Born OTD in 1941, Jamaican record producer, Bunny “Striker” Lee. Lee began his career working as a record plugger for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label in 1962, later performing the same duties for Leslie Kong. He then moved on to work with Ken Lack, initially in an administrative role, before taking on engineering duties. Lee then moved into producing (i.e. financing) records himself, his first hit record coming with Roy Shirley’s “Music Field” on WIRL in 1967. Lee then set up his own Lee’s label, the first release being Lloyd Jackson’s “Listen to the Beat”.

Omnipresent on the Jamaican music scene for over four decades, Bunny Striker’ Lee is one of the most important figures … More

Desmond Dekker recorded some of his best-known songs together with his backing group the Aces. Their single “007 (Shanty Town)” made him Jamaican music’s first outernational superstar, reaching the 14th place in the UK charts. The Leslie Kong produced Double Dekker was first issued in 1973 and consists of the best material Desmond recorded during his early years. In 1969 he scored a number one hit with the legendary song “Israelites”. You’ll hear how the Ska music from the mid-60s developed to the Rocksteady sound. This was “Ska” or “Blue Beat”— (or its new name for the slower tempo “Rock Steady”), and the lyrics come from the Calypso-Mento method of telling about current events in music. He was really at his prime from 1969 to 1971, a recorded classics such as “It Mek” (1969) and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” (1970), which you’ll both find on this record. Even before Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff Jamaica already had their own international superstar, Desmond Dekker was his name

Pre-order new reissue double vinyl LP here.

Coming soon, pre-order here. Go Mod! heavyweight vinyl set by Charly Records is an overview of the original Mod era. From that, you can guess that we are talking less ‘crate digging’ and more mod classics. Ok, perhaps not the obvious classics, but tunes at that end of the range. According to Charly, this is music from ‘the decade that defined the sound of Mod’, which is down as 1957 through to 1967.

Pre order vinyl double LP here.  

Ska was the name given to the music that came out of Jamaica between 1961 and ’66, based on the American R&B and doo-wop records that the sound systems in Kingston used to play. But the American records’ style started to mellow out while the Jamaicans preferred a more upbeat sound. So the sound system bosses became record producers to cater to this demand. Sir Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid led the way, putting the top musicians on the island in the studio to make music, with the emphasis on the offbeat making the music unmistakably Jamaican.

WIRL (West Indies Records Limited) was set up by the Jamaican politician Edward Seaga in the late 1950s. He had … More

When Jamaica became independent on August 6, 1962, ska music was playing in yards, dancehalls, and in recording studios as this new nation celebrated. It was a spirited music, full of promise, optimism, and energy and it was the perfect sound to showcase to the world. Now that Jamaica was independent, what better way to demonstrate the culture, beauty, and art of Jamaica than through ska, both as a music and as a dance. The Jamaican government, tourist and business industry, and newly developing music industry made it their mission to bring Jamaican music to the world, through events they termed Operation Jump Up. This is the story of that effort and how, for a brief time, ska rivaled the Beatles and the Twist.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More

As one of Jamaica’s leading record producers Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid embraced the new reggae sound. London-based reggae giant Trojan Records brought together a dozen of his finest works under the title “Greater Jamaica Moonwalk Reggae”. If features many of the biggest Jamaican hits from 1969 to 1970. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics is one of the main artists to be found on this record. The 12 tracks bringing the best Jamaica had to offer during the heydays of their musical days.

Reissue LP available in store and online.

Out now! You must have wondered how it all began with the Jamaican beat music called Ska. Let’s set the records straight, it was “Duke” Reid from Western Kingston who developed this beat based on the indigenous music of Jamaica. It was way back in 1952 and then “Duke” called it ‘Rhythm ‘n Blues’. Exciting, hypnotic, a mixture of Jamaican folk music and rock ‘n roll. Duke Reid, lover of music and the deep rolling rhythms of his Jamaican people heard the beat develop from watching his people dance. He got himself an amplified “Sound system” & while hiring it out for dances, he listened & he watched, on so many Saturday nights when the back streets & dance halls of Kingston come alive — & his dream was born — music sprung from the basic beat of Jamaica with all the USA influences and the power & beauty & joy of the earth. This respective ska album focuses on much of the work from The Skatalites & Babba Brooks.

New vinyl release available in store and online.

On 22 July 1969, the world celebrated mankind’s first steps upon the surface of the moon with the successful Apollo 11 landing. And in no country was this historic event more celebrated musically than Jamaica, where an array of local recording artists penned and cut songs to mark the occasion. Now, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a dozen of the most popular and sought-after moon-themed reggae tracks from the period have been gathered on this celebratory LP. The result is a joyous collection of original boss reggae sounds, sure to appeal to fans of late 1960s Jamaican music, collectors of space oddities and the curious, drawn to the irresistible pleasures of lunar reggae!

New vinyl LP available in store and online.

Don Drummond became famous as one of the original members of the instrumental ska band The Skatalites. He composed most of their tunes and recorded different tunes in the ’50s and ’60s. He was an excellent trombonist and the famous producer Duke Reid remixed a couple of his tracks years after his death. The instrumentals which are blended together searching for the famous ska sound. The different musicians, who never seem to be out of the Jamaican Hit Parade, bring you 12 numbers packed with the infectious West Indian beat which will make you want to dance and keep on dancing. The so-called Memorial Album illustrated how Drummond’s talent would change the future of Trojan.

Repress vinyl LP available in store and online.