King Tubby

King Tubby's In Fine Style

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While there's certainly no shortage of King Tubby compilations out there, it's often a straining venture to find the best ones. Tubby churned out so much music during the mid-'70s (with the help of co-engineers Phillip Smart, Pat Kelly, and Lloyd "Prince Jammy" James, of course) that throughout the '90s innumerable fly-by-night labels were able to assemble cheap comps of cut-rate recordings. These sorts of hodgepodges are fine for all the Tubby collectors around the world, but for the more casual or particular listener, those mostly questionable collections are best avoided. Thankfully, first-rate labels like Blood & Fire and Moll-Selekta have gotten into the proceedings and put out some high-quality comps that you can always trust (namely, the former's series of Dub Gone Crazy [1995] roundups and the latter's two-fer reissue of Roots of Dub/Dub From the Roots [2003]). Trojan is another one of those labels you can generally trust to put out quality product, though not always; some Trojan comps overlap, and others seem to have made their selections injudiciously (e.g., those Trojan three-disc samplers). But King Tubby's in Fine Style, released by Sanctuary/Trojan in 2004, is one of the -- if not the -- best Tubby comps the label had yet released, right up there with the similarly definitive Foundation of Dub (2001) collection. Really, if all you ever wanted was one and only one Tubby disc, In Fine Style would be a wise choice (though given the depths and riches of the Dub Inventor's catalog, you could easily pick up a couple of these comps and still have just the cream of the crop). This double disc compiles 46 dubs mixed at King Tubby's Studio (aka his modest home in Waterhouse, West Kingston, Jamaica) and does so chronologically, ranging from 1972-1977. These are the best of the best -- amazing dubs of such '70s reggae legends as the Upsetters (produced by Lee Perry), Niney the Observer, Augustus Pablo, Cornel Campbell, Horace Andy, Wayne Jarrett, and the Aggrovators, including such classics as "King Tubby's Meets Rockers Uptown" and "King Tubby's in Fine Style" among many, many others. Furthermore, the packaging is great, including extensive liners by Dave Hendley, who not only gives a brief history of why Tubby is so revered, but also relates his own nervous visit to the Dubmaster's studio in 1977 and includes a few photos from his visit as well. Muchas gracias, Sanctuary, for buying out Trojan and, finally, putting a definitive dubs comp like this out on the market. Más, por favor.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
2:35
2
2:50
3
feat: Glen Brown
3:09
4
4:05
5 3:28
6 3:23 Amazon
7
4:07
8
3:18
9 3:34
10 3:16 Amazon
11 3:54 Amazon
12
2:39 Amazon
13
2:33
14 3:39
15 3:11
16 3:36
17 3:08
18 3:22
19
feat: Dennis Brown
3:25
20 2:38
21 2:32
22
2:35
23
3:06

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: Ronnie Davis
3:03
2 3:17
3
3:07
4 3:07
5
3:03
6 3:15
7 3:11
8
2:35
9
2:22
10 3:09
11 3:38
12
3:13
13
1:54
14 2:23
15 2:29
16 3:33
17 3:27
18 3:37
19
2:34
20 2:37
21 3:10
22
2:56
23 3:25
blue highlight denotes track pick