The Wailing Souls  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Wailing Souls are a Jamaican reggae vocal group still recording and performing live, whose origins date back to the 1960s.


They have recorded with many top Jamaican record producers including Coxsone Dodd of Studio One, Lloyd "King Jammy" James, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, Delroy Wright and Freddie McGregor, as well as some early recordings at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong. The group is perhaps best known for two classic roots reggae songs, "War" and "Bredda Gravalicious" as well as the more pop influenced "All Over The World". Their album Fire House Rock and its title track was one of their early 1980s successes.

The band has recorded cover versions of a wide variety of songs, such as Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heartbeats Accelerating", The Who's "My Generation" , The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". They also contributed a song for the soundtrack of the animated motion picture, Titan A.E.. Influenced by "War Deh Round a John Shop," Sublime altered the Wailing Souls song and renamed it Pawn Shop.

The group has seen many lineup changes but the two singers ever present are Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" MacDonald. They have worked with Sly and Robbie, the Roots Radics, Lloyd Parks and many other renowned reggae musicians. In 2006 they released Classic Jamaican Flava, a two disc set featuring an compact disc and DVD of a live performance in San Francisco, California. Their vocal style, like many Jamaican harmony singers of their era, is heavily influenced by the Motown Sound, perhaps because of the radio exposure of Motown music in Jamaica during the 1950s and 1960s.


Year Album
1974 Wailing Souls
1979 Wild Suspense
1981 Fire House Rock
1981 Wailing
1983 Inchpinchers
1983 On The Rocks
1983 Soul and Power
1984 Stranded
1986 Lay It On The Line
1987 Kingston 14
1989 Stormy Night
1991 Reggae Ina Firehouse
1992 All Over The World
1995 Wild Suspense (Reissue of Wild Suspense - 1979)
1995 Live On
1995 Face The Devil (Reissue of Wailing - 1981)
1996 Tension
1998 Psychedelic Souls
2000 Equality
2003 Square Deal
2004 Souvenir From Jamaica
2006 Classic Jamaican Flava

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Wailing Souls" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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