A Windrush Top Ten

Brixton’s Champion Agency, which created the theme for today’s Windrush Day celebration, has also put together a Windrush Top 10.

It has been compiled by Lloyd Bradley, cultural commentator, journalist and author of Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the CapitalBase Culture: When Reggae Was King, and Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music.

Here they are …

London Is The Place For Me – Lord Kitchener (1948)

Delivered on the gangplank, Kitch’s buoyant calypso tribute to the Motherland became an instant and deservedly enduring Windrush anthem.

Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys – The Equals (1963)

Eddy Grant’s multi-racial group reflected how Britain was changing and summed up where they wanted it to go with this song.

Handsworth Revolution – Steel Pulse (1977)

A pinnacle of British roots reggae, the Birmingham band eloquently and artistically expressed the frustrations and simmering anger of a new generation of black youth.

Silly Games – Janet Kaye (1979)

Home grown reggae came of age as a bona-fide mainstream pop music when this lovers rock classic reached Number Two in the national charts.

Bass Culture – Linton Kwesi Johnson (1980)

Dub poetry played a huge part in Britain’s black music story, LKJ combined with Dennis Bovell’s Dub Band to consistently produce some of the best.

Diamond Life – Sade (1984)

From its earliest recordings, British black music could dazzle with its sophistication, Sade’s late night masterpiece as smooth and as nuanced as it gets.

Keep On Movin’ – Soul II Soul (1989)

Direct from London’s sound system culture, Britain’s black music comes of age as this self- defined sound became one of the year’s biggest hits.

Timeless – Goldie (1995)

Drum’n’bass mastermind adopts symphonic sensibilities for a double-CD set that took the style to its outer limits and back again with its stretched, immersive grooves.

Empress – Ray BLK (2018)

Written and produced by Ray BLK herself, this album runs across a range of styles and themes to showcase just how empowering British black music has become.

Heavy Is The Head – Stormzy (2019)

Nothing capture’s grime’s evolution from tower block pirate radio to rock star status better than Stormzy and this thoughtful, energising set of songs.