10 Bands That Use The Reggae Sound

Looking for ten bands that use the reggae sound? The reggae sound is a term used to describe a driving beat and a syncopated rhythm, and ten bands that use the reggae sound include groups from the United States and the United Kingdom. 

  1. The Police. Although The Police are not a reggae band, the group under the drumming direction of Stewart Copeland has the reggae sound. Ditties such as the uniquely titled "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" rock with the drumming reggae beat and rhythm that carries the reggae sound. 
  2. Damian, Julian and Stephen Marley and various groups including the three brothers. The late Bob Marley, the "Master of Reggae," had a large family, including sons who ended up in the music business. Stephen and Damian, also known as "Jr. Gong," use the reggae sound in their many joint and independent projects. Stephen is a five-time Grammy winner and sings, writes tunes and plays instruments. Damian has used the reggae sound in his musical stylings that incorporate hip-hop and R&B. 
  3. The Beat, also known in the U.S. as The English Beat. As if the name of this group didn't say it all, The Beat features music with a driving reggae sound. Heavy on the bass and drum rhythm, The Beat's best known tunes, "Mirror in the Bathroom," "Save It For Later," and "I Confess," rocked with reggae, ska and 2 Ton influences.
  4. Third World. Formed in 1973, Third World is a reggae band that continues to rock in the reggae sound. Discovered as an opening act for The Jackson Five, Third World later worked as the opening act for Bob Marley and The Wailers only a few years after the founding of the group. The group membership has changed over time, but the driving reggae pulse remains the same. Tunes such as "Reggae Ambassador" and "Reggae Party" reinforce the group's commitment to spread the reggae message to the world. Third World continues to tour and create new music. 
  5. UB40. Named for the unemployment form in the United Kingdom, UB40 adopted a reggae-influenced sound early. Even the ballads recorded by the group, including "Red, Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love," feature the reggae sound.
  6. Toots and the Maytals. The Maytals actually predate the elder musical Marley. Toots, in real life known as Frederick Hibbert, moved out to front the Maytals in the 1980s. Not only does the group use the reggae sound, it is one of the first groups to feature the term. Early use of reggae included a variety of spellings, including "reggay," and one of the Maytals hits, "Do the Reggay," rocked the music and introduced the name. Other reggae favorites from the group include "Sweet and Dandy." 
  7. Jimmy Cliff. Mr. Cliff continues to bring the reggae sound to the world on international tours and on television shows such as David Letterman's nightly talk hour. One of the original Jamaican performers in a time when the reggae sound was formed, Cliff continues to rock in the rhythm. 
  8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions. Although Costello performs solo today, he still brings in a group that occasionally rocks the house with a reggae beat. Many of the singer/songwriter's early hits adopted the reggae sound including "Watching the Detectives" and "Radio, Radio."
  9. Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. Ziggy is the eldest son of the reggae master himself, Mr. Bob Marley. He carries on his father's legacy with his reggae group "The Melody Makers" who at one time included his sisters. Ziggy has won four Grammy awards for his songs and tours internationally spreading the rhythm and message of reggae music. 
  10. The Specials. Although reggae purists might pull hairs over including a Ska band on a list of ten bands that use the reggae sound, the Specials do feature a pure reggae beat on a number of tunes. 


O'Brien, Chang, et al. "Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music." 1998.

Larkin, Colin, Ed. "The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae." 1998.

show comments

What Others Are Reading Right Now.