With the advent of digital music and the popularity of downloads, it seemed that vinyl 45s would be relegated to museums but, they seem to be making a comeback. That got me thinking and I started looking at the reggae scene.
In the UK scene some of the bands from the golden age of vinyl are still going Misty in Roots, Aswad. Others are making a comeback like Black Slate.
There was a lot of underlying tension in the community back then but, with ideals and causes like #RockAgainstRacism holding rallies and festivals where reggae artists often had the opportunity to be billed. The music also reflected this 'reality' and this 'crossed over' because the issues could be related to by many parts of the community, not just the black community. Because of this, some of the best reggae music was written and produced. I believe this period was reggae's heyday.
Looking at the world at the moment, we are in a period of uncertainty and although the sub genres of reggae like lovers rock and dancehall are popular, there is definitely a rise in the popularity of Roots and Culture, Reality and Conscious reggae.Whether out of Jamaica like #RagingFyah #Jah9 or the USA with #Rebelution, there seems to be a return to music with a cause.
Reggae music was born from the need for people to have a voice and it is still a vehicle for the people to be heard.
So like the vinyl 45, newer doesn't always mean better.