Various Artists

Ska After Ska After Ska

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There are those who complain that the popularity of punk-ska bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Less Than Jake distracts kids from the real thing. But it's probably not that simple. Look at the proliferation of vintage ska reissues and old-school collections in the last few years. You can love the Bosstones or hate them -- but the fact is that more kids have heard about the Skatalites now than ever, and it's partly due to those modern bands who have taken the old sound and made it their own. But it's the old school itself that is represented on this new collection of classic Treasure Isle singles from the 1960s, which features the Skatalites and also includes performances by Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, Eric "Monty" Morris, the Techniques and others. This compilation is more satisfying than many in that it presents an almost even balance between songs and instrumentals. Vocal ska was an advanced art in the hands of singers like Stranger Cole and Eric "Monty" Morris, and this album's highlights include Morris' performance on "Strongman Sampson" and Stranger Cole's rudeboy classic "Rough and Tough." Others include Don Drummond's "Thoroughfare" and the rollicking "Carry Go Bring Come" by a young Justin Hinds. This is one of the better introductions to classic ska available.