Rock legend Mick Jagger is a huge fan of reggae music.
When it comes to rock and roll, there are a few bands that people around the world think of instantly. The Rolling Stones is one of those bands, and even more impactful is their lead singer, Mick Jagger. It should come as no surprise that his musical influences are wide and varied. He recently sat down with Far Out Magazine to share his top ten reggae songs, which no doubt have influenced his music in one way or another.
Mick Jagger remains one of the most influential artists of modern times and has always had a fascination with Jamaica and its music. He’s prided himself on learning about the culture and even owns a home in Jamaica. It’s more than just a mere fascination for him as well as he shared that both he and Charlie Watts, drummer for the Stones drummer, were the two main members of the band to not just love but to adopt reggae into their heart.
He said that the two became so enamored with reggae that they soon started integrating it into their own beats.
“We were interested from a rhythmic point of view, so we started to play reggae beats, and the rest of them picked it up. I’m sure Keith (Richards) would say something different,” he said.
His love of reggae runs so deep that he even took legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh into the fold. That was after Tosh had split from The Wailers as their frontman. He not only invited him to join the band, but he co-signed him to his label as well. After not gaining the success he desired, Tosh would eventually leave the Stones in 1981. Before leaving the group, the two recorded a reggae remix of the Temptations hit “Don’t Look Back,” which was called “(You Gotta Walk And) Don’t Look Back” in 1978.
He still tries to incorporate reggae music into his projects. In 2011 he created a one-off supergroup project called SuperHeavy which featured Damian Marley. At that time, he said his intention was to showcase different musical styles, with music that ranged from reggae to ballads to Indian music.
Mick Jagger’s love of reggae overflows, and he has more than just ten top hits. His list touches on some of the well-known artists considered the founding fathers of reggae like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Max Romeo, and Tenor Saw. Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” makes his list. He also stated that the other tracks he loves from his once rival were “No More Trouble” and “War”. Other notable names making his list include Dawn Penn and Toots and the Maytals.
They’ve also had the opportunity to show their appreciation for Jamaica and reggae by living and participating in the culture they love so much. In 1973 they recorded their album Goats Head Soup at Dynamic Sounds studio in Kingston. They also once covered the popular reggae track, “Cherry Oh Baby”, by Eric Donaldson. That was the 1971 Festival Song winner which they included in their 1976 album Black And Blue.
Jagger was also able to participate in a piece of history as in April 1978, he was at the One Love peace concert at the National Stadium in Kingston.
Check out Jagger’s top 10 reggae songs below.
“Get Up,Stand Up / No More Trouble / War” – Bob Marley
“Pick Myself Up” – Peter Tosh
“54-46? That’s My Number” – Toots and the Maytals
“You Don’t Love Me” – Dawn Penn
“Cream Of The Crop” – Gregory Isaacs
“War Ina Babylon” – Max Romeo And The Upsetters
“Brethren And Sisters” – The Viceroys
“Writing On The Wall” – Ronnie Davis
“Ring The Alarm” – Tenor Saw
“Marcus Garvey” – Burning Spear