A few months back, I spoke with Carl Zero about why music fans never buy any contemporary albums made in Jamaica. (A similar situation would be a rock fan only buying records by The Beatles -- and none by any current acts.) Zero, the owner of Roots Records and an authority on Jamaican music, mentioned that no one plays reggae on the radio. Even college and alternative-format stations like NPR's "World Cafe" don't air much of it.
Apart from the occasional crossover success -- Sean Paul, Shaggy, reggaeton artists like Daddy Yankee -- most American music fans maybe know The Wailers, The Maytals and few other classic artists from the island nation. This is especially weird, as Jamaican music has played an integral role in American popular music since the mid-1970s.
That said, I wanted to remind people that they should be listening to more reggae, rocksteady and dub with this weekend's playlist, which features some classic reggae tunes and some pop songs influenced by Jamaican traditions. Here you go:
1. Elvis Costello & the Attractions, "Watching the Detectives" 2. The Clash, "Rudie Can't Fail" 3. Junior Murvin, "Police & Thieves" 4. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, "Tell Me" 5. The Hit Crew, "Electric Avenue" 6. Operation Ivy, "Sound System" 7. Bob Marley & the Wailers, "Wake Up and Live" 8. Bunny Wailer, "Battering Down Dub" 9. De La Soul, "Thru Ya City" 10. Desmond Dekker, "The Israelites" 11. Arctic Monkeys, "Bad Woman" 12. Blondie, "The Tide Is High"