Studio One Rub-A-Dub
Soul Jazz Records-Munich
February 13, 2007

Track list
  1. Cornell Campbell - My Conversation
  2. Lone Ranger - Screw Gone A North Coast
  3. Judah Eskender Tafari - Danger In Your Eyes
  4. Rapper Robert & Jim Brown - Minister For Ganja
  5. Freddie McGregor - How Could You Leave
  6. Barry Brown - Give Love
  7. Len Allen Jnr - White Belly Rat
  8. Johnny Osbourne - Forgive Them
  9. Alton Ellis - Live And Learn
  10. Horace Andy - Happiness
  11. Rapper Robert & Jim Brown - Pirate
  12. Willie Williams - Keep On Moving
  13. The Heptones & Freddie McGregor - Equal Rights (12" Version)
  14. Papa Michigan & General Smiley - Jah A The Creator
  15. Ethiopians - Empty Belly
  16. Earl 16 - No Mash Up The Dance
  17. Lone Ranger - Natty Chalwa
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
Here's the 25th Studio One album release -- three artist albums and twenty-two compilations -- from Soul Jazz Records and it certainly won't be the last. The compilation sets are based on a theme like for example 'Rockers', 'Soul', 'Funk', 'Women', 'Dub', 'Instrumentals' and 'Ska'.

Now here's another selection of classic Studio One, this time a loose amalgamation of Brentford Road cuts under the 'Rub-A-Dub' banner. Re-versioning classic Studio One riddims became the order of the day in the 1970s, with every Jamaican producer of note employing his own in-house musicians to copy the music emanating from Brentford Road. So it was just a matter of time 'till Coxsone Dodd responded to the wholesale versioning Studio One's rocksteady / early reggae hits by releasing remixes of the originals along with new productions. It was Dodd's unambiguous answer to those who were making money with versions if his riddims. As a result the legendary Studio One went through an amazing period of re-birth working with new artists such as Willie Williams, Lone Ranger, Michigan & Smiley, Rapper Robert & Jim Brown and Sugar Minott as well as continuing to work with classic artists such as Alton Ellis, Freddie McGregor, Horace Andy, etc.

Having said this it's remarkable that the compiler of this set has chosen Cornell Campbell's version of Slim Smith's "My Conversation" as the album opener, because this was a do-over of a Bunny Lee originated riddim. Also the inclusion of Earl Sixteen's "No Mash Up The Dance" is a questionable choice. The riddim is a version of the currently red hot "Taxi aka Unmetered Taxi" riddim, and that certainly isn't a Studio One original. Besides that Horace Andy's rare "Happiness" and the Jay Tees' "Forward To Jah", which loosely adapts Dennis Brown's "Tribulation", don't appear to fulfil the thematic remit. Ommitting Michigan & Smiley's "Rub A Dub Style", what could have been the signature tune of this set, is also hard to follow.

But let us stop the nitpicking and enjoy the highlights of this set which include Len Allen Jnr's awesome "White Belly Rat" across The Royals' "Pick Up The Pieces", Freddie McGregor's do-over of The Heptones' "Guiding Star" entitled "How Could You Leave", Johnny Osbourne's beautiful "Forgive Them" over The Heptones' "Ting A Ling", The Ethiopians' "Empty Belly" on Jackie Mittoo's "Hot Milk", and Lone Ranger's excellent "Natty Chalwa" across The Gladiators' "Roots Natty".

Definitely not one of the strongest compilations in Soul Jazz Records' Studio One series, but still worth picking up.