1 Real Rock Riddim (1968)

Real Rock Riddim 422 tunes
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Original tune:
Sound Dimension - Real Rock (1968)

Studio One's Real Rock Riddim is one of the most used and most recognisable riddims ever. The original song by the Sound Dimension band was recorded in 1967 and released in 1968. Coxsone Dodd considered the riddim his crowning achievement.

Over the years, a lot of different versions of the riddim were created. For example Augustus Pablo's 1979 "Rockers Rock" version and a 1984 version by Lloyd Barnes.

Hugh Mundell - One Aim, One Jah, One Destiny (1979)
Sugar Minott - Wicked Ago Feel It (1984)

2 Answer Riddim (1967)

Answer Riddim 336 tunes
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Original tune:
Slim Smith & The Uniques - I'll Never Let You Go (1967)

The Answer Riddim was initially called the Never Let Go Riddim after its original tune by Slim Smith & The Uniques. Ten years later Lone Ranger's "The Answer" was released, which gave the riddim the name it is most commonly known by today.

Numerous versions of the riddim were made after the Studio One original, for example the 1993 version by Donovan Germain.

Lone Ranger - The Answer (1977)
Marcia Griffiths - I Shall Sing (1993)

3 Heavenless Riddim (1968)

Heavenless Riddim 323 tunes
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Original tune:
Don Drummond Junior & Sound Dimension - Heavenless (1968)

The original tune on the Heavenless Riddim was performed by Don Drummond Junior (aka Vin Gordon) & Sound Dimension. It is often miscredited to Don Drummond & The Skatalites. The riddim became very popular when Johnny Osbourne's "Murderer" was released in 1981.

After that, a lot of producers made their own versions of the riddim. One of the more successful ones was King Jammy's version of 1986.

Johnny Osbourne - Murderer (1981)
Leroy Gibbons - Lover's Question (1986)

4 Shank I Sheck Riddim (1964)

Shank I Sheck Riddim 237 tunes
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Original tune:
Baba Brooks - Shank I Sheck (1964)

The original tune on the Shank I Sheck Riddim was recorded by the trumpet player Baba Brooks.

At least 10 more versions of the riddim were released in the following years. For example the 1977 version by Sonia Pottinger and the 1979 version by Tad Dawkins.

Bobby Ellis - Shank I Shenk (1977)
Dennis Brown - Oh Brotherman (Unite Brotherman) (1979)

5 Mad Mad Riddim (1968)

Mad Mad Riddim 235 tunes
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Original tune:
Alton Ellis - Mad Mad (1968)

Another Studio One riddim, originally performed by Alton Ellis.

It became known as the Diseases Riddim in 1981 after the tune by Michigan & Smiley over a version of the riddim by Henry Lawes. In 1986 it became known as the Golden Hen Riddim after the hit by Tenor Saw over a Keith Gorgon version.

Michigan & Smiley - Diseases (1981)
Tenor Saw - Golden Hen (1986)

6 African Beat Riddim (1968)

African Beat Riddim 233 tunes
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Original tune:
Lester Sterling & Sound Dimension - African Beat (African Chant) (1968)

The origin of the African Beat Riddim is an old South African Zulu song. It was recorded for the first time in 1947 by August Msarurgwa. In 1954 it was covered by Louis Armstrong, becoming a major hit. Bert Kaempfert recorded the song in 1962, calling it "Afrikaan Beat". His version of the song is the one that inspired Lester Sterling's original tune on the riddim.

The riddim is also known as the Under Me Sensi Riddim, after the 1984 hit by Barrington Levy over Jah Screw's version of the riddim. Another well known version is the one by Bulby York & Lynford Marshall, dated 1997.

Barrington Levy - Under Me Sensi (1984)
Terror Fabulous - Jah Works (1997)

7 Darker Shade Of Black Riddim (1967)

Darker Shade Of Black Riddim 176 tunes
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Original tune:
Jackie Mittoo & The Soul Vendors - Darker Shade Of Black (1967)

The Darker Shade Of Black Riddim is another Studio One creation and was inspired by the 1965 hit "Norwegian Wood" by The Beatles.

