Toppa Top 10: Ten Quintessential British Lovers Rock Tunes

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Words by Jesse Serwer, Eddie STATS and Martei Korley

With a documentary about the hidden history of lovers rock coming out this week (in U.K. theaters only, naturally), a primer on this somewhat misunderstood sub-genre seemed in order. At its heart, lovers rock is two things, a distinctly British musical movement which developed and evolved in London’s Caribbean communities in the 1970s, and the “Quiet Storm” to reggae’s R&B, a mellower version of the basic blueprint that developed expressly for intimate occasions, slow dancing or perhaps melancholic daydreaming about that one that got away. While the sound was re-transmitted back to the original source in Jamaica by artists who came to England to record or just fell in love with the sound—Sugar Minott, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and Al Campbell, to name a few—we’ve focused this list on those British artists who most embodied the style.

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