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The Techniques & Friends - Winston Riley's Rock Steady & Early Reggae 1968-1969

Dub Store Records JPN 1968- 1969

¥3240 (US$30.59)

Winston Riley started his production career as a singer with an enviable track record, having formed the Techniques in 1962 and hitting the top of the charts two years later with the splendid ‘Little Did You Know’ for Duke Reid’s esteemed Treasure Isle label. When the frantic ska beat slowed down and turned into rocksteady Winston remained the only permanent component of the Techniques, arguably Jamaica’s finest vocal group.

As the beat changed yet again from rock steady to the faster reggae format, Winston’s thoughts turned to production, and he decided to create his own ‘Techniques’ label. A serious man with a serious work ethic, the quality of his music was apparent from the start as he released hit after hit, producing and singing as part of the different combinations of singers and vocal groups that he worked with.

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Blues Busters - I Won't Let You Go / Love Me Forever

Kentone / BMN / Dub Store Records JPN 1964

¥1480 (US$13.97)

The big hit Ska classic everybody loves, sang by one of the top groups of the 60’s!! Along with the Maytals and the Wailers, the Blues Busters were one of the top groups at the time, however commercially they were going more of a mainstream than the others. Since their career goes way back in the late 50’s, they must have been idolized by so many of those who made their debut later in the Ska era. This is an essential mainstream Ska classic by the brilliantly skilled duo in their best form backed by no other than Byron Lee.

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Maytals, Skatalites - My Daily Food / One Look

Kentone / Dub Store Records JPN 1965

¥1480 (US$13.97)

A prominent singer backed by none other than the Skatalites, it is a symbolic Ska beat representing Kentone which will make everyone a smile. Although the Maytals have recorded Ska tunes for Studio One, Prince Buster and many more, they might have taken a further step when recording for the Jamaican music industry’s godfather, Ken Kouri by singing it well tight and fiery. Even for the Federal side, it must have been quite special to hire the Skatalites for this project. One minute and half might be a little too short for an A side, though this one will make you want to slip it in your DJ box every time.

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Roy Richards - Summertime / Sound Dimension - Soulful Strut

Studio One / Dub Store Records JPN 1969

¥1580 (US$14.92)

A harmonica instrumental version of the all time favorite, Summertime and instrumental cover version of the Soul classic. Both are great interpretations of instrumental covers that are ranked definitely as two of the greatest Rocksteady tunes. Taken straight from its master tape, Summertime is a masterpiece that condensed the splendor of the blinded harmonica maestro and famed vocalist, Roy Richards. Originally released in 1968 by Young Holt Unlimited and scored a big hit, this great cover of the Soul classic, which sounds easily fitting the pattern of Sir Coxsone’s taste who was the huge fan of US hits, was played loosely and effortlessly by then newly formed Sound Dimension.

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Soul Brothers - James Bond Girl / Summertair Girls - My Heart Cries Out

Studio One / Dub Store Records JPN 1966

¥1580 (US$14.92)

Another classic killer ska from the short-lived Soul Brothers. As of the original on the other side comes a sweet female lovers vocal from a night before the Rocksteady era. Succeeding the authentic ska from the legendary Skatalites then evolving it to the sound of Rocksteady, a fluid session band of Studio One, the Soul Brothers bring another classic instrumental ska tune. Like you can almost smell the perfume of Rocksteady era at its best, here comes a cool and cute lovers tune from Kingston on the other side. When the Soul Brothers were active after the Skatalites, they have certainly lost the thrill of solo performances, though this might have been the Skatalites were just too great.. Recorded from the master tape itself, this take contains slightly different solo compare to the original single.