10 reggae records that every bass fan should know

Photo of WAILERS and Aston BARRETT and Bob MARLEY, Bob Marley performing live on stage at the Odeon with Aston 'Family Man' Barrett
(Image credit: Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)

Released in April 1973, Catch A Fire catapulted Bob Marley and the Wailers to global stardom. The sub-hooks of bassist Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, together with his drumming brother Carly, played a primary role in introducing the sound of reggae’s one-drop rhythm to audiences around the world.

50 years later and the bass guitar still holds centre stage in Jamaican music, with a range of great Jamaican bass players each propagating a unique style. Knowing where to start can sometimes seem overwhelming, with some of the best work collected on compilation albums. Here are 10 classics to set you off.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.