Various Artists

Studio One Rocksteady

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Digging deeper into the vaults of Studio One -- rightfully and often referred to as "the Jamaican Motown" -- this Soul Jazz compilation focuses on the label/studio's rocksteady output, rocksteady being the genre that built the bridge from ska to reggae. Add to ska the "one drop" rhythm so prevalent in reggae, then slow down the tempo to a '60s R&B pace and that's the general idea, but past Larry & Alvin, the Classics, and Carlton & the Shoes, most of the genre's artists continued on to reggae, so expect some names every island music fan should know. Superstars John Holt ("Fancy Make Up"), Marcia Griffiths ("My Ambition"), the Wailing Souls ("Row Fisherman Row"), and Dennis Brown ("Easy Take It Easy") are all here with highlights, while author Lloyd Bradley (This Is Reggae Music and Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King) provides the helpful liner notes. Consider it a primer or a refresher, but no doubt, consider it.

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