VP Records’ Out of Many – 50 Years of Reggae Music is the fourth various artists compilation album to celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence that I’ve come across in the past weeks.
This three disc compilation is chronologically compiled with one track per year over 50 years taken from VP’s and Greensleeves’ huge reggae vaults. Included are gems such as Lord Creator’s mento/calypso Independent Jamaica, Nicky Thomas’ Jamaican mixed version of Love of the Common People, Barrington Levy’s mighty Here I Come and the smash hits Get Busy and Hold You from Sean Paul and Gyptian respectively.
Included are also the odd – in this context anyway – Smoking My Ganja by Capital Letters, Hello Darling from Tippa Irie and Ninjaman & Ninja Ford’s The Return of Father & Son. Not bad tunes per se, but they don’t fit the compilation. This is actually also the case with the Horsepower Production’s dubstep remix of Yellowman’s Zungguzungguguzungguzeng.
There is unfortunately no dub or nynabinghi included, but the gender distribution is way better than Island Records’ Jamaica 50 compilation Sound System: The Story of Jamaican Music reviewed about a month ago.
In VP’s history lesson they’ve included eight female singers, among them Lady Saw, Etana and Marcia Aitken.
The brief liner notes are written by reggae historian Noel Hawkes and puts reggae – and its many sub genres – as well as the history of VP Records in context.