HEAR THIS: Wild Belle’s Reggae Cover Version Megamix: “Summer Tropical Show N°3: Island Soul”

When They’re Not Collabing With Major Lazer, They’re Collecting Reggae 45s

The cover version is a time-honored art form in Jamaica. Pioneering sound system owner turned record producer Coxsone Dodd used to travel to the United States in search of fresh clothes and rare vinyl to play on the mighty Sir Coxsone’s Downbeat. As his focus changed from spinning records to producing his own, he would sometimes pick up albums with certain recording artists in mind. It’s no accident that The Wailers’ classic “One Love”—which was first recorded at Coxsone’s Studio One—interpolates large parts of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions’ “People Get Ready.” Throughout the evolution of dancehall culture there was a strong tradition of karaoke-style reinvention as great Caribbean vocalists refashioned foreign soul and pop songs over the latest riddims out of Kingston. Many of those versions were cut on 45, reverberating back through the minds, bodies, and souls of music lovers in the U.S., Great Britain and beyond. Case in point: Wild Belle. The brother and sister band who collaborated with Major Lazer on the touching tune “Be Together”  also incorporate reggae and Afrobeat into their own music. (Their second album, the follow-up to Isles, drops next month on Columbia Records.) They’re also known for their reggae DJ sets. Today Boomshots premieres “Summer Tropical Show N°3: Island Soul,” an all-45 mix of reggae cover versions curated by Natalie and Elliott Bergman, an avid vinyl collector. Audio Afrer The Jump…

“Touring is always about playing music, but on our last fall tour, we had an especially fun time collecting for our DJ set on New Years Eve. We played at Chris Blackwell’s party in Jamaica and we wanted to make sure that our reggae 45s were really on point. We had an amazing time finding records at Domino Sound Record Shack in New Orleans, Groove Merchant in San Francisco, Zion’s Gate in Seattle, Dusty Groove and 606 records in Chicago, and Permanent Records in LA to name a few. I love thinking about the way music can travel and the way songs become influential in different parts of the world. It’s amazing to hear these Jamaican versions of mostly American soul songs. These versions breathe some fresh life into songs that everybody has heard hundreds of times. The mix is all vinyl, and done here at my home studio. Hope you enjoy it!”

Express Yourself – Leroy Sibbles
Sugar Sugar – Bob Marley
Go Tell It On The Mountain – The Wailers
Fever – Junior Byles
Be My Baby – The Marvels
Reach Out I’ll Be There – Derrick Harriott
The Way You Do The Things You Do – Eric Donaldson
Have You Seen Her – Derrick Harriott and the Chosen Few
Someday We’ll Be Together – The Marvells
The First Cut Is The Deepest – Norma Frazer
Get Out My Life Woman – Tony Gregory
Sister Big Stuff – John Holt
Set Me Free – Ken Boothe

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