Sat | Sep 22, 2018

‘Reggae Loves Romance’ inspired by Bob Marley

Published:Sunday | March 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Eisaku 'Selector A' Yamaguchi
A Peter Simon picture of Bob Marley, performing with the picture of Emperor Haile Selassie I in the background.
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New York-based Japanese, Eisaku 'Selector A' Yamaguchi, said Bob Marley planted the reggae seed in his homeland during his first and only tour of the county in 1979. Marley and the Wailers played eight intimate concerts over 12 days, and were greeted by enthusiastic fans in Tokyo and Osaka.

Today, the reggae seed has germinated and is bearing fruits globally and is part of the inspiration for Yamaguchi's soon to be released Reggae Loves Romance Vol 2, which will be available on online platforms on May 11.

"Bob Marley is a global icon and an international superstar, who is highly regarded in Japan. I was a child when the King of Reggae visited, but he is a major part of the inspiration why I love and adore reggae so much today," he said.

Selector A, says Reggae Loves Romance Vol 2 is the fourth album of the Reggae Loves series which he serves as executive producer. The first disc, Reggae Loves Africa, was released in 2014; Reggae Loves Jah (2015), and Reggae Loves Romance in 2016.

Elaborating on the concept for the disc, he said, besides Africa and Jah, which are central themes for many reggae recordings, he wanted to focus on love in its purest form, which is central to the Reggae Loves Romance disc.

"Besides reggae music and music from Africa, I don't know any other genre which teaches so eloquently about Africa, Selassie I and love."

Included on the disc are powerful love ballads Superman (Tarrus Riley); If I Gave You My Heart (Maxi Priest); Forever (Sanchez); Perfect Love Song (Morgan Heritage); Show Love (Jah Cure); Love Crazy (Jamelody); I'm In Love With You (Da'Ville); and I See It In You by Big Ship's captain Freddie McGregor.

"I am counting on McGregor's huge global fan base and presence in places like Japan to drive sales," he said.

Lovers rock gurus Chris Martin and Romain Virgo, who both topped the Digicel Rising Star competition, are featured on tracks Helpless and Soul Provider, respectively.

"Chris and Romain appeal mainly to the younger generation. By adding their songs to this album will help to get them the attention of more mature listeners since the Reggae Loves series are preferred by customers who are over 40 years old," he said.

Of course, no reggae disc about love and romance would be complete without a track from by the king of crooners Beres Hammond, with There For You.