By NeahkahnieGold NeahkahnieGold
updated about 1 year ago

  1. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus

    Everyone and your mom has a copy of Legend, the greatest hits, but if you’re serious about getting your reggae collection, dig into this ninth studio album from the iconic outfit. It’s two sides with five songs each, and each tune on side two was a bonafied smash. “Jamming,” “Three Little Birds,” and “One Love/People Get Ready” are all here. It’s so laidback, you’d never know Marley had survived a gunshot wound months before recording.

  2. Peter Tosh - Legalize It

    Speaking of The Wailers, Peter Tosh is another icon your collection would be without. He was a founding member of The Wailers before going solo to write and record this 1976 classic. It’s a strong statement from a man sick of persecution. It’s titular track was banned in Jamaica in 1975, but attempts to quiet the man only brought him international acclaim.

  3. Toots & The Maytals - Funky Kingston

    Kick back and light one to this delicious slice of ’70s reggae perfection. It pays homage to American R&B with covers “I Can’t Believe” by Ike Turner and “Louie, Louie” by Richard Berry. Strangely, two versions of the album were released, complete with different tracklists, but most collectors go for the original 1973 version with the aforementioned covers.

  4. Black Uhuru - Red

    Black Uhuru have been through a ton of lineup changes, but this period featuring Michael Rose, Sandra “Puma” Jones, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare alongside constant “Duckie” Simpson was the band’s most influential. Anthem in 1983 might have won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album, but most people count this 1981 collection of party and justice jams among their LPs.

  5. Steel Pulse - Handsworth Revolution

    This roots reggae group hails from Birmingham, England, but proved that Rastafari sounds rock crowds around the world. It became the first non-Jamaican band to win Best Reggae Album in 1986, but fans love this 1978 debut, produced by Karl Pitterson, which also earned Steel Pulse a place opening for Bob Marley & The Wailers later that year.

  6. Jimmy Cliff - Jimmy Cliff

    He’s one of two living musicians to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences. Children of the ’90s might know him as the dude who wrote “Hakuna Matata.” Dive deeper into his must-hear catalog with this 1969 classic helped make him a star, featuring beloved songs “Many Rivers to Cross” and “Wonderful World, Beautiful People.”

  7. Bunny Wailer - Blackheart Man

    Another founding member of The Wailers and the other living recipient of the Order of Merit, Bunny Wailer is an absolute must have in your reggae collection. Blackheart Man is his 1976 solo release, widely regarded as some of his best work. He tackles reparations and his arrest on marijuana possession, and incorporates elements of American gospel.

  8. Sister Nancy - One, Two

    All-hail Jamaica’s first lady of reggae and dancehall. No, really, Sister Nancy was the first female DJ in the scene. You must pay homage to the queen, and this 1982 album features the all-time classic “Bam Bam,” as sampled by Kanye West, Drake, and played at every backyard bar-be-cue you’ve ever attended – if it was any good, that is.

  9. Sizzla - Freedom Cry

    You can’t have just classics in your reggae vinyl collection. You need some contemporary greatness, and Sizzla is one of the most massive names in the modern scene. He’s release a staggering 56 albums in his near 30-year career, but 1998’s Freedom Cry is considered one of his greatest. It’s a good starting point for any listener.

  10. Vybz Kartel - King Of The Dancehall

    Another member of the new school, Vybz Kartel gets the party started and never lets you stop. You’ve heard him on tracks with Major Lazer, Rihanna and Jay-Z. Ler yourself wine and unwind to some of his own fantastic jams with this big winner from 2016.