One of three excellent Bunny Lee collections from the Dutch label Jamaican Gold, Sir Lee's Rock Steady Party, Vol. 1: At Buckingham Palace includes the kind of infectious mix of vocal and instrumental rocksteady that brought the producer initial success during 1967-1968. Over the 20 tracks here, the famed Jamaican bands Lynn Taitt & the Jets and Bobby Aitken & the Carib Beats lay down Lee's signature mix of buoyant rhythm tracks and lithe guitar and horn parts. Selections include soulful vocal cuts by Roy Shirley, Ken Parker, Glen Adams, and Alva Lewis, whose "Revelation" represents a rare vocal outing for the session guitarist and is one of the highlights of the collection. Other standout tracks include the Uniques' (featuring Slim Smith and Roy Shirley) "Lesson of Love" and their rendition of the Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions' hit "Gypsy Woman." Fine Jamaican jazz instrumentals by saxophonists Val Bennett and Lester Sterling round out the set. Unlike a good number of ska and rocksteady releases, the majority of tracks here and on most of the Jamaican Gold releases are from original master tapes, making for a very clean and full sound mix. Along with Trojan's excellent Lee collection Jumping With Mr. Lee, Sir Lee's Rock Steady Party, Vol. 1: At Buckingham Palace makes for essential rocksteady listening.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook