Lovers Rock is a style of reggae music noted for its romantic sound and content. While love songs had been an important part of reggae since the late 1960s, the style was given a greater focus and a name in London in the mid-1970s.
Louisa Marks, was aged just 14 when she had a major lovers rock hit with her version of Bobby Parker's "Caught You in a Lie" in 1975, this spawned the distinctive young girl female sound associated with early lovers rock. This was followed by the husband and wife production team of Dennis and Eve Harris then had a big hit with T T Ross's "Last Date", and Dennis Harris then set up a new label,Lovers Rock,at the south east London premises on Upper Brockley Road along with John Kpiaye and Dennis Bovell, which gave the new genre a name.
South London trio Brown Sugar including a young Caron Wheeler, pioneered a subgenre, 'conscious lovers', with songs such as "I'm In Love With a Dreadlocks" and "Black Pride". Others who released records in this subgenre included the Battersea songstress Winsome. Lovers Rock became a staple of London's sounds systems such as Sir George, Success sound, Soferno B and many more. Neil"Mad Professor Fraser would be a key Lovers Rock producer,working with the late Deborah Glasgow, while Bovell would produce one of the genre's biggest hits,Janet Kay's "Silly Games", which reached number 2 in the UK singles chart in 1979. Although noted for the preponderance and youth of its female exponents, the new style produced its fair share of male stars as well, notably Trevor Walters, Winston Reedy,Paul Dawkins,Keith Douglas, and many more. The trend also saw the emergence of many male groups, including Tradition, The Investigators, One blood and the Birmingham group Beshara, who had the emotive reggae chart hit "Men Cry Too".
Subsequently, numerous well-established Jamaican acts came to try their hand at the new sound. Most successful among these were Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, and Greggory Issacs.
The popularity of Lovers Rock has continued, and in the 1980s the Fashion label was hugely successful with UK audiences.In the 1990s the likes of Mike Anthony, Peter Hinningale,Trevor Hartley,John Mclean,and Donna Marie enjoyed huge success with the genre. Lovers Rock music is here to stay. !