The riddim has been used a lot since it was created in 1967. Great examples are Henry Lawes's 1984 version and Mafia & Fluxy's 1991 version.

Frankie Paul - Pass The Tu-Sheng-Peng (1984)
Sanchez - Whip Appeal (1991)

8 General Riddim (1967)

General Riddim 176 tunes
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Original tune:
Leroy Sibbles & Anthony Ellis - Love Me Girl (1967)

This riddim was initially called the Love Me Girl Riddim, after its original tune by Leroy Sibbles and Anthony 'Rocky' Ellis. In 1976 it became more popular known as the General Riddim, after a tune by Dillinger over a Jo Jo Hookim version of the riddim.

Another example of a version of the riddim is a 1984 version by Jo Jo Hookim's younger brother, Kenneth Hookim.

Dillinger - Natty A General (1976)
Barrington Levy - Dances Are Changing (1984)

9 Hot Milk Riddim (1968)

Hot Milk Riddim 172 tunes
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Original tune:
Jackie Mittoo & The Soul Vendors - Hot Milk (1968)

In 1968, Coxsone Dodd created the Hot Milk Riddim, originally performed by Jackie Mittoo & The Soul Vendors. In the same year he also created the Sea Of Love Riddim, which is based on the Hot Milk Riddim. The original tune on the Sea Of Love Riddim would be performed by The Heptones. Both riddims would become very popular over time.

1984 saw the release of "Murderer" by Barrington Levy, one of the most recognisable reggae tunes ever. The tune, over a version of the Hot Milk Riddim by Hyman Wright & Percy Chin, would become such a hit, that a lot of people still refer to this riddim as the Murderer Riddim.

The Heptones - Sea Of Love (1968)
Barrington Levy - Murderer (1984)

10 Boops Riddim (1967)

Boops Riddim 150 tunes
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Original tune:
The Ethiopians & The Supersonics - Train To Skaville (1967)

The original tune on this riddim was "Train To Skaville", self-produced and performed in 1967 by The Ethiopians with The Supersonics as the backing band.

One year later, Coxsone Dodd released "Feel Like Jumping" by Marcia Griffiths on his version of the riddim. This would define the name of the riddim for a short while. Later that same year the name would change to "54-46", after the hit by Toots & The Maytals on a version of the riddim by Leslie Kong.

The riddim was eventually named the Boops Riddim after a 1985 hit by Super Cat on a version by Steely & Clevie.

Marcia Griffiths - Feel Like Jumping (1968)
Toots & The Maytals - 54-46 (That's My Number) (1968)
Super Cat - Boops (1985)

11 Love Is Not A Gamble Riddim (1967)

Love Is Not A Gamble Riddim 145 tunes
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Original tune:
The Techniques & Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Love Is Not A Gamble (1967)

The original version of this riddim was created by Duke Reid, with the first tune being performed by The Techniques with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics.

The riddim has been used a lot through the years. For example the 1980 version by Joe Gibbs and the 1990 version by Bunny Striker Lee.

Barrington Levy - My Woman (1980)
Johnny Ringo - Bad All Bout (1990)

12 Vanity Riddim (1967)

Vanity Riddim 145 tunes
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Original tune:
Alton Ellis - I'm Just A Guy (1967)

The Vanity Riddim was originally known as the I'm Just A Guy Riddim, after the 1967 tune by Alton Ellis. A 1978 hit by Sugar Minott gave it the name it is still known by today.

Another good example of the riddim is the 1983 version by Bunny Striker Lee.

Sugar Minott - Vanity (1978)
Purpleman - Trod Along (1983)

13 Tonight Riddim (1967)

Tonight Riddim 145 tunes
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Original tune:
Keith & Tex - Tonight (1967)

The Tonight Riddim was created by Derrick Harriott in 1967. The first tune was "Tonight" by the duo Keith & Tex.

There have been a lot of versions of the riddim ever since. One of the more famous ones is the 1988 version by Peter Chemist & Sugar Minott, called the Lots Of Sign Riddim after the hit by Tenor Saw. The 1998 version by Gordon Lee is a good example as well.

