Narrow Interviews... Reggae Legends Inner Circle

By Dave Kosciolek

Every band and musician hope to record that one song in their lifetime that will last and be popular throughout eternity. Inner Circle have done this – twice. Also affectionately known as “The Bad Boys of Reggae,” Inner Circle was formed in Kingston, Jamaica back in 1968. After some lineup changes, the band reformed in 1986 which led to those two classic songs – “Sweat (A La La La La Long)” and “Bad Boys,” the latter which is best known as the theme song for the TV show “Cops.”

With so many changes to music, and the way people listen and access music, it’s hard to imagine any bands starting out now lasting for 50 plus years like Inner Circle. I asked the band what advice they might give to bands starting out to build and preserve their own legacy, and they told me, “To keep your loved ones close,” and further went on to say, “stay spiritual and always believe in yourself.”

Over the years, the band has included contributions from artists that were current at the time, including members of Slightly Stoopid, Steel Pulse, and UB40. When I asked if they were any current touring acts they might like to collaborate with or just enjoy listening to, they mentioned SOJA, Ziggy Marley, and Pepper. These are three bands that have all visited North Florida in the past year, which gives some extra credibility to the reggae acts that have been making it a point to visit our area.

With lyrics being such an important part of every music genre, I wanted to get their thoughts on their mega-hit “Sweat,” which at the time of release some 25 years ago, had lyrics that were well discussed and controversial, but those same lyrics might be considered mild by today’s standards. They told me, “First off we love all music, and we see the current state of rap and other genres as way more courageous nowadays mon.” They also concluded, “There are rappers out there who say the most wildest things and don't care about reciprocations.” 

It’s not every day a true band of musical legends visits our city, so we hope everyone packs High Dive for one killer show on April 18th.

Reggae legends Inner Circle, live at High Dive, Thursday, April 18, 8pm

 NOTE: Did you know… Inner Circle won the 1993 Grammy Award for “Best Reggae Album” for their release “Bad Boys.”

dave kosciolek