Rocksteady is easily THE most essential genre in the Reggae anthology. Some of my favourite Rocksteady tunes were resident on the Studio 1 record label, a label alchemic in producing sonic gold. Through Rocksteady, I derived a love for American R&B and the vocal harmony groups of the 1950’s/1960’s, who the Jamaican artists emulated in their own special way.
I didn’t get to experience Rhythm & Blues first hand and in fact remained quite ignorant to its’ origins until my late teens when my musical repertoire finally began to diversify. I only ever knew Reggae’s ‘interpretation’ of R&B, but was fortunate that it opened up a portal of appreciation, eventually introducing me to guitar based music and thus leading me towards Garage Punk and projects like The Black Stripe in later years.
Reggae’s greatest asset, has always been to take popular soul tunes of the moment and makes them 10 times sweeter. A winning formula that was demonstrated throughout the Rocksteady years.