The list below collects ten roots, ska, rocksteady and early dancehall albums and compilations in no particular order. If you’re curious about the albums – check out my Spotify playlist with seven of the sets. Download the playlist here. Enjoy!
Yabby You & The Prophets – Deeper Roots Part 2
Eerie and dread from the legendary Yabby You.
Various – Studio One Dancehall – Sir Coxsone in the Dance: The Foundation Sound
Rough and raw, yet innovative and creative.
Various – Handsworth Explosion Vol. I
Excellent and extremely rare early 80s roots from the UK.
Various – Gussie Presenting the Right Tracks
The sounds collected on this double disc compilation are at times uplifting and joyous, but also haunting, ethereal and eerie. Augustus Clarke certainly had a great ear for arrangements and moods.
Augustus Pablo – Born to Dub You
Augustus Pablo’s melodica snakes in and out of the mix and this set offers the usual dark and meditative ambiance found on many of Pablo’s songs and productions.
Various – Full Up: Bunny Lee’s Early Reggae Productions
A fine selection of swinging instrumentals mixed with some early vocal productions and a few overlooked vocal gems from singers, deejays soloists and bands like Bunny Lee All Stars, Dave Barker, Delroy Wilson, Tommy McCook, Joe White, Stranger Cole, U Roy, Pat Kelly and The Hippy Boys.
Various – Studio One Rocksteady
Beautiful, bouncy and optimistic, but also moody and melancholic as in Cecile Campbell’s Whisper to Me and Ken Boothe’s When I Fall in Love.
Willie Williams – Unification: From Channel One to King Tubby’s
Consciousness from start to finish with songs like Free Dem, Righteousness, Unification and Rally.
Horace Andy – Get Wise
Hypnotic and dread from Horace Andy and producer Phil Pratt.
U Black – Westbound Thing a Swing
U Black carries the swing all the way.