Various Artists

This Is Ska

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First off, this two-disc, 36-track set isn't all ska, in fact, aside for some British ska revival sides, it isn't really much about ska at all, comprising instead mostly random rocksteady, early reggae, and even some dub selections, which makes for a pretty scattershot collection. Included here are Bob Marley's minor "Mr. Chatterbox," a pretty version by the Heptones of "Get Over Losing You," Gregory Isaacs' "Nobody Knows," and a pair of yin and yang Lee "Scratch" Perry sides, the bizarre "Huzza a Hana" and the gorgeous late-era Black Ark production of "Bird in Hand," neither of which comes even remotely close to being ska. There's enough here to make This Is Ska an OK budget purchase, but it's hardly what the cover proclaims.

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