A few months ago I heard that Soul Jazz Records was back on track reissuing material from Studio One Records. It was terrific news and it almost felt like a good old friend had been heard from again.
Because the nearly 30 releases from Soul Jazz with music from Studio One are all essential. They’re beautifully packed and contain music that has helped define and refine reggae.
A virtual who is who in the world of reggae in the 60’s and 70’s recorded for Studio One at some point in their career – Ken Boothe, The Heptones, Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, Burning Spear and so forth. The list could go on and on and on.
The first project that has been materialized from the revitalized cooperation is The Album Cover Art of Studio One Records, a deluxe 200 pages plus 12×12” hardback, with an introduction by Steve Barrow, author of the Rough Guide to Reggae and co-founder of Blood and Fire Records. It includes hundreds of Studio One sleeves, of which many I haven’t seen before nor even heard of.
It’s divided in eight different sections – artists, calypso, dub, gospel, showcase, labels, disco and versions. The versions section is interesting since it shows that several of the releases changed appearance over the course of time. Some releases had up to five different sleeves.
The Album Cover Art of Studio One Records is a goldmine for designistas and reggae aficionados alike.