No other music genre has ever managed to achieve the popularity that was enjoyed by Disco, especially in the late 1970s. The omnipresent dance craze existed in its own right alongside Rock idols of the time, many of whom partied at the famed studio 54. Some of these acts (Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, etc.) would end up putting their own unique stamp on the musical form. Reggae musicians were equally as experimental, leaving no doubt that they too were seeking to be part of the action.
Third World – Now That We’ve Found Love (1978)
Please ignore this pathetic crowd…lol The band energy here is incredible, even if a TV track is playing.
Harnessing the poetic simplicity of Philadelphia’s “Gamble & Huff” writing team, Third World completely re-invented this O-Jay’s hit into something that would outlast the original. Because of its undeniable Island vibe the remake commonly finds its way on to modern dance floors. As a Reggae band discovered by Stevie Wonder, the pressure was on for Third World. They placed musicality above all else and as a result they have enjoyed one of the steadiest career paths within the genre.
Prince Lincoln & The Royal Rasses – You Gotta Have Love (1979)
An avowed member of the Rastafari / Rockers movement in Jamaica, Prince Lincoln started as a backup singer for the Congos and worked with Coxsone Dodd, as did many. His unusually strong falsetto range is what led to him standing out from the other singers. Prince Lincoln’s greatest successes would be in the UK where he also ran his own record shop.
AJ Brown – Making Love Together (1980)
When the rising sun greets the morning… AJ Brown’s Reggae / Funk anthem may seem heavily influenced by the likes of R&B legend Al Jarreau, except it was released on Jamaica’s Maestro Records. With a pronounced string section and congas keeping the backbeat alive, the Disco aesthetic shines through. AJ is currently a touring member of Third World, having joined the band in 2014
Denroy Morgan – I’ll Do Anything For You (1981)
The father of Grammy Award winning act “Morgans Heritage” can also lay claim to his own musical legacy. This song was unabashedly crafted for dance floors with an upbeat horn arrangement and the early use of synthesizer stabs. The love song sentiment is a pervading subject when it comes to Dance hits. Professing however, the willingness to do ANYTHING for someone (“There’s nothing in the world that I won’t do”) struck a chord with audiences everywhere. The song was a hit.
Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper (1981)
The most daring, outlandsh artist to ever emerge from Jamaica, the one and only Grace Jones, has never run from criticism. While The Caribbean has been known to lean strongly in favor of Evangelical beliefs, Grace Jones courted controversy. Although the daughter of a clergyman herself, she flirted with themes like BDSM, anal sex, androgyny and created shocking imagery the world could never get enough of.
Sonically, Pull Up To The Bumper is an effortless, natural blending of the Reggae / Disco hybrids. No style overpowers the other, but they both mesh seamlessly. Grace started out as a pure Disco artist at a time (1977) when it couldn’t have been further removed from it’s Manu Dibango / Cymande origins. ABBA and The Bee Gees dominated the charts. This return to her Caribbean roots marks a turning point in Dance music overall. Slick production by Electro Reggae pioneers Sly & Robbie proved how the intersection of the two cultures would eventually spawn into a genre all its own.