Top 5 Skinhead Reggae Acts

Without further ado:

I honestly can’t get enough of this group. Almost every single song is a total jam. If you don’t know The Pioneers, do yourself a huge favour and get acquainted ASAP.

If you don’t know the utter awesomeness that is Toots & The Maytals then you’ve probably come to the wrong blog. It’s hard to get better than these guys.

No list of best skinhead reggae is complete without the mighty Symarip AKA the Pyramids. “Skinhead Moonstomp” is the obvious anthem of the cult.

Derrick Morgan is the man. ‘Nuff said.

The Upsetters – Lee Perry’s legendary house band. What more do you need to know?

Top 5 Oi! Acts

I said there might be some discussion of Oi! on this blog and here it is. I know it’s far from traditional skinhead but what can I say, I enjoy the stuff. In creating my top five lists I look at three basic categories: the significance/influence the artist had on the genre and music in general, the artist’s talent and musicianship, and the strength of the artist’s catalog and songwriting — not to mention a whole lot of personal preference. To be honest, picking my five favourite Oi! bands wasn’t that difficult. In a genre that’s quite frankly overcrowded with mediocre soundalikes, the truly great Oi! bands stand out easily. Having said that, I could easily fill up a top 15 list, which is why I included a number of honourable mentions.

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I could listen to Shock Troops repeatedly, for hours, and not get bored. While some may argue the band is more “street punk” than Oi!, it’s clearly not run of the mill punk and it’s clearly bloody brilliant.

Another band some may argue is more proto-Oi! than Oi!, the Cockney Rejects gave name to the genre and their anthemic tunes are some of the best in the genre.

I love this band. These guys just might take the overall win in the songwriting category. It’s astonishing that a band with such a small initial output in the genre could have so many incredible songs. “We Are the Boys”, “Razors in the Night”, “Propaganda”, “Voice of a Generation”, and “Warriors” are all killer.

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This is a band that was way ahead of its time and wrote some truly amazing songs. “Stark Raving Normal”, “Napalm Job”, and “Such Fun” are particular standouts in my opinion.

Definitely one of the most talented and probably one of the most musically interesting Oi! bands. This is another band of which I’d be hard-pressed to get bored.

Honorable Mentions

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Song of the Week: Phoenix City – Roland Alphonso & the Soul Brothers

This track is easily one of my favourite ska songs of all time, and a crystal clear example of why Skatalites founding member Alphonso was called “The Chief Musician”. His solo on this track is exceptional. Having said that, he’s outshone on this one by Johnny “Dizzy” Moore’s trumpet playing. Moore’s solo screams passion, and the listener can’t help but get swept away in the horn player’s emotion.