Half a century ago, vast numbers of British working-class youths adopted a style that reflected both their attitude and tastes. Dubbed by the country’s media as ‘skinhead’, the look starkly contrasted with that of the country’s largely middle-class ‘hippy’ population, drawing heavily on the smart, practical & stylish fashions introduced to the UK by the Windrush generation. The Caribbean influence was even more evident in the music that provided the soundtrack to the skinhead scene: reggae. To finally set the record straight about this greatly mis-understood sub-culture, celebrated writers, Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson & Mark Baxter have penned a brand new book, Scorcha! Skins, Suedes & style from the Streets – 1967 to 1973.

In addition, the pair have also compiled a companion 7” vinyl box set of the same title, comprising ten 45s, … More

Soon come. Showcasing the very best of Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle late rock steady and early reggae productions, Moonlight Groover is today regarded as an essential requirement for all serious fans of late Sixties Jamaican sounds. A best seller for Trojan in 1970, the collection features numerous major Jamaican hits from such celebrated performers as John Holt, Joya Landis, Alton Ellis and Tommy McCook, and is also notable for the sleeve artwork featuring Trojan’s own Tilly Vidal on the front cover.

Available as a limited edition of 750 individually numbered copies on orange coloured vinyl. Pre-order here.

An oral history of the UK’s soundsystem culture, featuring interviews with Dubmaster Dennis Bovell, Skream, Youth, Norman Jay, Adrian Sherwood, Mala, & others. In the years following the arrival of the Windrush generation, the UK’s soundsystem culture would become the most important influence on contemporary pop music since rock n roll. Pumped through towering, home-built speakers, often directly onto the thronged streets of events like the Notting Hill Carnival, the pulsating bass lines of reggae, dub, rave, jungle, trip hop, dubstep, & grime have shaped the worlds of several generations of British youth culture but have often been overlooked by historians obsessed with swinging London, punk, & Britpop.

This oral history, consisting of new interviews conducted by respected dance music writer Joe Muggs, and accompanied by dramatic portraits … More

Born OTD in 1945, Jamaican singer and songwriter, known as the leader for the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert. Hibbert moved to Kingston as a teenager in the early 1960s, met Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Matthias, and formed The Maytals. The Maytals became one of the more popular vocal groups in Jamaica in the 1960s, recording with producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Ronnie Nasralla, and Leslie Kong.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Get ready .. With excellent sleevenotes by Lloyd Bradley (author of the classic book Bass Culture – When Reggae Was King), this album is dedicated to rocksteady at Studio One as well as covering reggae soul and the birth of reggae. Featuring an all-star selection of artists: Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, Jackie Mittoo, The Heptones, John Holt, Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown and more.

Double vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1940, Jamaican ska & reggae singer, songwriter, arranger, promoter, record producer & talent scout, Clancy Eccles. Eccles’s professional singing career began as a teenager, working the north-coast hotel circuit in the mid-1950s. In his late teens, he moved to Ocho Rios, where he performed at night in various shows, with artists such as The Blues Busters, Higgs & Wilson and Buster Brown. He moved to Kingston in 1959, where he started his recording career. He first recorded for Coxsone Dodd, who had organised a talent show in which Eccles took part.

“..Social comment or protest had been part of the music scene since 1959 and Clancy Eccles ‘Freedom’ (a rudimentary R&B … More

Born OTD in 1949, Jamaican singer Marcia Griffiths. “How Marcia Griffiths came to find herself at Studio One is a story of being in the right place at the right time, although in Kingston during the 1960s, right places were plentiful as musicians of all types were springing up all around – sound systems on corner after corner, trombones & trumpets in Coxsone Dodd’s, Duke Reid’s & Leslie Kong’s studios..”

In a music world that was rougher than rough, where men took monikers of royalty and machismo like Duke and … More

Soon come. Reissue of The Maytals ‘ Never Grow Old’ album. “This album which you are about to hear will give you more than an earful of the ingredients which are characteristic of a group of three youngsters popularly known by fans in the music world as “The Maytals”. When these three youngsters debuted on the scene two years ago, they brought along with them a new style, a new spiritual “Ske Beat”, which was eagerly welcomed by the listening public. When their recordings became “Giant Size Hits”, it was obvious that their phrasing and dynamic delivery had earned unreserved approval.”

Beginning with the tune “I’LL NEVER GROW OLD”, this record quickly established a bright jumping pattern of success followed by … More

‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 1980’s with short excerpts from interviews Anna Arnone did with a whole host of artists from the scene. Coxsone, Saxon, Macka B., Smiley Culture are just a few of the names featured. Benjamin Zephaniah’s introduction to the book is very personal. He illustrates the importance of Sound System culture and just how powerful their pull was on the youth whose roots were in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and how integral reggae, MC’s and Dancehall were to the continuing tradition of the spoken word as a way of spreading news, storytelling and poetry.

The book also covers much of the background and history to the Sound Systems in Anna’s images of and words … More