London label and compilation specialists Soul Jazz’s latest venture is into Harmony, Melody & Style.

A new double-vinyl set, it tells the story of lovers rock, a form of music that exploded in the UK in the mid-’90s, creating for the first time a unique, British reggae sound – one inspired by American soul and pop music as well as the genre’s roots in the Caribbean.

As Soul Jazz explain, “at the forefront of this movement were young black women – who became both the main stars of lovers rock (Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson and Louisa Marks) as well as its primary audience.

“This explosion of musical artistry was partly a reaction against the strident political roots sound emanating from Jamaica during this period, as well as a defining of a unique black British heritage which absorbed influences from the USA, Jamaica and the UK. At the heart of lovers rock remained the soundsystem culture that Jamaican producers brought from the Caribbean and transposed to inner city London life.”

Harmony, Melody & Style tells the story of lovers rock – from its soundsystem beginnings, its commercial explosion at the start of the 1980s, and its underground continuance into the next decade where it continued to effortlessly absorb and mutate American soul, disco and rare groove styles into a distinctly British reggae sensibility.”

Soul Jazz will release Harmony on May 26.


Full Wood – Stop And Think It Over
Christine White – Caught By Love
Jean Adebambo – Paradise
Trevor Hartley – It Must Be Love
Blood Sisters – My Love Don’t Come Easy
Yvonne Archer – Ain’t Nobody
Louisa Marks – Even Though You’re Gone
The Cool Notes – People Make The World Go Round
Legato – I Cares
Candy McKenzie – Thinking Of You
Wendy Walker – We’ve Got One
The Sadonians – Goodbye My Love



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