Lovers Rock Essentials
Lovers rock flourished from around 1975 to 1985, when Britain's Jamaican immigrants, the so-called "Windrush" generation, embraced a more romantic and less militantly political type of reggae. In the vein of smooth Jamaican crooners like Ken Boothe and John Holt, who'd been successful with reggae versions of romantic American pop material, lovers rock combined the smooth and melodic soul sounds of Philadelphia and Motown with heavy, sinuous basslines. Singers such as Winston Reedy and Honey Boy were among the subgenre's biggest stars, but lovers rock notably gave an even larger voice to young, black, British women: Carroll Thompson, Sandra Cross, and groups like Brown Sugar topped the charts with the help of producers including Dennis Bovell and Neil "Mad Professor" Fraser. After lovers rock made its mark in Britain, it subsequently caught the ears of listeners, dancers, and performers in Jamaica as well, and reggae stars like Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs began cutting their own lovers-rock tracks and completing the sound's island-to-isles circuit.