Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Reggae Wednesday

One of my favourite reggae artists this week. Ewart Beckford was dubbed U-Roy by a young child relative who couldn't pronounce his name properly. He pioneered the toasting vocal style and was hailed as one of the most unique artists of his genre. Some say he changed reggae music for good during the early 70s.

Originally a DJ, toasting over other people's records, he was spotted by Paragons singer John  Holt who landed him a recording session. A version of the Paragons' The Tide Is High was one of a number of singles that followed, many of which featured on his first album release 'Version Galore' in 1971. In 1975, U-Roy's third album 'Dread In A Babylon' became a surprise hit in the UK. The following year saw 'Natty Rebel', perhaps his finest moment, hit the shelves. It got him international renown and another four albums came out before the decade was over.

As reggae became more and more electronic and digitised, U-Roy remained true to his roots and continued to make great-sounding records that still sound timeless. His last album to date was 2012's 'Pray Fi Di People' which has some wonderful tracks on it and features the likes of Marcia Griffiths and Horace Andy. But today I've gone for something from that classic fourth album. Babylon Burning is such a great song which makes me think of Proud Mary by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Listen to it and you'll know what I mean. Tell 'em, Roy!


  1. One of my favourites too Robster - great selection.

  2. Never heard this one before - excellent!