Tenor Saw - Lots Of Sign (1988)
Jah Cure - Revolution (1998)

14 Full Up Riddim (1968)

Full Up Riddim 139 tunes
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Original tune:
Jackie Mittoo & Sound Dimension - Full Up (1968)

Yet another Studio One riddim. It is also known as the Pass The Kouchie Riddim after the 1981 hit by The Mighty Diamonds over an Augustus Pablo version of the riddim.

Another great version is the one created by Errol Lewis and Errol Marshall in 1984.

The Mighty Diamonds - Pass The Kouchie (1981)
Half Pint - Political Fiction (1984)

15 Ba Ba Boom Riddim (1967)

Ba Ba Boom Riddim 137 tunes
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Original tune:
The Jamaicans & Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Ba Ba Boom (1967)

The Ba Ba Boom Riddim was created by Duke Reid. The first song on the riddim was "Ba Ba Boom" by The Jamaicans with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. This song won the second edition of the Independence Festival Song Competition in 1967.

Examples of later versions of the riddim are a 1971 version by Don Mais called "Lonely Bull" and a 2001 version by Triston Palmer & Nigel Burrell.

Phillip Fraser - Only Jah Jah Know (1971)
Beenie Man & Dennis Brown & Triston Palmer - Three Against War (2001)

16 Cuss Cuss Riddim (1968)

Cuss Cuss Riddim 128 tunes
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Original tune:
Lloyd Robinson - Cuss Cuss (1968)

The Cuss Cuss Riddim was originally created by producer Harry J. The first tune on the riddim was by Lloyd Robinson.

Examples of later versions of the riddim are the 1986 version by King Jammy and the 2006 version by Sly & Robbie.

King Kong - Legal We Legal (1986)
Junior Kelly - Youths Dem Nah Cool (2006)

17 Mean Girl Riddim (1968)

Mean Girl Riddim 125 tunes
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Original tune:
Larry Marshall - Mean Girl (1968)

The Mean Girl Riddim is a Studio One creation, with the first tune being performed by Larry Marshall.

Amongst others, Jo Jo Hookim made a version of the riddim called the I Need A Roof Riddim in 1976, and King Jammy made a version called the I Know The Score Riddim in 1987.

The Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof (1976)
Frankie Paul - I Know The Score (1987)

18 Bam Bam Riddim (1966)

Bam Bam Riddim 123 tunes
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Original tune:
The Maytals & Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Bam-Bam (1966)

The Jamaica Festival Song Competition is an annual contest where aspiring artists, songwriters and producers showcase their talents. The first edition (then still known as the Independence Festival Song Competition) was held in 1966. The winners of that first edition were The Maytals with Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, with their song "Bam-Bam". With this song, the Bam Bam Riddim was born.

The riddim is also known as the Murder She Wrote Riddim, after the massive 1992 hit by Chaka Demus & Pliers, over a Sly & Robbie version of the riddim. Another great example is the version by King Jammy, created in 1992 as well.

Chaka Demus & Pliers - Murder She Wrote (1992)
Pan Head - Punny Printer (1992)

19 Death In The Arena Riddim (1968)

Death In The Arena Riddim 116 tunes
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Original tune:
Rolando Alphonso & The Soul Vendors - Death In The Arena (1968)

A Studio One creation from 1968, originally recorded by Rolando Alphonso & The Soul Vendors.

The riddim was used a lot, for example the 1987 version by King Jammy and the 1994 version by Bobby Digital.

Cocoa Tea - Death In The Stadium (1987)
Garnett Silk - Splashing Dashing (1994)

20 Rougher Yet Riddim (1967)

Rougher Yet Riddim 115 tunes
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Original tune:
Slim Smith - Rougher Yet (1967)

The Rougher Yet Riddim is a Studio One creation from 1967. The original tune was by Slim Smith. Augustus Clarke released his own version of the riddim in 1973. Because of the popularity of a tune by I-Roy, his version would become known as the First Cut Is The Deepest Riddim.

Another name the riddim goes by is the Love Bump Riddim, after a 1981 tune by Lone Ranger over a version of the riddim by Coxsone Dodd.

I-Roy - The First Cut Is The Deepest (1973)
Lone Ranger - Love Bump (1981)