Harmony, Melody and 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 as the founding producers absorbed and mutate American soul styles into a distinctly British reggae sensibility.
The album includes classic and rare tracks and comes with extensive text, as well as interviews and features on artists, musicians and producers who helped define lovers rock as well as amazing exclusive photography charting the growth of the Caribbean community in Britain. Lovers rock exploded in the UK in 1975, when an ex-Caribbean population of producers, artists and audience who had grown up in London, created for the first time a new uniquely British reggae sound. 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.