The Ultimate Guide to Great Reggae - The complete story of Reggae told through its greatest songs, famous and forgotten - Michael Garnice
Michael Garnice [+]
No one has more tirelessly brought the message of roots reggae to the world than Burning Spear. No one has even come close. Along with Bob Marley & The Wailers and The Abyssinians, he helped create the form. And he would stay strictly with the music and message of roots reggae right through to the present day. He is still recording and performing live around the world, more than forty years later. In fact, no Jamaican recording artist has had a longer duration of recording in just one style. (The Jolly Boys’ run of rural mento records that started in 1973 is second. But remember, in this case there was a complete turnover of band membership.) Burning Spear’s first record, ‘Door Peeper’, in 1969, was pure roots right from the get-go, sounding little like any other reggae of that year. Even his name was a nod towards the Rasta belief in black self-determination. Jomo Kenyatta was a freedom fighter who went on to become the first post-colonial ruler of Kenya. The English translation of his first name is “burning spear”.