Ska is the mother of reggae


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Really? I always thought it was the other way around, but IANAMH.


Y’all know that doo-wop came before rock-n-roll, right?


One of the great ska bands of the late 70’s revival is back, The English Beat, led by original lead singer of most of the hits,Dave Wakeling. He’s releasing an album of new material. I’ve seen them twice in the last year, and it’s an amazing energetic show, as good as I remember them from when I saw them open for Talking Heads in 1981. That was the best concert I’ve EVER seen. Stupidly they just played a dinner club in NY, The Winery, that had no room to dance.


Man, I hate it when people say that ska is a precursor to reggae – it’s like saying that hip hop is a precursor to nu metal.


nope, ska was the first, make the tempo slower and you get reggae, speed it up and you get rock steady.


Yup, I looked it up, I had it backwards. Back in the 80’s some teenager told me “Ska is punk reggae,” and it never occurred to me to doubt.


The backbeats in ska are fast, sometime very fast:

Rocksteady is similar to ska played in half-time. Some attribute this to the weather in '66 being too dang hot to dance to ska:

Reggae is built around the same backbeat but the guitar tends to play a double-strum or otherwise fill in the gaps around the backbeat rather than the band all smacking the offbeat together:


and now I learned something new… or at least a bit more real information on it. thanks!


Cool post, bro.



One of my life’s most abiding mysteries is why that Madness guy asserts that his band is about to play ‘rock steady beats’ and then immediately doesn’t.


BBC 6 Music ran a 6 part documentary “From Mento to Lovers Rock” going through every stage in Jamaican music from Mento (like Calypso or Sega), through Ska, then Rock Steady to Reggae and its UK dancing version, Lovers Rock. They covered the social, political and musical conditions that led to the changes with lots of tracks.


The very name “reggae” came from a Maytals track called “Do The Reggay.”


What will PRI report next? Sun rising in east? Water being wet? No… certainly Fire is Hot.


I was a teenage rudeboy. This is my confession.


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