Monday, January 25, 2010


In referencing the Jonny Greenwood reggae collection in my post yesterday, I remembered a great out-of-print movie that came out in 1980 (I think) - "Heartland Reggae".  This was more or less a documentary that focused on the One Love Peace concert that took place in Jamaica in 1978.  Jamaica was in civil turmoil at the time, and Bob Marley made an historic appearance and had the leaders of the 2 political parties come up on stage to hold hands (Michael Manley and Edward Seaga).  Quality of the flick is just ok, but there are some absolutely classic performances.  I've included links to a few, including the great Dennis Brown (look for 2 members of Third World in the audience enjoying it) and Jacob Miller, who was killed in 1980 in a car accident at the age of 27, was also a great talent, backed by the Roots Radics (who were the Booker T. & The MG's of reggae music) .  These are some prime examples of classic roots reggae.  I remember seeing Dennis Brown back in the early 80's as part of the Reggae Sunsplash concert at Radio City Music Hall.  Also on that bill were Yellowman and Gregory Isaacs....that was when great reggae bands like Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse and UB-40 toured regularly and reggae hadn't crossed over to the dancehall darkside. 

Must've been very cool to have been in Jamaica at that time...check out some of the tourists watching too (my guess is the white folks aren't residents) , Jamaica was a different place back then.  The movie is worth seeing if you can find it.

(That's Peter Tosh at the start of the Jacob Miller clip)

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