Out Of Many ~ 50 Years Of Reggae Music
August 14, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
In celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence, VP Records has unleashed the 3 CD digipak 'Out Of Many ~ 50 Years of Reggae Music'. This collection, on which each year of independence is represented by a significant hit from the year, comes with a booklet with extensive liner notes by reggae historian Noel Hawks.
From quadrille, mento and calypso, through ska, rocksteady and reggae, dub and deejays, roots and lovers, rockers and steppers to ragga, dancehall and one drop: the records made in Jamaica throughout the second half of the 20th century and into the new millennium have truly made a lasting impression on popular music worldwide.
In the beginning men such as Tom 'The Great Sebastian' Wong and Nick the Champ started playing popular American rhythm & blues records, soon followed by sound operators like Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid and Prince Buster who would travel to the USA on record buying expeditions. When the sound of American rhythm & blues changed they were forced to produce their own records.
In 1961 Vincent Chin opened Randy's Record Mart at 17 North Parade which quickly established itself as Jamacais premier retail and wholesale outlet. He produced the Lord Creator tune Independent Jamaica, a major hit in those days. Ska was booming led by the sound of The Skatalites. Listen to Blow Roland Blow, The Skatalites with Malcolm X and Alton Ellis' Mouth A Massy, all produced by Vincent Chin. However, the cool, cool, sound of rocksteady came to the fore in 1966: check out Hopeton Lewis' hit Take It Easy. Producer Duke Reid was the maestro when it came to producing rocksteady, as can be witnessed by listening to The Jamaicans with Ba Ba Boom.
Rocksteady lasted only for a short period and was replaced by 'reggay' or 'reggae'. In 1968 reggae was the in thing in Jamaica. The music soon spread worldwide, making regular inroads into the higher regions of the UK National Charts. Artists like Nicky Thomas with Love Of The Common People and Ken Boothe with Everything I Own enjoyed considerable crossover success in the UK. The styles and fashions, names and faces, moves and dances changed constantly, but the 70s will be forever classified as the roots era through records as Fade Away by Junior Byles and Two Sevens Clash from Culture. In the UK Capital Letters became famous with Smoking My Ganja. In the early 80s we enjoyed hit tunes like Eek-A-Mouse's Wa Do Dem, Johnny Osbourne's Ice Cream Love and Yellowman's ultra boom tune Zungguzungguguzungguzeng.
The introduction of computer driven riddims in 1985 with Under Me Sleng Teng opened up hitherto unimagined directions and the music entered another era of creativity, productivity and popularity with the sophisticated sounds of producer Gussie Clarke, Donovan Germain, King Jammy and Phillip "Fatis" Burrell, to name but a few. The late great Gregory Isaacs had one of his biggest hits -- Rumours -- with Gussie Clarke while Shabba Ranks teamed up with fine reggae ladies Deborahe Glasgow and Krystal to climb the charts. The duo Chaka Demus & Pliers had a massive hit with Gal Wine.
As the years went by new names such as Elephant Man, Mr. Vegas and Sean Paul ruled the dancehall with hits like Pon De River Pon De Bank, Heads High and Get Busy. On the roots side Morgan Heritage's output was influential while Beres Hammond was one of the top names for more than three decades. Artists like Etana, Gyptian, Mavado, I Wayne and Tanya Stephens went on to assume their rightful position on the international stage.