Cuss Cuss, the songs of Bob Marley, the great reggae producers, dub and dancehall (King Tubby, King Jammy, Bunny Lee, Tony Kelly), studio musicians (Har...

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40 years of reggae with David Rodigan

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Cuss Cuss
Various Artists Rebel Music : A Reggae Anthology 00:02:33

Harry Johnson, Producer - Lloyd Robinson, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1968 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

2
Iron Lion Zion
Bob Marley & The Wailers Natural Mystic 00:03:12

Errol Brown, Producer, Additional Producer - Bob Marley, ComposerLyricist - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Producer, MainArtist - Ingmar Kiang, Producer, Additional Producer - Trevor Wyatt, Producer, Additional Producer

℗ 1992 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

3
Zion Train (Album Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers Uprising 00:03:36

Errol Brown, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Marley, ComposerLyricist - CHRIS BLACKWELL, Producer, Mixer, Executive Producer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - The Wailers, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chiao Ng, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1980 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Rock Ina Dancehall (Mix)
Irie Ites Cuss Cuss Riddim 00:03:21

Ansel Collins, Composer - Trinity, MainArtist - Wade Brammer, Lyricist - Flabba Holt, Composer - Style Scott, Composer - Irie Ites, Producer, MainArtist - Dwight Pikney, Composer

2020 Irie Ites Records / Evidence Music 2020 Irie Ites Records

5
Could You Be Loved (12" Mix)
Bob Marley & The Wailers Uprising 00:05:25

Bob Marley, ComposerLyricist - CHRIS BLACKWELL, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Producer, MainArtist - The Wailers, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1980 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Land Of Love
Marcia Griffiths Reggae Anthology: Melody Life 00:03:54

Marcia Griffiths, MainArtist

© 2007 VP Music Group, Inc. ℗ 2007 Vp Music Group, Inc.

7
Ganja Man
Various Artists Ganja Anthems 00:03:05

Linval Thompson, Performer, Writer - Roots Radics, Composer

Irie Ites Records Irie Ites Records

8
Rock Ina Dancehall (Mix)
Irie Ites Cuss Cuss Riddim 00:03:21

Ansel Collins, Composer - Trinity, MainArtist - Wade Brammer, Lyricist - Flabba Holt, Composer - Style Scott, Composer - Irie Ites, Producer, MainArtist - Dwight Pikney, Composer

2020 Irie Ites Records / Evidence Music 2020 Irie Ites Records

Harry Johnson, Producer - Harry J Allstars, MainArtist

© 2003 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1969 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

10
Cuss Cuss (Dub by Rob Smith AKA Rsd)
Horace Andy Broken Beats 00:05:02

Horace Andy, MainArtist - Rob Smith aka RSD, Remixer - Sparta Florida Music Group, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Echo Beach (P) 2013 Echo Beach

11
Declaration of Dub
Mafia & Fluxy Introducing the Pharmacist 00:03:46

Mafia & Fluxy, Performer - L. & D. Heywood, Composer, Writer - L.&D. HEYWOOD, Arranger

2015 Mafia & Fluxy 2015 Mafia & Fluxy

12
Bad Card (Album Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers Uprising 00:02:50

Bob Marley, ComposerLyricist - CHRIS BLACKWELL, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Producer, MainArtist - The Wailers, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1980 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Redemption Song (Album Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers Uprising 00:03:53

Errol Brown, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Marley, ComposerLyricist - CHRIS BLACKWELL, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Producer, MainArtist - The Wailers, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Chiao Ng, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1980 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
King Tubby and Augustus Pablo at the End of Dub
Various Artists The Most High: The Greatest Hits of Dub 00:04:36

Augustus Pablo, MainArtist

(C) 2014 Positive Vibrations (P) 2006 Charly Records

15
Tubby at the Controls
King Tubby The Best of King Tubby 00:02:14

King Tubby, MainArtist - Linval Thompson, Producer - Big Joe, MainArtist

© 2016 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1978 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

16
Deport Them
Various Artists Asafa Powell: Train For Speed 00:03:07

Anthony Kelly, Writer - Sean Paul, Writer, MainArtist

© 2008 VP Music Group, Inc ℗ 2005 VP Music Group, Inc.

