Excellent retrospective collection of Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd's Studio One Records, representing a track by track history and evolution of Jamaican reggae; from ska to roots, from dub to DJ.
So many major artists began their career recording with Dodd, to list them would literally be a who's who of Jamaican music.
But this compilation (originally part of a DVD, CD and book package) is well chosen and expertly put together, reflecting the true development of the Jamaican sound; and proving the importance of Sir Coxsone's role and ubiquitous presence.
So the compilation isn't obvious, and at the expense of going for a Best Of packed with big star names, a far more interesting collection of tracks can be heard.
For instance, Michigan and Smiley's 'Nice Up the Dance' is a great example of early dub music. Primitive, sure, but you really can hear the foundations being laid; the ground rules being set.
And when you hear the Heptones performing 'Baby', ska roots noticeably morph into the more accessible and pop friendly rock steady beat, right before your very ears.
The perfect compliment to this post can be found courtesy of Devotional Hooligan; showcasing the development of Duke Reid: Sir Coxsone's major rival during the period when the Sound System really mattered and meant something in Jamaican popular culture.
Various Artists - Studio One Story (2002)
Theo Beckford - Easy Snapping
The Skatalites - Guns of Navarone
Delroy Wilson - Dancing Mood
Michigan and Smiley - Nice Up the Dance
Heptones - Baby
The Abyssinians - Declaration of Rights
Alton Ellis - I'm Still in Love With you
Tommy McCook - Tunnel One
Sugar Minott - Jah Jah Children
The Skatalites - Men in the Street
Dub Specialist - Banana Walk
Dennis Alcapone - Run Run
Larry Marshall - Nanny Goat
Brentford Road Allstars - Throw Me Corn
Lone Ranger - Love Bump
Jackie Mittoo - Freak Out
CD rip to mp3s
Skank through time here