Respect To Studio One
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1994.
For over a decade, Heartbeat has released classic reggae from the legendary Studio
One label, resulting in over 30 re-issues and compilations. This double CD takes one track
from each of those releases with the result being 32 songs and almost two hours of vintage
Studio One was - and still is - located on Brentford Road in Kingston, Jamaica.
This historic recording studio was established by Clement "Coxsone" Dodd in the early
60's and virtually every major artist from that period got their start at this Jamaican
Besides being the owner, "Coxsone" produced all of the tracks, using such talented
bands as the Skatalites, Soul Brothers, Sound Dimension, Soul Vendors, Soul Defenders
and Brentford All Stars. The tunes on this compilation are timeless (in fact, many of these
rhythms are still being used today) with the styles ranging from rock steady to reggae. The
package ends with five ska scorchers from the studio's earliest days.
Although each cut deserves your undivided attention, some of the absolute
highlights include the tunes by Marcia Griffith, Slim Smith, Delroy Wilson, Burning Spear,
Freddie McKay, Horace Andy, the Viceroys, Johnny Osbourne and John Holt.
This is just a small sample of the many Studio One songs that have rocked the
reggae world, dominating the Jamaican charts for the last 30-plus years. Check it out for
yourself, but if you're desperate for that last-minute holiday gift, this crucial compilation is
guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning reggae fan.
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