Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Who, James Brown. These are legends who have written songs that changed the course of rock, and will live on as classics for as long as there are music lovers roaming the planet. In fact, all of these artists appear within the top twenty slots of VH1′s 100 Greatest Songs of Rock and Roll list, compiled by polling some of the greatest musicians and rock scholars around. So obviously these guys know how to pen a tune. But it would probably surprise you to learn that all these HUGE rock forces have NEVER had a number one song!
In 1962 Jamaica gained her independence from the UK. From this independence a world-renowned sound emerged from this small island in the Caribbean. Reggae’s birth initially began in the ’50s and early ’60s with “Bluebeat”, “Ska”, and “Rock Steady”, all of which evolved from Jamaican “Mento” as well as a heavy dose of American Soul, Jazz, and R&B. By the late ’60s, studios like Studio One began recording artists with a slower rhythm and more bass. This new sound, known as “Reggae,” quickly came to dominate Jamaican radio and dance halls.
Deeply rooted in R&B, many Reggae artists have recorded dozens (if not hundreds) of covers of popular Billboard hits. Many of these artists and producers took the liberty to mash up their own signature sound with the original, giving it a new twist. Let’s start with some of the oldies but goodies.
Gwan… Shock out to these 12 “original” Reggae covers!
Fronds up! A group of scientists from Duke University announced this week that they have named a newly discovered genus of ferns after Lady Gaga. The scientists say “Gaga” was an obvious choice, as the ferns have a “somewhat fluid definitions of gender” and because the sequence GAGA shows up in each varieties’ DNA sequencing. Perhaps less scientific, Kathleen Pryer, director of the school’s herbarium, cops to being a fan of the Mother Monster: “We think that her second album, Born This Way, is enormously empowering, especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!” Black, white beige or fern greenCause, baby, you were born/spawned/germinated this way.
As it turns out, scientists aren’t just eyeball to the microscope all the time’ if these pop star organisms are any indication, they tend to have good taste in music, too. Read more…
Here on VH1 Tuner, we’ve been supplying you with music to whet the Cuffin’ Season appetite all week long. Even though the find-a-mate scramble doesn’t officially begin until September 22nd, we wanted to help pysch you up and give you all an advantage over the competition. To bring you up to speed, we’ve already covered the following bases:
MONDAY: Let My Love Adorn You: Scooping A Hopeless Romantic
TUESDAY: I Wanna Be Down: Reeling-In A Distracted Workaholic
WEDNESDAY: Doin’ It Well: Bagging The No-Holds-Barred Freak
THURSDAY: We Belong Together: Pulling A (They’re Already Taken) Robbery
Let’s face it: some people just don’t want to be in a relationship. Speculating on why your crush may want to fly solo can keep you up at night, so instead of driving your ego into a tizzy, let today’s playlist soften the blow and remind you that you’re not alone.
Adam Lambert is no reggae artist, but that didn’t keep him from doing justice to “Is This Love” by the legendary Bob Marley. Lambert stopped by Sydney, Australia’s Top 40 Live Lounge to promote his sophomore album Trespassing. On the bill was his rendition of “Is This Love” was enough to make it his own while still keeping the sound of the original in tact. This isn’t a song you’d expect a pop-rocker to cover, but Marley’s long list of classic songs inspire many. We also couldn’t help but notice the new blonde ‘do Lambert was sporting, which is quite the contrast from the dark hair he had on the set of Pretty Little Liars. Can his version hold a candle to the 1978 classic? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Read more…
Last night on Conan, Bob Marley‘s eldest son Ziggy Marley celebrated LA’s newly anointed Bob Marley Day and the DVD release of Marley with a lovely performance of his father’s classic hit “Jammin’.” Ziggy summoned his father’s spirit, jamming out on a red-yellow-and-red guitar and with a smooth backing band behind him. It’s like his father knew when he wrote the song in 1977 that we would still be enjoying it all these years later, and that his progeny would assure that this jam is going to last. Who needs a holograph when you’ve got a flesh and blood son that can keep your spirit alive for you? To think that jamming was a thing of the past…
Every so often, an artist is able to transcend music’s set genres and penetrate the hearts and minds of many. Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994 and considered one of the most prolific singer/songwriters to grace our eardrums, Bob Marley is one of these unique examples. Whether you’re an avid fan of Marley’s message or just receptive to the smile-inducing tracks that come on during a night out with friends, you’re likely to have been seduced by his music at one point or another!
