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Reggae Music

Reggae music originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and incorporates some of the musical elements of rhythm and blues, jazz, mento (a celebratory, rural folk form that served its largely rural audience as dance music and an alternative to the hymns and adapted chanteys of local church singing), calypso, African music, as well as other genres. One of the most easily recognizable elements is offbeat rhythms; staccato chords played by a guitar or piano (or both) on the offbeats of the measure. The tempo of reggae is usually slower than ska but faster than rocksteady] The concept of "call and response" can be found throughout reggae music.

The bass guitar often plays the dominant role in reggae. The bass sound in reggae is thick and heavy, and equalized so the upper frequencies are removed and the lower frequencies emphasized. The guitar in reggae usually plays on the off beat of the rhythm. It is common for reggae to be sung in Jamaican Patois, Jamaican English, and Iyaric dialects. Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism and religion in its lyrics, although many reggae songs discuss lighter, more personal subjects, such as love and socializing.

Reggae music usually relates news, social gossip, and political comment. It spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as ‘Rudie Blues’, then ‘Ska’, later ‘Blue Beat’, and ‘Rock Steady’. It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rock steady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.

Bob Marley (and the Wailers)

Bob Marley (and the Wailers)

Bob Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, & guitarist who achieved international fame & acclaim.

artist
Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny" Kravitz's 'retro' style of music incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, pop, folk & ballads.

artist
Lou Reed

Lou Reed

Lou Reed was one of music's most influential icons. His music defied all definitions of genre & left a legacy that has inspired generations

artist
Specials, The

The Specials

The Specials are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band, their music combines a ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude.

artist
Stranglers, The

The Stranglers

The Stranglers are one of the most enduring bands to have come out of the punk scene with an uncompromising attitude and idiosyncratic style

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Featured Prints

Sex Pistols (SP001VT)

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols on the set for the 'Pretty Vacant' video shoot at the ITN Studios, London in June 1977

Prices from £291.67
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Annie Lennox (EU001SR)

Annie Lennox

This photo session was for No.1 Magazine (long since extinct) on a Eurythmics press day, they’d been doing interviews all day.

Prices from £125.00
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AC/DC (ACDC002JA)

AC/DC

Angus Young, from AC/DC, captured in a small street outside a press meeting in Copenhagen in 1977

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Beatles, The (TB009WHIT)

The Beatles

Shooting promotional films for the singles Rain & Paperback Writer at Chiswick Park Gardens in May 1966

Prices from £750.00
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Bob Dylan (BD003ROSA)

Bob Dylan

In the studio in Santa Monica, California in 1980, Bob Dylan is captured whilst leaning on his guitar case.

Prices from £291.67
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Fall, The (FALL001KC)

The Fall

Early shot of The Fall at Central Station Car Park, Manchester in the summer of 1978

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Featured Artists

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac are one of the world's greatest rock bands having sold over more than 100 million records over the last 50 years

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Stranglers, The

The Stranglers

The Stranglers are one of the most enduring bands to have come out of the punk scene with an uncompromising attitude and idiosyncratic style

artist
Ramones, The

The Ramones

The Ramones' loud, fast, straightforward musical style was influenced by music that the band members grew up listening to in the 50s & 60s.

artist
Lou Reed

Lou Reed

Lou Reed was one of music's most influential icons. His music defied all definitions of genre & left a legacy that has inspired generations

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Madness

Madness

Madness are an English band from Camden Town, London & one of the most prominent bands of the late 70s & early 80s 2 Tone ska revival.

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Smiths, The

The Smiths

Critics have called The Smiths the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.

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Featured Collections

Great Prints for £250 or less

Great Prints for £250 or less

Check out our great range of authentic fine art photographic prints available for £250 or less.

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Born In The USA

Born In The USA

The USA has given us many of the world's greatest music artists - we celebrate the best of the best

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David Bowie Remembered

David Bowie Remembered

We are all still reeling from the tragic loss of David Bowie. Here is a wonderful tribute from one of our photographers, Mark Mawston.

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Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky is one of the greatest ever rock & roll photographers with a huge archive of iconic shots of the world's best music artists

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Contact Sheets Collection

Contact Sheets Collection

Our contact sheet collection is a rare opportunity to look back at the hidden moments surrounding some of rocks most iconic images.

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The Duffy Archive Collection

The Duffy Archive Collection

For eight years photographer Brian Duffy worked with David Bowie and shot his most iconic and enduring images. View his fantastic collection

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