The Story of Lovers Rock (DVD)
Often dubbed ‘romantic reggae’, Lover’s Rock is a unique British sound, developed against a backdrop of racial tension, the Brixton riots and sound systems in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. It went from being a small UK scene to become a global phenomenon that defined a generation through artists such as UB40 and Maxi Priest.
Directed by award winning director/producer Menelik Shabazz, The Story Of Lover’s Rock combines comedy, live performance, interviews and archive footage to shed light on the music and the generation that embraced it. Contributors to the documentary include UB40; Maxi Priest; Levi Roots; Linton Kwesi Johnson; comedians Angie Le Mar, Robbie G and Eddie Nestor, alongside new artists such as Ava Leigh and Lovella Ellis.
Lover’s Rock was the feel good music at parties and clubs that brought intimacy for young people in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The music allowed them to experience intimacy and healing through a dance known as "scrubbing”. They identified with the music as it spoke to their notions of romantic love and formed a coping mechanism for what they were experiencing on the streets.
Despite international success, the genre has been hugely ignored by the British mainstream. Yet the music went on to influence a number of successful bands in the ‘80s such as Culture Club, Sade, and the Police. Today the music is being embraced by young talent such as Ava Leigh and Lovella Ellis, daughter of the legendary reggae artist Alton Ellis.
A sleeper hit when it was released in cinemas in late 2011, The Story of Lover’s Rock looks back with affection at a musical phenomenon that has an enduring appeal for audiences of all ages.
REVIEW"It's the music that matters, and that is put on the screen with real skill and affection”
"Menelik Shabazz, has lovingly excavated the somewhat forgotten 70s subgenre of lover's rock”
"As a snapshot of a moment in time, it's hard to beat"
"Timely and perfectly balanced"
Sight & Sound
"A worthwhile film”
"Shabazz conveys a love of the music and its culture"
New York Times