Various artists album review
The Roots Of Jamaican Ska ~ 42 Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae Scorchers
Triple CD set
June 18 - 2004

Tracking list

    Disc 1
  • 01 Baba Brooks Band - Twilight Zone
  • 02 The Three Tops - It's Raining
  • 03 Don Drummond & The Skatalites - Don De Lion
  • 04 Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Corner Stone
  • 05 The Mellotones - Uncle Charlie
  • 06 The Silvertones - It's Real
  • 07 Alton Ellis - Cry Tough
  • 08 Lynn Tait & The Comets - Storm Warning
  • 09 Higgs & Wilson - Don't Mind Me
  • 10 The Pioneers - Long Shot
  • 11 Stranger Cole & Owen and Leon Silvera - Koo Koo Do
  • 12 The Paragons - The Tide Is High
  • 13 Tommy and Roy - Rocking Soul
  • 14 The Jamaicans - Things You Say You Love
   Disc 2
  • 01. Don Drummond & The Skatalites - Knockout Punch
  • 02. The Melodians - What More Can I Say
  • 03. Duke Reid Group - Burial
  • 04. The Techniques - Little Did You Know
  • 05. Don Drummond & The Skatalites - Street Corner
  • 06. Phyllis Dillon & Hopeton Lewis - Right Track
  • 07. Tyrone & The Slickers - You Done Me Wrong
  • 08. The Reggae Boys - The Wicked
  • 09. Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd - Yea Yea Baby
  • 10. Lloyd Charmers - Zylon
  • 11. The Melodians - You Don't Need Me
  • 12. David Isaacs - Who To Tell
  • 13. Derrick Morgan - You're A Pest
  • 14. John Holt - Ali Baba
   Disc 3
  • 01 Don Drummond & The Skatalites - Thoroughfare
  • 02 The Techniques - I'm In Love
  • 03 Eric 'Monty' Morris - Penny Reel
  • 04 Lynn Taitt & The Jets - Rock A Shock
  • 05 The Coolies - On The Bank
  • 06 Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Carry Go Bring Come
  • 07 Lynn Taitt and Baba Brooks Band - Independence Ska
  • 08 Derrick Morgan - Time Marches On
  • 09 Amalgamated All Stars - Memories
  • 10 Hopeton Lewis - Boom Shacka Lacka
  • 11 Tommy McCook - The Yellow Basket
  • 12 Alton Ellis - Remember That Sunday
  • 13 The Ethiopians - Conditions Bad A Yard
  • 14 Dave Barker - Funky Funky Reggae
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Together with the release of the nice priced triple cd set "Triple Treat 3CD - Reggae Superstars ~ 42 Top Ranking Reggae Classics", comes the second triple cd set that draws from HeartBeat's impressive back catalogue, which is nicknamed "Triple Treat 3CD - The Roots Of Jamaican Ska ~ 42 Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae Scorchers". The compiler of this set is Mr. Scorcha himself, Eddie Aarts, from the design company Fonts + Files, the company who is responsable for numerous excellent sleeve designs. His choice of tunes is impeccable, as this box set showcases the music that for decades has inspired ska fans and musicians alike and will continue to do so forever. Some of the finest ska, rocksteady and early reggae from the Heartbeat catalogue, featuring the best Jamaican musicians and vocalists, including such fine names as The Skatalites, Don Drummond, The Paragons, Justin Hinds, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis, Tommy McCook, The Ethiopians, Baba Brooks, The Silvertones, Stranger Cole, The Melodians, John Holt, The Pioneers, Lynn Taitt, Dave Barker and The Techniques to name but a few. As I mentioned before in the review of the other set, anyone who is familiar with the the musical history of Jamaican music will definitely recognize these tunes from the past and pick his favourite tunes from this really danceable collection of tunes. This box set gives you an ecellent opportunity to get a hold on some 42 excellent historical musical experiences out of Jamaica.
Please find below a description of some of the artists as provide by the record company.

  • The Techniques
    They are recognized as one of the immortal groups in the history of Reggae music. Beginning with scintillating Ska shakers they absolutely dominated the rock-steady period with hit after hit. With their heavenly harmonies the Techniques are one of the world's great vocal groups and are legends in Jamaica.

  • Lee "Scratch" Perry
    Scratch is one of the most important producers and artists in Jamaica and his unique body of work has influenced many of the world's top stars. From the hectic world of late sixties Reggae to the roots wave of the late seventies, Scratch was one of the top producers on the island.

