Rocksteady Essentials

Rocksteady Essentials

While rocksteady’s moment of preeminence in late-‘60s Jamaica was brief, its many musical marvels are just as irresistible and infectiously joyful as anything that emerged from the ska scene that preceded it or the reggae revolution it helped spark. By slowing down the herky-jerky tempo of ska while retaining the staccato one-drop rhythm, rocksteady musicians developed a mellower means of keeping dancers moving while showcasing the more easygoing styles of singers like Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, and Phyllis Dillon. The harmonies of vocal groups like The Melodians, The Paragons, and The Maytals were even sweeter. Rocksteady was also a launchpad for Bob Marley, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and many more future reggae stars who took advantage of the room to roam in this warm and spacious sound.

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