Watch the 2011 film documenting the genesis of lover’s rock featuring interviews and footage of Dennis Bovell, Jean Adebambo, Janet Kay, and more.
The Story of Lover’s Rock is a 2011 feature-length doc chronicling the birth and eventual explosion of the beloved sentimental reggae subgenre dubbed lover’s rock. Named after Augustus Pablo’s dancehall favorite, lover’s rock was an influential and wildly successful style of the 70s and 80s, formed through the muse of one of the genre’s finest, Dennis Bovell. Born Dennis Harris, Bovell produced some of the 80s finest dub, disco, and post-punk grails, both as a solo artist and as a producer (for I Roy, Steel Pulse, The Slits, Saada Bonaire (!), and countless others). In doing so, he revolutionized the sound of British music in the 1980s.
But before all that, the reggae maestro defined an entirely novel sound that he called “romantic reggae.” Driven by women singers, lover’s rock was the first female-empowering music in the UK at a time of heightened political tension and unrest. A sound that inspired unique brands of fashion, lifestyle, and dances, the sound galvanized peace and connection as a respite from oppressive and bleak surroundings. Through a series of live performances and interviews with some of the leading names of the era, direcotr Menelik Shabazz charts the rise and lasting impact of the lover’s rock wave. Artists Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, UB40, Jean Adebambo, Sandra Cross, and more provide an untold portrait of the post-Windrush generation that went on to produce beautiful groove music.
Watch the doc uploaded in full on Facebook (embed isn’t available):