The year 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s most celebrated music genre: Rocksteady. Coming in after ska and a precursor to what we know as reggae music, rocksteady combined R&B, ska, jazz, and African and Latin American drums. Made popular by legendary artists such as Alton Ellis, Errol Dunklrey, Hopeton Lewis, Tha Maytals, The Gaylads, The Sensations, The Heptones, The Paragons, The Melodians, and many more, this genre is still coveted by enthusiasts and vinyl record collectors five decades later. To commemorate this epic event, the vintage imprint of VP Records, 17 North Parade will release a special vinyl singles box set on April 16th. There will be an all vinyl set, containing 14 classic rocksteady records. A release that is a late comer to RSD, we feel that this is definitely something to get in line for.
What’s unique about this set is that it’s packaged with great detail as that of a snail mail delivery, something we can all relate to. We all wait for records. Imagine waiting to get a package of these legendary records and artists when the rocksteady invasion was in full swing! When there was no file sharing, no close record store, and no quick fix like 2016. The only way to get these releases was international sharing through mail. Hand picked from top collectors’ lists of the most sought after rocksteady titles, the music + the packaging are both winners. Each 7″ is re-mastered and paired with a complimentary hit on the B side from the era. If you are in NYC oe Miami, VP Records is planning a celebration of this release as well. There will be all vinyl events featuring some of the biggest sound systems in Jamaican music culture. In NYC Downbeat The Ruler will offer up a set, while Massive B, King Addis, Platinum Kids, Fatman and Pretty Possee will battle it out in a sound clash. In Miami, King Jammy will be doing an exclusive all vinyl DJ set, while sound systems Waggy T Movements, Galaxy Sound Station, PeppaBox Sound and Metrix International sound clash inna legendary style. The whole event will be followed up on July 1st by a 2 CD, 30 track compilation release on International Reggae Day July 1st. Reggae, the music that keeps on giving. Although this an exclusive 2016 Record Store day release, we do encourage every day to be record store day at your local, indie, record shop. Keep vinyl alive people.
Here’s a sample of one of the tracks: The Melodians – Last Train Expo 67