Jools in Jamaica Video Square
Jools in Jamaica Video Square

LargeUp Video: Watch Jools Holland Explore Jamaica + Reggae Music In 1984

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One of the most important presenters in television, Jools Holland might not be immediately recognizable to American Audiences, but for decades the Englishman has played a major role in finding and supporting brilliant music and musicians. Now, our good friends at LargeUp have helped uncover amazing documentary footage that showcases Holland taking a trip to Kingston, Jamaica in 1984, where along the way he encounters the nation's vibrant reggae scene--and is rightfully overjoyed. In the words of our colleagues:

There’s a lot of highlights crammed into this half-hour—it’s one of the most complete and concise documents of the Kingston reggae scene at this time— but for us three scenes in particular stand out, the first being a music video-like sequence with Dennis Brown strolling along the beach to “The Prophet Rides Again.” And then there’s the dramatic appearance of Eek-a-Mouse, stealing the show at a dancehall session with Yellowman, Massive Dread and Lee Van Cleef. And, finally, there’s the session with Riddim Twins Sly and Robbie ,at the height of their creative superpowers, recording an electro version of The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” that sounds like it could be the inspiration for Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice theme. (Hammer was a huge reggae fan, and the show used Black Uhuru’s music several times, so it’s not out of the question).

The entire "Jools in Jamaica" is an amazing look at the fashion, music, politics and, erm, herbal supplements of Kingston in the 80s. Watch it over on LargeUp.