Mike Opitz Song Writing and Theory Project

Featuring the Karma Refugees

The Harder They Come

The Harder They Come, Perry Henzell, Jimmy Cliff

The soundtrack to the film, along with the emergence of Bob Marley and the Wailers, introduced the world to reggae. It is one of the all-time classic albums.

Three full length BBC documentaries.

This BBC documentary focuses on the year 1977 by following the songs of Exodus. It is an unusual and creative montage. It took me awhile to figure it out. Rather than presenting the life and times of a star as other documentaries of Marley do, this film shows Marley and reggae from the point of view of those who received the music. Since it locates an album in history, it also provides an insight into the genre of the rock album.

Two more excellent BBC documentaries about reggae. Both have great information and interesting documentary styles. I learned a lot about the importance of “sound system,” “dub,” and “dancehall.” All these proved to be important in the development of rap and the proletarianization of language.

The incomparable Eek-a-Mouse, “Hitler,”—“remember this is history/ and it ain’t no joke.” There are many examples of the emergence of the DJ from “sound system.” Eek-a-Mouse is one of the most unique and a personal favorite.