Toppa Top 10: Reggae’s Greatest Bassists

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4. George “Fully” Fullwood

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Creating the bassline for Stalag 17, the ubiquitous riddim track behind Tenor Saw’s “Ring the Alarm,” Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” and countless other dancehall classics, might have been enough to get Fully Fullwood on this list but his influence goes far deeper. As the co-founder of session band Soul Syndicate, Fullwood backed most of the era’s major artists, including Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Together with Earl “Chinna” Smith and Carlton “Santa” Davis, Soul Syndicate became one of reggae’s most prominent bands, touring with Tosh and Big Youth.

Currently, Fully lives in Southern California, where he continues to record and perform, holding down a weekly gig named for him at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. Check out a 1979 performance with Soul Syndicate below, as well as the documentary Word, Sound & Power from that year, featuring Soul Syndicate at their peak.

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