Upbeat, soulful and vibrant, the music produced on the islands of the Caribbean provides the perfect soundtrack to your holiday, whether you're headed to your local beach or an all-inclusive resort. Much like the islands themselves, rich in history and culture, your Caribbean soundtrack should be wonderfully diverse and provide ambiance for your chilled-out vacation.
The laid-back pace of the day, the ocean lapping against the soft sand, the balmy sun were inspiration for countless artists creating their musical masterpieces while residing on the Caribbean.
The Caribbeans islands have produced some of the world’s best-loved artists and most popular songs. The late, great Bob Marley initially springs to mind when we think of Caribbean music, but there’s so much more to explore.
So kick back and queue up the playlist as the sun sets behind the palm trees, here are our top seven songs that should feature on your Caribbean soundtrack. You can even just use these for a day at the beach.
Naturally, no Caribbean playlist would be complete without featuring the late legend himself, Bob Marley.
Marley, born in 1945 in Jamaica, reached the hearts of millions with his music and his legacy lives on all over the world. It seems that almost anyone who plays guitar can wriggle out a few riffs of "No Woman, No Cry."
Released in 1975, it quickly became one of the most popular reggae songs of the decade. With a laid-back beat and relatable lyrics, this song should be featured on your Caribbean soundtrack.
On a somewhat more upbeat note, "Christopher Columbus" by Burning Spear is the perfect tune to accompany watching the sunset on the horizon while you scrunch the sand beneath your toes.
Burning Spear’s deep and soulful vocals have captivated audiences for decades. Now in his seventies, reggae royalty Burning Spear is still touring and making special appearances at music festivals all over the world over.
This track has a serious set of lyrics, but a chilled and bop-a-long beat that's perfect for a sunset soundtrack.
Believe it or not, one of the most popular reggae tracks to ever hit the charts was written and produced by an unlikely sextet from Birmingham, England. UB40 is a much-loved reggae band, and despite the inner-city roots, this band has captured the essence of the Caribbean in its music.
"Red Red Wine" topped the charts in 1983 and has proved a popular playlist hit in the decades to follow.
If you want to unite the crowds for a sing-a-long then this is the track to do it. Red Red Wine will have everyone up on their feet and swinging those sultry hips to the laid back island beat.
Chances are that you have heard this song before. Jimmy Cliff’s outstanding hit "You Can Get It If You Really Want" is another track that will unite the crowd. This happy-go-lucky tune brings a smile to all who hear it and is the perfect fit for your Caribbean soundtrack.
Jimmy Cliff, from Jamaica, played an influential role in the development of reggae and ska on the island and bringing the genre to the masses. Cliff’s other hits include I Can See Clearly Now and The Harder They Come would also be great additions to your Caribbean playlist.
This track matches perfectly smooth soulful voices, with reggae beats and thoughtful lyrics. Desmond Dekker & The Aces may not be as infamous as Bob Marley, but their music holds great cultural relevance.
If you are looking to bring the tone of the playlist down to a more mellow vibe for a track or two, playing Israelites is a great choice. Realized in 1968, this track precedes "No Woman No Cry" and adds some cultural depth to you Caribbean playlist.
"Hot Hot Hot" is a party classic, regardless of the genre. This song is a true cult classic and ultimate soundtrack to any beach party. If you want to get down on the dance floor then queue up this one.
A hit with every generation, this song is guaranteed to get the party started wherever you are in the world. Whereas most people associate popular Caribbean music coming from Jamaica alone, this song came from Montserrat. It was later covered by Buster Poindexter and The Merrymen, who both released popular versions.
To round off your Caribbean playlist on a high then be sure to add in "54-46 Was My Number" by Toots and the Maytals. This soulful and cheery beat is teamed with the perfect sing-a-long lyrics that will get everyone grooving.
Featured on the album "Funky Kingston," this track captures the essence of Jamaica in song and is loved by island dwellers and reggae lovers the world over. This track featured in the film "This Is England," and so for many indie movie lovers this is a hit with double significance.