17
How About It
Papa Dee Live It Up! 00:04:05

Papa Dee, MainArtist - Tony Kelly, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Daniel "Papa Dee" Wahlgren, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2004 MNW Music AB

18
African Dub Child (Part 1)
Sly & Robbie Meet Bunny Lee At Dub Station 00:03:55

Sly & Robbie, Artist - Bunny Lee, Producer, Artist - Sly & Robbie Meet Bunny Lee, MainArtist

2012 Gorgon Records 2013 Bunny Lee

19
Throne Of Blood
Prince Jammy Kamikazi Dub 00:03:15

Prince Jammy, MainArtist

© 2011 VP Music Group, Inc ℗ 2011 Greensleeves Records Ltd

20
Waterfront Gang War
Prince Jammy Kamikazi Dub 00:03:47

Prince Jammy, MainArtist

© 2011 VP Music Group, Inc ℗ 2011 Greensleeves Records Ltd

21
Dancehall Connection
Various Artists Cuss Cuss Riddim 00:03:16
22
Dread Combination
Mikey Dread Dread At The Controls - Evolutionary Rockers 00:04:12

Mikey Dread, MainArtist - Dread at the Controls Publishing, MusicPublisher

(C) 2005 Dread at the Controls (P) 2005 Dread at the Controls

23
Prophecy
Various Artists Jah Soldiers Musical Weapon, Vol. 1 00:04:31

Mikey Dread, Performer - Jason Murphey, Arranger, Composer - Michael G Campbell, Writer

Jah Time Publishing/Asani Ali Roots Time Production/Asani Ali

About Playlist

All the artists and tracks we covered during our interview with David Rodigan, the voice of reggae in England. A trip to the Jamaica of the 70's-80's-90's, between the different versions of the famous riddim Cuss Cuss, the songs of Bob Marley, the great reggae producers, dub and dancehall (King Tubby, King Jammy, Bunny Lee, Tony Kelly), studio musicians (Harry J All Stars, Sly & Robbie, Mafia & Fluxie) and some celebrity singers, like Barrington Levy and Marcia Griffiths.

David Rodigan, the voice of reggae

by Smaël Bouaici

For forty years, David Rodigan has been the voice of reggae on British radio. Since his early beginnings on BBC Radio London in 1978, this enthusiast has gone well beyond his function of radio presenter, as he went mixing in the clubs and festivals and became a world champion of soundclash, a Jamaican tradition that confronts DJs (the “selectors”) in a disc against disc duel, with the help of a special version of reggae classics called “dubplates”—the artist changing the lyrics to sing the praises of the selector. As he released, in early 2018 his book My Life in Reggae, David Rodigan talks with Qobuz about those secret songs, his trips to Jamaica, his frantic scene play or even his “mystical” meeting with Bob Marley.

During the last two years, many pop stars such as DrakeJustin Bieber and Ed Sheeran sing on reggae dancehall productions (read our Panorama How reggae conquered American Pop). Where does this trend come from, according to you? And is it going to last?

This is because the dancehall beats are contagious. They make you dance a lot (hence their name) with this thump-thump thump-thump rhythm. It is also worth reminding that dancehall drew its influences from soca beats—people often forget that—and it’s important to pay homage to Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, mostly Trinidad. And also to the producers brothers Dave and Tony Kelly (the Penthouse and Madhouse labels, Editor’s Note), whose role was fundamental in creating this thump-thump thump-thump, this inherent tension to the rhythm, which transcended reggae. Dancehall first became popular in the West Indies and in the Caribbean, then a bit all over the world, and now, it’s on a whole other level. The artists using this rhythm today don’t come from reggae but love this music. This isn’t because they’re international pop stars that they don’t keep track of what’s happening elsewhere. Anyone will move listening to dancehall, so seeing it instilled in pop was unavoidable. This is a good thing to see Rihanna, Drake and Ed Sheeran releasing these kinds of tracks. It allows for a propagation of the message and if it can lead more people looking for the origin of this beat, it’s great. I don’t know if this trend is going to last, but people are aware now! And you see more and more dancehall vs hip-hop vs soca parties, which unite so many different people. You hear more fusion nowadays and this is very exciting to see Justin Bieber taking an interest to it, or Major Lazer, who was also a part of this trend. Purists will have a hard time with it, but this is the new world. 


