Jamaican Music

Rolling Stone Pays Tribute to Jamaican Music with 60 Songs for Each Year Since Independence

Rolling Stone Pays Tribute to Jamaican Music with 60 Songs for Each Year Since Independence

Rolling Stone, the American monthly magazine that reports on music, politics, and popular culture, honored the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence with a listing of 60 of the greatest songs – one from each year since independence from England was achieved in 1962 – that represent the island’s extensive musical history. The magazine noted that Jamaica, a small island nation in the Caribbean has created some of the most influential music styles in history, including ska, rock steady, reggae, dub, and dancehall. Jamaica is also home to an abundance of talented artists who have a prolific output of recordings. Rolling Stone selected some of the tracks for their new direction in sound, while others were listed because they spurred a movement, created controversy, represented a turning point in the career of the artist, or had other significant impacts when they were released. The magazine acknowledged that there were “too many records to choose from in any given year” and that some important recordings may not be included, but this is just an indication of the richness of the island’s musical history.

Commenting on the list, the Jamaican dancehall fusion artist, Yaksta, said he was happy that his breakout recording of “Ambition” from 2021 was included among the influential tracks. He went on to say that the inclusion of his song inspired him to continue in his musical career, noting that sometimes he gets discouraged, but that this accomplishment will continue to inspire him.

The 60 songs listed by Rolling Stone as Jamaica’s greatest since the year of independence in 1962 are as follows.

  • Derrick Morgan, ‘Forward March’ (1962)
  • The Maytals, ‘Never Grow Old’ (1963)
  • Millie Small, ‘My Boy Lollipop’ (1964)
  • The Skatalites, ‘Guns of Navarone’ (1965)
  • Hopeton Lewis, ‘Take It Easy’ (1966)
  • Prince Buster, ‘Judge Dread’ (1967)
  • Larry Marshall and Alvin Perkins, ‘Nanny Goat’ (1968)
  • Desmond Dekker and the Aces, ‘Israelites’ (1969)
  • U Roy and the Paragons, ‘Wear You to the Ball’ (1970)
  • The Abyssinians, ‘Satta Amassa Gana’ (1971)
  • Jimmy Cliff, ‘The Harder They Come’ (1972)
  • The Wailers, ‘Get Up Stand Up’ (1973)
  • King Tubby and Augustus Pablo, ‘King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown’ (1974)
  • Burning Spear, ‘Marcus Garvey’ (1975)
  • Peter Tosh, ‘Legalize It’ (1976)
  • Culture, ‘Two Sevens Clash’ (1977)
  • Third World, ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ (1978)
  • Mighty Diamonds, ‘One Brother Short’ (1979)
  • Bob Marley, ‘Redemption Song‘ (1980)
  • Black Uhuru, ‘Sponji Reggae’ (1981)
  • Gregory Isaacs, ‘Night Nurse’ (1982)
  • Dennis Brown, ‘Revolution’ (1983)
  • Frankie Paul, ‘Pass the Tu-Sheng Peng’ (1984)
  • Wayne Smith, ‘Sleng Teng’ (1985)
  • Sugar Minott, ‘Herbman Hustling’ (1986)
  • Cocoa Tea, ‘Come Again’ (1987)
  • Shabba Ranks and Crystal, ‘Twice My Age’ (1988)
  • Junior Reid, ‘One Blood’ (1989)
  • Beres Hammond, ‘Putting Up Resistance’ (1990)
  • Shinehead, ‘Strive’ (1991)
  • Super Cat and Heavy D, ‘Dem No Worry We’ (1992)
  • Buju Banton, ‘Murderer’ (1993)
  • Garnet Silk, ‘Complaint’ (1994)
  • Luciano feat. Terror Fabulous and Louie Culture, ‘In This Together’ (1995)
  • Tanya Stephens, ‘Yu Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet’ (1996)
  • Sizzla, ‘Black Woman and Child’ (1997)
  • Beenie Man, ‘Who Am I’ (1998)
  • Bounty Killer, ‘Look’ (1999)
  • Junior Kelly, ‘If Love So Nice’ (2000)
  • Shaggy, ‘Angel’ and ‘It Wasn’t Me’ (2001)
  • Sean Paul, ‘Get Busy’ (2002)
  • Morgan Heritage, ‘She’s Still Loving Me’ (2003)
  • Richie Spice, ‘Earth A Run Red’ (2004)
  • Damian Marley, ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ (2005)
  • Tarrus Riley, ‘She’s Royal’ (2006)
    Jah Cure, ‘Love Is’ (2007)
  • Etana, ‘Roots’ (2008)
  • Vybz Kartel featuring Spice, ‘Rampin Shop’ (2009)
  • Raging Fyah, ‘Judgement Day: Music For the Rebels’ (2010)
  • Stephen Marley featuring Damian Marley and Buju Banton, ‘Jah Army’ (2011)
  • Busy Signal, ‘Reggae Music Again’ (2012)
  • Jesse Royal, ‘Modern Day Judas’ (2013)
  • Protoje featuring Chronixx, ‘Who Knows’ (2014)
  • Chronixx, ‘Capture Land’ (2015)
  • Nesbeth, ‘My Dream’ (2016)
  • Dre Island featuring Popcaan, ‘We Pray’ (2017)
  • Koffee, ‘Toast’ (2018)
  • Lila Iké, ‘Where I’m Coming From’ (2019)
  • Popcaan featuring Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR, ‘Twist and Turn’ (2020)
  • Yaksta, ‘Ambition’ (2021)
  • Ishawna featuring Ed Sheeran, ‘Brace It’ (2022)

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