For anyone who is new to rocksteady and doesn't have most of these tracks already, this is a fine compilation - nearly all the tracks here are top notch. If you want to dig deeper you'll have to go elsewhere but this is an excellent start. For the completely uninitiated, rocksteady is where ska evolved into reggae, only it took a couple of years for them to come up with the name that stuck. It's a style whose combination of sweetness and toughness has informed nearly all subsequent reggae, despite being around for less than two years between late 1966 and mid-1968, widely regarded as a golden age in Jamaican music. The only major areas of rocksteady unrepresented on this compilation are Studio One and Prince Buster, both of which are essential to a true understanding of this wonderful music.
This compilation is emphatically not aimed at collectors of this stuff, who will have all these tracks already. Even by Trojan's recent standards since their takeover by Universal, this compilation plays it very safe indeed. But I'm not going to give it a curmudgeonly 1 or 2 star rating because it's all fantastic music and some lucky people haven't heard it before.
Oh, and some wires seem to have got crossed somewhere - the download version of this claims to be "Explicit" when there isn't a single "rude" (as opposed to rude boy) song on here.
15 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?