Punky Reggae Party

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"Punky Reggae Party"
Punky Reggae Party.jpg
Single by Bob Marley
Released1977 (1977)
RecordedJuly 1977
Length9:19 (12-inch single a-side)
8:49 (12-inch single b-side)
4:25 ("Jamming" 7-inch b-side)
6:50 ("Jamming" 12-inch b-side)
LabelTuff Gong/Island
Songwriter(s)Bob Marley
Producer(s)Lee Perry
Bob Marley singles chronology
"Punky Reggae Party"
"Three Little Birds"

"Punky Reggae Party" is a song by Bob Marley, recorded and released in 1977. Not appearing on any studio album, it was released in 1977 as a 12-inch single in Jamaica only on the Tuff Gong and Black Art labels, as a b-side to the "Jamming" single on the Island label in some countries and was later released as a live single on Babylon by Bus. Subsequently, it appeared on a number of compilations and "Best of" albums as well as the Deluxe Edition of Exodus and the 2002 CD reissue of Legend. The two versions of the song on the Jamaican 12-inch single were both featured on disc 2 of the Deluxe Edition of Exodus. The version featured on the 2002 CD reissue of Legend is the b-side version from the "Jamming" 12-inch single. There is also a version of the song released as a b-side on the "Jamming" 7-inch single which is much shorter.

The song was written by Bob Marley as a positive response to the release of a cover version of Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves" by English punk band The Clash, on their first LP. Referring to the party of the title of the song, the lyrics mention several punk and reggae groups: "The Wailers will be there, The Damned, The Jam, The ClashMaytals will be there, Dr. Feelgood too", Marley often repeated the words "New Wave" during the song. At one time, the list also included The Slits, but mention of them was removed allegedly because they were women.[2][3]

According to a January 2014 interview with Midnight Raver, Sly Dunbar revealed that he played drums on this track. According to Dunbar, the drum track was recorded at Joe Gibbs studio.[4]

The song was referred to in the Sublime song "Garden Grove" and the Robyn Hitchcock song "Antwoman".

In 2001, French punk band Burning Heads covered the song. It appeared on It's a Frenchy Ska Reggae Party Vol. 3 compilation.

In 2012, an American reggae band, Island Head, covered the song and named their debut album "Punky Reggae Party". Island Head musicians include legendary Jamaican guitarist Mikey "Mao" Chung, who is known for being part of the Peter Tosh band, and Andy Bassford, known for playing with Dennis Brown and Toots and The Maytals. Island Head’s bandleader/producer Billy Messinetti plays drums and percussion, David Frank (musician) of the band The System, played all of the keyboards, trumpet player Don Harris(Allman Bros Band) is co-producer, Timmy Cappello (Tina Turner/The Lost Boys movie) played saxophone and Neil Jason (Brecker Brothers Band) played bass.

Track listing[edit]

1977 12" single

  1. "Punky Reggae Party" – 9:19
  2. "Punky Reggae Version" – 8:49


  1. ^ Bryant, Tom (25 June 2014). "17 rock-reggae crossovers that work... and three that don't". Classic Rock. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  2. ^ https://thequietus.com/articles/03030-typical-girls-to-trapped-animals-the-slits-interveiw
  3. ^ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7089570-typical-girls
  4. ^ Raver, Midnight. "Ten Things You Did Not Know About Sly and Robbie". Midnight Raver Blog. Retrieved 4 January 2014.

External links[edit]