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The Wailing Souls are a Jamaican reggae vocal group still recording and performing live, whose origins date back to the 1960s.
They have recorded with many top Jamaican record producers including Coxsone Dodd of Studio One, Lloyd "King Jammy" James, Henry "Junjo" Lawes, Delroy Wilson and Freddie McGregor, as well as some early recordings at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong. The group is perhaps best known for two classic roots reggae songs, "War" and "Bredda Gravalicious" as well as the more pop influenced "All Over The World". Their album Firehouse Rock and its title track was one of their early 1980s successes.
The band has recorded cover versions of a wide variety of songs, such as Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "Heartbeats Accelerating", The Who's "My Generation" , The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". They also contributed a song for the soundtrack of the animated motion picture, Titan A.E.. Influenced by "War Deh Round a John Shop," Sublime altered the Wailing Souls song and renamed it "Pawn Shop".
The group has seen many lineup changes but the two singers ever present are Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" McDonald. They have worked with Sly and Robbie, the Roots Radics, Lloyd Parks, Scientist and many other renowned reggae musicians. In 2006 they released Classic Jamaican Flava, a two disc set featuring an compact disc and DVD of a live performance in San Francisco, California. Their vocal style, like many Jamaican harmony singers of their era, is heavily influenced by the Motown Sound, perhaps because of the radio exposure of Motown music in Jamaica during the 1950s and 1960s.