Laurel Aitken

You Got Me Rockin': The Best of the Blue Beat Years 1960-1964

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Cuba-born and Jamaica-bred singer Laurel Aitken would eventually become known as "the Godfather of Ska," but first paid his dues as a Jamaican folksinger and nightclub entertainer who played a blend of early rock & roll, jump blues, and boogie. By the time he was signed to London's Blue Beat label in 1960 -- his "Boogie Rock" was their first-ever release -- he had started to shape the sound that would later make him famous. Although "Boogie Rock" is inexplicably missing here, this generous compilation contains heaping helpings of straight R&B and proto-rock amidst tasty ska tracks like "Brother David," "You Got Me Rockin'," and a blue-beat version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." It's on the spiritual numbers -- "Zion," "Mighty Redeemer" -- that Aitken's soulful voice really soars, although he is equally capable of getting down and dirty. Newcomers to Aitken's music might be better served by Pressure Drop's more comprehensive two-disc anthology The Godfather of Ska, which showcases the ska and pre-reggae island sound for which he was renowned, but fans of early R&B, rock, and soul, or Laurel Aitken completists, will have much to celebrate and enjoy here.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:20 Amazon
2 2:52 Amazon
3 2:49 Amazon
4 2:36 Amazon
5 2:46 Amazon
6 3:05
7 2:30 Amazon
8 2:50 Amazon
9 2:42 Amazon
10 2:50 Amazon
11 3:01 Amazon
12
feat: Hyacinth
2:37 Amazon
13
feat: Hyacinth
2:13 Amazon
14 3:54 Amazon
15 3:56 Amazon
16 3:22 Amazon
17 2:13 Amazon
18 2:35 Amazon
19
feat: The Bandits
2:20 Amazon
20 2:35 Amazon
21 2:09 Amazon
22 2:04 Amazon
23 2:48 Amazon
24 2:11 Amazon
25 2:17 Amazon
26 3:20 Amazon
27 2:54 Amazon
28 2:53 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick