Sam Carty - "Milte Hi Akhen Aka Bird In Hand" (Full vocal version) (3:53)
Mystic I - "One More River To Cross" (3:09)
The Upsetters - "One More Dub To Cross" (3:18)
Junior Murvin - "People Get Ready" (3:23)
The Upsetters - "People Get Ready Dub" (3:18)
The Silvertones - "Feel All Right" (2:40)
Review: Barely a week goes by without a new release that has Lee "Scratch" Perry's name on it somewhere. This one from Rock A Shaka in Japan brings together all the best bits from the famous Black Arc studio and features big names like The Upsetters, Junior Murvin, The Silvertones, and Perry himself. There's a laidback air of sun kissed Caribbean grooves from top to bottom, with various Dubpate Mixes, full vocal versions and dubs adding up to a feel good collection of loved-up riddims that will slide their way into your affections.
Upsetter Revue - "Play On Mr Music" (feat The Heptones & The Congos & Junior Murvin)
Carlton Jackson - "History" (Dub Plate mix)
The Silvertones - "Rejoice Jah Jah Children" (Dub Plate mix)
Jimmy Riley - "Give Me A Love"
The Upsetters - "Give Me A Dub"
Lee Perry - "Soul Fire"
Sam Carty - "Milte Hi Akhen Aka Bird In Hand" (Full vocal version)
Mystic I - "One More River To Cross"
The Upsetters - "One More Dub To Cross"
Junior Murvin - "People Get Ready"
The Upsetters - "People Get Ready Dub"
The Silvertones - "Feel All Right"
Keith Rowe - "Sugar & Spice (Love Has Got Its Way)"
The Upsetters - "Spicy Version"
Review: Although there have been a number of retrospectives focused on Lee 'Scratch' Perry's productions during the period he ran the Black Ark studio (1973-79), few have gone quite as deep as this superb compilation from Rock-A-Shacka. What makes it stand out from its rivals is not the number of well-regarded classics included - though it does contain a few, such as "Soul Fire" and Mystic I's "One More River To Cross" - but rather the deepness of the selections and the impressive number of previously unreleased tracks. Check, for example, the superb all-star outing "Play On Mr Music", after which the compilation is named, the languid and soulful "Dub Plate Mix" of The Silvertones' conscious roots classic "Rejoice Jah Jah Children", and the two mixes of Keith Rowe's "Sugar & Spice".
Review: This newly expanded reissue of classic Desmond Dekker compilation "Double Dekker" includes six rare bonus cuts next to the rest of the material that helped it make such an international impact. There isn't much cross over with other compilations, either, making it a must for fans of the late vocalist. Interestingly, this release was compiled after Dekker had left Trojan for the newly formed rival Creole, and it went on to become one of their biggest sellers, at the same time as putting his newer recordings into the shadows. So sink in and enjoy one of rocksteady's best.
Review: Released in 1969 four years after the band split up (a break that resulted in the formation of two of Jamaican music's most storied studio 'house bands', Tommy Cook & The Supersonics and Rolando Alphonso and the Studio One Orchestra), "The Skatalite" gathers together some of the most potent and best known "sides" recorded by The Skatalites with producer Arthur 'Duke' Reid. Here reissued by Music On Vinyl, it's as strong a collection of early/peak-era Ska music as you're likely to find. In it you can hear the influences from rhythm and blues and jazz that went into forming the Ska sound, as well as the progression towards a more "skanking" sound that would lay the foundations of rocksteady and ultimately reggae.
Review: From The Roots was the fourth album by The Maytals and their first after signing to Island Records in 1973. It found them move away from their earlier ska days but not quite settle into the slower tempos the rest of the big players were exploring. As such it's a speedy listen with uptempo vocals that most frequently muse on love. There are plenty of standouts such as "Got To Feel," "Koo Koo" and "Pee Pee Cluck Cluck" that still sound fresh today, especially on a limited edition individually numbered orange vinyl.
Tommy McCook - "Get Me To The Church On Time" (2:38)
John Holt & Joya Landis - "I'll Be Lonely" (2:08)
Tommy McCook - "Second Fiddle" (2:26)
Tommy McCook - "Soul For Sale" (2:38)
Alton Ellis - "Breaking Up" (3:00)
Tommy McCook - "Mary Poppins" (2:45)
Tommy McCook - "Billy Joe" (3:53)
Joya Landis - "Moonlight Lover" (2:20)
Tommy McCook - "Black Coffee" (2:41)
Review: Duke Reid's Treasure Isle was a behemoth of a label that very much defined the sound of an era almost single-handedly. This particular compilation was first put out in 1970 and was an immediate best seller: it details the transformation of late rocksteady into early reggae and takes in all the essentials from that time, making it a must for fans of the sixties sounds, or those looking to brush up on their knowledge. The orange vinyl features gems from Joya Landis, Tommy McCook, Alton Ellis and Winston Wright.
Desmond Baker & The Clarendonians - "Rude Boy Gone A Jail"
The Wailers - "Good Good Rudie"
Dennis Brown - "Make It Easy On Yourself"
Wailing Souls - "Don't Fight It"
Dub Specialist - "Peace Theme"
Mr Foundation - "See Them A Come"
Dudley Sibley - "Run Boy Run"
Dennis Brown - "Johnny Too Bad"
Bob Andy - "Crime Don't Pay"
Soul Brothers - "Mr Kiss A Bang Bang"
Review: The latest Studio One release to be released on Soul Jazz Records features another fine selection of classic artists from the foundation label of reggae. Rude Boys are synonymous with Jamaican dancehall culture from the present day going back to the very early days of Sir Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid's first sound-clashes in Kingston. 'Studio One Rude Boy' features artists and songs about rude boys and rude boy culture from all periods of Studio One's history. The album features ska, rocksteady, DJs, roots and dub. The album features classic tracks from Jamaica's finest singers and groups such as The Wailers, John Holt, The Wailing Souls, Dennis Brown alongside super-rare tracks from artists such as Mr Foundation, Dudley Sibbley and The Soul Brothers all recorded under Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd's supervision at the legendary recording studio and record label. Musical backing comes from the legendary in-house bands - The Skatalites, The Sound Dimension, Soul Vendors and Soul Defenders - who provide the classic Studio One rhythms so influential in the history of reggae. All the eighteen tracks have been newly digitally re-mastered for this album and the album comes with full sleevenotes, photos and text making this another essential Studio One reggae release for connoisseurs of reggae and newcomers alike.
Review: The original reggae legend lives on as strong as ever. This newly remastered collection is a real behemoth and comprehensive overview of the Jamaican's great career. Unlike any other world renowned star, Marley transcended music and became as known for his political views and positive outlook as he did his music. Here though it's all about the latter, with smash hits like "Sun Is Shining", "African Herbsman," and "Trench Town Rock" all present and correct across five slabs of wax, with a poster also included. Add this to your collection and you'll have all the maestro's greatest work in one place.