In your book, you tell the fascinating story of the “fake” Bob Marley dubplate, which is inevitably unrivaled.

So, to clarify, I never pretended to possess a dubplate of Bob Marley. I always clearly said that this dubplate was manufactured for a specific reason. This was in 1997, during a clash against the Jamaican sound system Killimanjaro in New York. I knew that the favorite riddim (the word describing an instrumental, Editor’s Note) of Trooper, Killimanjaro’s selector, was the Cuss Cuss  (taken from the eponymous track sung by Lloyd Robinson in 1968, and popularized by Howard Andy  ten years later, Editor’s Note). And then I got an idea. I was the first to play Bob Marley’s Iron Lion Zion on the radio. On a side note, Trevor Wyatt, who was working with Chris Blackwell at Island, discovered this track almost by accident. His job was to listen to old Bob Marley tapes in order to ensure that every song was listed. So he was at home listening to the tape, and he was going to stop playing it, it was the end of the recording. But right this moment, he went into his kitchen to get an orange juice. The tape kept on rolling, and he heard Iron Lion Zion. He dropped his juice, ran to the living room to listen once again to this title that no one knew. And this is how the world discovered Iron Lion Zion (the track was composed in 1973 and released in 1992, posthumously then, Editor’s Note). So I knew there was an acapella from Bob, on a different track. I asked the Island people for it to and they accepted and sent it to me. I gave it to Seani B, a remix prodigy who works for BBC Radio Extra now. At the time, we didn’t have the modern equipment to calibrate the voice on a new instrumental. It took him 18 hours to re-calibrate Bob Marley’s vocals on the bass of Cuss Cuss’ that I had performed by Mafia & Fluxy ( the Sly & Robbie from the next generation, Editor’s Note) and create this special version. But it was worth it. When I played it, it was incredible. Everyone literally went crazy. At no time Bob says my name in the song but in the confusion, people thought it was a dubplate of Bob Marley, whereas it was a remix.

Many rumours circulate around secret Bob Marley dubplates. What do you know about that?

First, you have to know that at that time (Bob Marley died in 1981, Editor’s Note), this culture that consists in praising the name of the soundsystem on the dubplates didn’t exist yet. At that time, you could go into King Tubby’s studio to get an exclusive mix from this or that track, of which there was only one copy, and maybe someone in the studio would speak at the start of the song, saying for example: “This can only be played by David Rodigan.” This was the closest thing to a dubplate that you could find at the time. Despite all that, there is indeed a Bob Marley dubplate, a modified version of Zion Train recorded for Jah Wise from Tippatone, a very popular sound system in the 70s in Jamaica. We hear Bob Marley sing “Tippatone is coming your way” (after some investigation, Tippatone actually possesses two other dubplates from Bob Marley, one of Bad Card and another of Redemption Song, Editor’s Note).

Tell us the story of when you met Bob Marley.

This was in April 1980. He had just come back from Zimbabwe for a concert celebrating the independence of the country, where he was the personal guest of President Robert Mugabe. Bob had paid for the trip himself, determined to take part in this historical moment for Africa. Before going back to Jamaica, he stopped off in London. I was in the Island office, to where I was often going to get discs. When I saw him going down the stairs, I froze, then I decided to seize the opportunity. I skipped all the salutations: “Bob Marley, I’m David Rodigan, I have a reggae show on the radio, can you come tomorrow night?” He gauged me for a second before answering: “Yeah man, I can.” Then, he offered to make me listen to his new song. And I ended up sitting on a couch between Bob Marley and his legendary bass player Family Man, listening to Could You Be Loved. It was mystical.


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