Lovers Rock captures the soulful sound of romantic reggae

Cover of “Lovers Rock.”
Cover of “Lovers Rock.”

The Jamaica, Queens-based VP Records says Lovers Rock, the first British reggae sub-genre to achieve “outernational” success and influence the music of Jamaica, was a dominating force in the United Kingdom scene from the mid-70S through to the close of the 80s.

Developed largely as a counterpoint to the more militant style of roots reggae, the romantically-themed genre was heavily influenced by the styles of US R&B and the predominantly soulful Jamaican rock steady sound of the 60s, said VP Records in a statement over the weekend.

“Despite the style achieving mainstream success with a number of major UK chart hits, lovers rock received scant attention in the mainstream media until the screening of Steve’s McQueen’s award-winning 2020 BBC TV series, ‘Small Axe’, the highlight of which was an aptly titled episode that paid tribute to the style and its impact upon British culture,” it said.

Since then, VP Records said interest in the genre has continued to grow internationally, adding that reflecting this trend “comes this handsomely packaged 3xCD digipack collection.”

Comprising 60 of the most popular and influential recordings in the style, VP Records said the collection includes works by such legendary British performers as Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Dennis Bovell and Louisa Mark, alongside established Jamaican reggae royalty, notably Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, John Holt and Sugar Minott.

“With its focus firmly upon the best-loved romantic reggae sounds of the 70s and 80s, this essential collection of dancefloor favorites provides the most authentic representation of lovers rock sounds yet to see issue,” VP Records said.

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