17 North Parade
Various classic riddims
7 x 7" Box Set (Special Limited Edition)
September 26, 2012

Artist & tune

  • Delroy Wilson - It's A Shame / Revolutionaires - Fire Bun
  • Leroy Smart - Jah Jah / Revolutionaries - Jah Jah (Version)
  • John Holt - Up Park Camp / Revolutionaries - Up Park Camp (Version)
  • Mighty Diamonds - Jah Will Work It Out / Ranking Trevor - Masculine Gender
  • Michael Palmer - Pon Your Toe / Sly & Robbie, Dean Fraser & Robbie Lyn - Unmetered Taxi
  • Sammy Dread - M16 / Revolutionaries - Version M16
  • Barrington Levy - Black Rose / Roots Radics - Black Rose (Version)
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
Reggae heads and discerning vinyl collectors will be very pleased with another spectacular 7 x 7" box set from VP Records called "Channel 1: 7" Spectacular". This one actually follows up to the "Joe Gibbs: 7" Spectacular Vols. 1 & 2" boxes, which were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Ernest and producer Joseph 'Joe Joe' Hoo Kim's Channel One Studio, located north of Spanish Town Road on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston Jamaica, was operational from 1973 and has had a profound influence on the development of reggae music. Despite the release of some strong initial 45s including Stranger & Gladdys' "Don't Give Up The Fight", Junior Byles' classic roots piece "Fade Away" and Leroy Smart's "Blackman", the truly distinctive Channel One sound was not to emerge until mid-1975. I Roy's "Welding" was one of the first records with the distinct 'clap' sound on the drum that became synonymous with the studio.

Both deejay I Roy and keyboards player Ossie Hibbert had a considerable influence on the Channel One sound in their alternative roles as in-house producers, but the two musicians mainly responsible for the Rockers riddims were Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, who began playing together regularly in 1975. Together with musicians like Ossie Hibbert, Ansel Collins, Errol 'Tarzan' Nelson, Radcliffe 'Dougie' Bryan, Robbie Lynn, Uziah 'Sticky' Thompson, Bertram 'Ranchie' McLean, Tommy McCook, Vin Gordon and Herman Marquis they formed the Revolutionaries, the Channel One house band. Later on Roots Radics took over the proceedings and played an important role in creating the dancehall sound of the first half of the 1980s.

This beautifully packaged limited edition set contains repressings of rarely seen hits recorded at Channel One Recording Studio and masterfully produced by Joseph Hoo Kim between 1974 and 1983. All singles, except Mighty Diamonds' "Jah Will Work It Out", are -- as it should be -- backed up by a dub version. The first single, which came out on the Well Charge sister label in 1974, features Delroy Wilson's solid rendition of The Spinners' soul tune "It's A Shame", with the Revolutionaries' real nice "Fire Bun" (actually the dub version of Dillinger's "Crankface") on the flipside. Next single on our 'wheel of steel' is Leroy Smart highly collectable 1977 roots anthem "Jah Jah" across a revitalized version of Junior Soul's "Give Me Your Love" riddim. Leroy Smart delivers a standout effort and also the Revolutionaries' "Jah Version" is truly worthwhile hearing.

Another scorcher from 1977 was John Holt's great single "Up Park Camp", for which The Revolutionaries reworked The Heptones' Studio One classic hit "Get In The Groove" in a memorable way. Joseph Hoo Kim was the first producer to introduce the re-use of old Studio One riddims for new productions and although a very controversial practice in the beginning, it eventually became widespread. The Mighty Diamonds, here present with the mighty "Jah Will Work It Out" on a relick of the "Drifter" riddim, brought Channel One its biggest commercial success with the 1975 released single "Right Time". Ranking Trevor, one of the young top deejays at the time, saw his wicked tune "Masculine Gender" released on the Channel One label in 1978.

Michael Palmer's solid "Pon Your Toe" and the excellent cut of the "Peanut Vendor"/"Prophecy" riddim by Sly & Robbie, Dean Fraser & Robbie Lyn called "Unmetered Taxi" were released on the Hitbound label in 1982 and sound that strongly differs from the Rockers sound of the previous singles. Here you hear a slower tempo of the riddim, typical for the early dancehall days and also witnessed on Sammy Dread's popular dancehall killer "M16". Another standout single is Barrington Levy's "Black Rose" from 1983, with then incredible busy Roots Radics providing the riddim track.

Back then pressed only in limited quantities, this 7 x 7" box set is definitely one for those who haven't get rid of their turntable. There's also a download code for all the tracks included, although it's doubtful if that will really please the vinyl purist.