Hitting television airwaves for the first time on Saturday at 9p.m. ET/PT, VH1 Rock Doc Marley will premiere on VH1. Filled not only with rare photos and never-before-seen footage of the star, the acclaimed documentary film also features music spanning Marley’s entire career. With the photo gallery and Spotify playlist below, follow along as you watch tomorrow night: in the order that they appear in the film, soak up the images and robust soundtrack that includes everything from recognizable Marley classics like “One Love” and “Three Little Birds” to lesser-known cuts like “Simmer Down” from his earlier days with the original Wailers, Bunny and Peter Tosh. Lighting up a spliff in the privacy of your own home is totally optional!
Before opening in select theaters on 4/20, Marley was first unveiled in an intimate screening at SXSW back in March. Now, with unprecedented support from the music icon’s family and close associates, the documentary on reggae singer/songwriter Bob Marley makes its long-awaited on-air debut this Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1. For the first time, Marley’s story —his lifestyle, career, political impact, influences, and tragic battle with cancer— will be televised in rich detail, and for music-lovers and fans of history, this film is an insightful must-see, proving to humanize a man who Rolling Stone places at #11 on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
The most recent addition to the Emmy award-winning VH1 Rock Doc arsenal, Marley opens in St. Ann, Jamaica where Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley was born. Fanatically drawn to music early on, Marley would soon team up with Neville “Bunny Wailer” Livingston and Peter Tosh to form their band, The Wailers, helping to usher-in upbeat-rhythm Reggae music as it evolved from Ska in the Jamaican music hub of Kingston. An array of archival photos help director Kevin Macdonald paint a picture of the legendary hit-maker’s humble youth; capturing the band’s creative process and Marley’s gradual ascent within the music industry, Marley also boasts rare-seen performance footage and insider interviews to shed light on the musician’s career spikes, spiritual vision and untimely death. As record producers, engineers, band-mates, and executives wax nostalgic on the dreadlock-donning international superstar, viewers are slowly immersed into Marley’s world; one where activism, the affections of women, and a competitive attitude all played a major role in the trajectory of his success.
It looks like 04/20 with all the smoke in the air in Chris Brown’s self-directed video “Till I Die.” The wacky animation and overall playful vibe between Brown, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean screams fun times. Breezy raps and sings, but with his flow we think he’s seriously going to make some rappers step up their game. We adore the rapping Breezy! Decked out with a grill (what rapper doesn’t own a set of gold teeth?) and gold necklaces, Brown is overly hype. When he meets up with his boys it goes down straight Bob Marley style.
Big Sean and all of his braggadocio adds the smooth, ‘look at me I’m the ish’ element. His confidence level is on a million as he rocks an open blazer sans a shirt. Being the proud weedhead that he is, Wiz Khalifa spits his verse in a smoked out house party where Redman and Method Man are smoking and then pass Wiz a trophy shaped bong. And what would a song about smoking “till I die” be without a cameo from Snoop Dogg? Well, it wouldn’t be proper smoker’s anthem.
Chris Brown is obnoxious in the video with the gold teeth and flashy jewelry. He’s amped to the 10th degree, but his rhymes tickle our fancy. Big Sean, Wiz and Breezy make for one dope trio as they all balance one another out. Wiz is the laid back chill one, Big Sean is boastful and Chris Brown is just rowdy. Brown gets props for creating a video that fits perfectly with the song, and all we want to know is: what’s up with a Chris Brown, Wiz and Big Sean collabo album?
For all you proud weed heads, today is puff puff pass day, also known as 04/20 (see our playlist of the top 25 songs about weed). Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, the latest addition to VH1′s award-winning Rock Docs series, Marley, is opening in select theaters today. The documentary tells the story of the revolutionary and legendary musician Bob Marley, who was definitely known to smoke a joint or two in his day.
Directed by Bob Marley’s son Ziggy and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, the project is special because it has the unprecedented support of the Marley family. The film contains rare footage, photos, interviews and performances by the people who knew him best.