Toppa Top 10: Reggae’s Greatest Bassists

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 +1 +2 +3
June 11, 2014

Honorebel Mention
+1: Leroy Sibbles


Best known as the lead singer of The Heptones and for his lengthy solo career, Leroy Sibbles was perhaps equally influential as a session bassist and producer, making him a true honorebel mention. During the Heptones time at Studio One, he took on bass duties for the label’s studio band Sound Dimension (also known as the Soul Vendors), eventually taking on the role of de facto band leader. There, he designed classic lines for artists including The Abyssinians, Ken Boothe, and Burning Spear, using almost exclusively his thumb, instead of his index and third fingersโ€”a technique that became standard as rocksteady evolved into reggae, as it gave an edgier, deeper sound.

Sibbles’ bass lines have become an integral part of reggae’s vocabulary, brought into new songs with each successive generation. Sibbles continues to perform and maintain a very active social media presenceโ€”check out him laying down theย Full Up riddim live below, and listen to what is perhaps its most famous manifestation, “Pass The Dutchie,” by Musical Youth.