Various Artists - Studio One: Rocksteady Volume 2: The Soul Of Jamaica
Soul Jazz Records’ new journey into the mighty vaults of Clement Dodd’s Studio One steps once more into the fertile musical environment of Jamaican music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, from the sweet harmony vocals of seminal 1960s Rocksteady right up to the nascent birth of Reggae and Roots music at the start of the 1970s.
Sleevenotes to this album are by Steve Barrow, author of ‘Rough Guide To Reggae’ as well as Soul Jazz Records’ own ‘Reggae Soundsystem Cover Art’ books.
While Ska at the start of the 1960s had taken American Rhythm & Blues as its main influence, Rocksteady focused on the emergence of American Soul music - with Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, John Holt & The Paragons, Carlton & The Shoes showing a particular fascination with the close harmonies of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions and other US Soul acts. Here even The Heptones feature with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’.
The influence of Soul music on Jamaican Rocksteady and Reggae is almost palpable, so much so that one wonders how much more successful singers like Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, Slim Smith and John Holt would have been had they been born in Chicago, Detroit or Memphis.
Artists such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson and Owen Gray defined the era - a slowed down beat as Jamaican political and social heat slowly increased when the 1960s progressed into the start of the 1970s - and the music evolved further from Rocksteady into Roots Reggae.
1. Hortense Ellis - Sitting In The Park
2. The Termites - Rub Up Push Up
3. Carlton & The Shoes - Never Let Go
4. Alton Ellis - I’m Still In Love With You
5. Owen Gray - Give Me A Little Sign
6. The Bassies - Big Mistake
7. Hortense & Alton Ellis - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
8. Slim Smith - Born To Love
9. Cannon & The Soul Vendors - Bad Treatment
10. John Holt - Strange Things
11. The Actions - Giddy Up
12. Larry Marshall - It Makes Me Feel
13. The Paragons - Change Your Style
14. Jerry Jones - Trying Times
15. The Heptones - I Shall Be Released
16. The Gaylads - The Soul Beat
17. Delroy Wilson - Run Run
18. The Soul Two - Puppy Love
19. Delroy Wilson - Riding For A Fall
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Soul Jazz
Format: Vinyl LP
Cat Number: SJRLP367
Released: 27 January 2017