We got a lot of feedback on our last best riddims feature and we painstakingly pointed out it was just the Dancehall Riddims (Vibes edition) and more was to come so here we go again this time Reggae riddims which we call the Best Reggae Riddims Ever (Classic Edition)
These riddims are considered Classic because of their intrinsic musicality, their longevity and just their inherent popularity. Some other sure signs that these songs are classics are:
- There are endless "lick over"or versions of these tracks.
- Non Jamaican artists use these tracks frequently to try and "reggae-ize" their songs
- Constant use as samples in hip hop tracks.
- These songs are so timeless you can sing or DJ a modern song over it and it still sounds good
- Any Reggae DJ of any credibility must have one or all in their catalog
- These "chunes" can be pulled at any modern dancehall and still get ratings
1. STALAG RIDDIM
A very popular riddim or rhythm, which produced by Winston Riley's Techniques label and became popular in the 1970s. It was a foundation for dub instrumentals.
The rhythm also influenced early hip-hop, and can be recognized on Public Enemy's hit 'Don't Believe the Hype'. In 1980, reggae superstar Bob Marley's band The Wailers used the riddim as an introductory theme to the Uprising Tour concerts, with keyboardist Tyrone Downie chanting "Marley!" over the riddim while Marley comes to the stage (therefore the intro is commonly called "Marley Chant" among fans).
Ring the Alarm - Tenor Saw
2. SLENG TENG RIDDIM
The digital revolution was built around this riddim and it unquestionably started the digital dancehall era.
The riddim was voiced in the 90s and is the foundation and used also used in other genres like Dubstep and hip hop tracks.
I had the privilege of going a while back to to Seaview Gardens and visiting the studio with Wayne Smith himself and the most amazing thing about his studio is its size, I kid you not, it is a least 5 feet by 3 feet you literary have to turn sideways to move through just enough for a voicing room and a mixing board but it is the birthplace of one of the most popular and easily recognized riddms to this day
3. THE REAL ROCK RIDDIM
The Real Rock from Studio One also very recognizable and very unforgettable, released in 1967 the instrumental was done by Sound Dimension, one of the in house bands of producer Coxsone Dodd
According to a 2004 New York Times article, Dodd considered the song his crowning achievement.
Hits include such classics as as Dennis Brown's Stop the Fussing and Fighting
A minimal riddim that became and an enormous digital hit. Admiral Bailey voiced on this King Jammy's riddim in 1986 despite its sexual brashness it went on to define a Punanny hysteria with countless versions from every dancehall star and his cousin.
Hits include Needle Eye - Shabba Ranks,
Come back Sonia, Cocoa Tea
5. BAM BAM RIDDIM
Produced and arranged by Sly and Robbie this perennial hit still has currency today and is known for its infectious chant worldwide. Known as the Bam Bam or Murder She Wrote riddim it was released in 1992 and this is a true example of good music has endless legs.
Built around the 1966 festival winning song by Toots Hibbert & the Maytals " Bam Bam "
The riddim pattern is also credited as the foundation for reggaeton rhythms .
Honourable mentions goes to:
A stone cold classic digital riddim,created in Firehouse studio from King Tubby and crew! Anthony Red Rose's version is the definite and original ,but here are plenty good ones!
Hits include Tensor Saw"s Fever
Special Mention should go to these other outstanding riddims:
Mad Mad "Diseases" Riddim