Peter Tosh was an original member of The Wailers, Bob Marley's rocksteady and early reggae trio. Legalize It is perhaps Tosh's best-known album, and the title track has become an anthem for those who believe in the legalization of marijuana. Because of this and other drug-related subject matter on the album, this may not appropriate for the whole family (try some reggae for kids instead), but adult Bob Marley fans will certainly love this one.
The Abyssinians are not quite as well-known as many of the reggae groups on this list, but their music is equally as wonderful. Fans of the early music of the Wailers should enjoy the three-part harmonies prevalent among the Abyssinians' style, and their thick roots reggae beats are irresistable.
The Mighty Diamonds are another stellar group that layers rich three-part vocal harmonies over reggae grooves. Perhaps best known for having penned the song "Pass the Kouchie" (which later was recorded as reggae pop hit "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth), the Mighty Diamonds are one of the few groups from the early days of reggae that is still together and touring today.
Toots Hibbert and his band, the Maytals, were literally the ones to invent reggae - the word, at least. Their 1968 hit single, "Do the Reggay", is generally considered to be the source for the name of the genre, and a turning point in Jamaica's musical history. Toots & the Maytals recorded their early Studio One hits at the same time as the Wailers, but for various reasons, never quite achieved the international success of the other group.
Burning Spear was something of a protege of Bob Marley at one point, and in listening to his music, one can see why: he is a wildly talented musician and songwriter. He's one of the only legends of Jamaican music who continues to record and perform today, but if you like Bob Marley, definitely check out some of Burning Spear's music from the mid-1970s (or one of his more recent releases, for that matter)... you'll be hooked.
The Ethiopians were one of the most popular groups within Jamaica and the Caribbean during the crossover years of Rocksteady, Ska and Reggae. Like The Wailers, The Ethiopians recorded at Studio One and had several hits within Jamaica and internationally, including the legendary "Train to Skaville."