  • Derrick Morgan
    He is one of the true legends in Reggae circles. The founding powerhouse of Ska, he has remained popular for almost forty years. Check out his compilation album 'Time Marches On' features 21 of Derrick Morgan's most requested tracks and covers the period of 1959 until 1996.

  • Duke Reid & Treasure Isle
    This collection is filled with some of the hottest hits of Treasure Isle, capturing the real beauty of Duke Reid's pioneering label. With production values on a par with those at Motown, Treasure Isle created many of Jamaica's classic hits. Treasure Isle ruled the Jamaican airwaves during the late sixties when many of these tracks were recorded and the competition with Jamaica's other top label Studio One made the music scene extremely exciting. Hits like the Paragons' "The Tide Is High", later an international success for Blondie, are part of the pure gold found in this treasure chest. Also from trom the vaults of Treasure Isle come undiscovered and mostly unreleased instrumental scorchers. Featured are rhythms like "Cry Tough", "It's Raining" and "Carry Go Bring Come" along with the smooth stylings of "Right Track".

  • Alton Ellis
    The sweet voiced giant of Jamaican music, put the Treasure Isle label on the map with his buoyant, soaring vocals dancing along the grooves of the label's greatest hits.

  • Clancy Eccles (Producer)
    Clancy Eccles is one of the true legends in Reggae. A legend created not only because of his compassion for his fellow artists and for people in general, but because of his involvement in so many different aspects of the music business over the last thirty years.

  • Lloyd Daley (Producer)
    As a producer Lloyd Daley, The Matador, scored with songs by Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis, The Abyssinians, but Little Roy's "Bongo Nyah" was the biggest. This song as well as "Zylon" and "Uglyman" dominated the Jamaican airwaves and gave Coxsone and Duke Reid their first real competition.

  • Joe Gibbs (Producer)
    Jamaica was rocking to the sounds of labels like Joe Gibbs' Amalgamated label who were challenging the dominance of Studio One and Treasure Isle. By the late '70s Joe Gibbs had grown into one of Jamaica's leading producers.

  • The Pioneers
    The 1962 formed Pioneers consisted of Glen Adams and the brothers Sydney and Derrick Crooks. The group has had several hits for numerous producers such as Leslie Kong, Joe Gibbs and Jimmy Cliff in the period 1968-1970. They achieved British chart success in 1969 with "Longshot Kick De Bucket" and in 1971 with "Let Your Yeah Be Yeah". After splitting up Sydney Crooks concentrated on producing.

  • Lynn Taitt
    Born in Trinidad where he led a steel band, guitarist Lynn Tait moved to Jamaica in 1962. He played in several bands, and even worked with The Skatalites. He finally broke through after forming the band 'Lynn Tait & The Jets'. During the rocksteady era they were the foremost backing band, playing on a trailer load of classic rocksteady anthems for a variety of producers.

  • The Melodians
    Around 1965, Tony Brevett, Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton formed one of Jamaica's most popular vocal trios The Melodians. As so many Jamaican artists at that time, they made their recording debut for Coxsone Dodd. Then the Melodians started to record for Duke Reid and Sonia Pottinger for whom they enjoyed many rocksteady hits. However, they scored their biggest (international) hits "Sweet Sensation" and "Rivers of Babylon" when they joined Leslie Kong.

  • The Ethiopians
    The story of the vocal group The Ethiopians - wich includes frontman Leonard Dillon - actually starts in the ska era. They scored some notable hits and continued to do so in the rocksteady and early reggae phase. Most of the output of The Ethiopians in the rocksteady days can be considered as an example of the move towards "roots and culture" music. Their work with producer J.J. Johnson in the early seventies probably represents their best and most consistent outings.

  • Hopeton Lewis
    Hopeton Lewis, now a succesful businessman, was born on October 3, 1947, Kingston, Jamaica. After meeting Ken Khouri, owner of Federal Records, he recorded the now legendary track 'Take it easy'. This was the start of a fine career, with hits for Duke Reid and Byron Lee. He gained international recognition in 1973 when Trojan released the album 'Grooving Out Of Life', followed by the equally succesful 'The Dynamic Hopeton Lewis'.

  • The Jamaicans
    The vocal trio The Jamaicans, consisting of Tommy Cowan, Norris Weir and Martin Williams, did their first recordings in the second half of the sixties and racked up hit after hit (including two festival winners in a row). Not only were they very popular and successful in the rocksteady era, they also helped to forge the reggae sound in the early seventies.

    Teacher & Mr. T.