Various Artists

Reggae Anthology: The Channel One Story

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Although not as well known as Studio One, Treasure Isle or Black Ark, Joseph and Ernest Hookim's Channel One Studio has played an equally strong role in the history of Jamaican reggae, first as a last blast of roots material at the close of the 1970s, and then as a cornerstone of the emerging dancehall scene in the mid-'80s. These two periods correspond neatly to the house bands in residence at Channel One, with the Revolutionaries providing the rhythms behind the first phase, and Roots Radics powering the second. This two-disc history of the studio shows that whatever the differences were between early and later Channel One releases, a crisp, clear sound was the constant, and the hits here from the Mighty Diamonds ("I Need a Roof," "Right Time"), Barrington Levy ("Dances Are Changes"), Delroy Wilson ("Sharing the Night Together"), the Jays (a cover of "Queen Majesty" by the Impressions), John Holt ("Up Park Camp") and Sugar Minott ("Babylon") all feature that same sharp, fresh feel and tone, making this a wonderful introduction to a vital Jamaican institution.

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