Check out this playlist by the CDR team celebrating the Windrush Generation's impact on UK music

To mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival new wave of post-war migrants on the HMT Empire Windrush, known as the Windrush generation, we have curated a multi-genre playlist that sonically tracks their legacy and impact on UK music.
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Published By
Published On
June 22, 2023
Published By
Published On
June 22, 2023

The Windrush Generation impact on UK music can't be understated. Since a wave of migrants arrival in Tilbury, Essex on June 22nd 1948 till now, our life in Britain wouldn't be the same. From the early Calypso in the 1950s to reggae in the 1960s, Lovers' Rock in the 1970s, Ska in the 80s, trip-hop in the 90s, dubstep in the 00s, as well as grime, jungle, dancehall and punk, the current sonic llanscape today has been shaped by these sounds.

Here at CDR, with this in mind, we compiled a playlist of tracks that resonated with us. You can check out a few of our selections here and below:

1) Brown Sugar's Black Pride

Brown Sugar, formed in 1976 and made up of teenage soul darlings Pauline Catlin, Caron Wheeler and Carol Simms, recorded their breakout lovers' rock single “Black Pride” in a period when racial tension in the UK was at its most rife. Brought to Denis Bovell's time-honoured Lovers Rock label, it was one of the many reggae releases that defined the eponymous substyle.

2) Deborahe Glasgow - Knight In Shining Armour

“Knight In Shining Armour” was released on Greensleeves label in 1986. Deborahe Glasgow is best known for her song Champion Lover, which was recut by Shabba as Mr Loverman.

3) Lee "Scratch" Perry - I Chase the Devil

The 1976 reggae masterpiece ”I Chase the Devil” was recorded by Max Romeo with the backing of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s house band, The Upsetters.

4) Massive Attack - Unfinished Symphony

One of the most notable names in trip-hop, Bristol band Massive Attack released their game changing track “Unfinished Symphony” in 1991.

5) Sade - Make Some Room

“‍Make Some Room” features on the B-side to the 12-inch single “Nothing Can Come Between Us”. The chart hit featured on her 1988 album “Stronger Than Pride”. A dreamy ambient techno tune with 909 rhythms, a rubbery 303 bassline and some chopped-up vocals, the track offers a sneak peek at the more electronic and downtempo sounds she would explore on her next LP, “Love Deluxe”.

6) Soul II Soul - African Dance

A London staple, Soul II Soul are are two-time Grammy winning act that emerged at the end of the 1980s who originated as a soundsystem. Their 1989 hit “African Dance” featured on their seminal album “Club Classics Vol. One”. 

7) Smith & Mighty - Anyone

Another pioneering Bristol based trip-hop group, Smith & Mighty, rose to prominence in the late 1980s for their breakbeat covers over Dionne Warwick’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and “Walk On By”, which helped define the Bristol sound and for producing Massive Attack’s first single “Any Love”. Their 1998 track “Anyone” changed Bristol’s electronic music landscape.  

8) Dizzee Rascal - Jus' a Rascal

Featuring on Mercury Prize winning album “Boy in da Corner”, Dizzee Rascal’s tongue in cheek “Jus’ a Rascal” became synonymous with early 00s British youth culture, featuring in tv, films and on national radio. ‍

9) Dub Syndicate - One In A Billion

One of the most famous dub bands, Dub Syndicate was formed by Adrian Sherwood for his collaboration with Lincoln "Style" Scott, former drummer with the Roots Radics, Suns of Arqa and Creation Rebel. It wasn’t until their third album when Dub Syndicate evolved into the experimental dub sound we hear on track “One In A Billion”, released in 2001.

10) Tim Reaper - The Future Sound Of London

Head of label Future Retro, Tim Reaper is at the forefront of Jungle’s new wave, putting out the very best contemporary jungle sounds. His track “The Future Sound Of London” is a masterclass in the genre.