Founded by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd in the late 50’s, Studio One was one of Jamaica’s most renowned recording studios and record labels, helping to pioneer ska, rocksteady, dub and dancehall. The label discovered and released music from The Skatalites, The Wailers, Delroy Wilson, Jackie Mittoo, The Maytals, Jackie Opel, The Gaylads, Alton Ellis and more. Throughout the years, countless songs have been sampled and covered from the catalog including, "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth, The Clash's cover of "Armagideon Time" and "Smile" by Lily Allen, just to name a few.
While compilations of tracks from the label’s catalog have been issued over the years, many of the label’s essential albums have been out of print for decades, with some of them fetching hundreds of dollars from collectors anxious for real documents of reggae’s crucial past.
Now Studio One, in conjunction with the Yep Roc Music Group, will see more than 150 titles in its catalog re-released in their original formats, with track listings and album artwork intact, including the first three:
The Wailers - The Wailing Wailers
Kicking things off earlier this year were The Wailers and their debut album The Wailing Wailers which features three reggae legends who went on to lead very successful solo careers. Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Neville "Bunny” Livingston are joined by Junior Braithwaite, Vision Walker, Beverly Kelso and Rita Marley in an unforgettable collection of Coxsone's finest productions. The reissue will include the original 1965 Jamaican masters and cover featuring a young Bob Marley, arms outstretched, between Livingston on the left and Tosh on the right. Included in the album is their hit track "Rude Boy" which established The Wailers as the leaders of the new reggae movement. The original LP version of the album has been out of print for decades, selling for hundreds of dollars from collectors, and the album has never before been released on CD with the original track listing and artwork.
Featuring a more overt soul and jazz sound for Studio One, the album is comprised of mostly instrumentals of early Studio One tracks made famous by groups like The Heptones, The Wailing Souls and John Holt. Money Maker features performances by Studio One house bands, The Sound Dimension, The Soul Brothers and The Soul Vendors joined by Im and David, guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Lloyd Williams, Jackie Mittoo and "The Boss" himself, Coxsone Dodd. The original 1970 release was pressed in limited quantities and remained out of print until 2002 when a limited edition including extra tracks was released. Remastered from the original session tapes, this reissue is presented with it’s original track listing and iconic “cash” cover.
Studio One Radio Show
The third album in the 2016 queue is the never been released Studio One Radio Show. The album consists of two 1970’s radio episodes recorded for Studio One by the former Jamaican Broadcasting Corp feat. beloved host Winston “The Whip” Williams. His radio host career spans four decades, he's the recipient of numerous awards and he continues to work as the ‘radio rhyme king’ on POWER 106FM in Jamaica. Williams' specialty was his rapid-fire jive rhyming delivery alongside his alter-ego Marcus who “ate chicken on Sundays.” The album includes songs by Sugar Minnott, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, Winston Francis, The Heptones and more. Broadcast on Saturdays these shows were intended to showcase recent releases and to advertise the various Studio One locations and their products. It’s a fun look into late 1970’s radio in Jamaica.
Future releases will be a Don Drummond collection and a "House of Joy" box set to celebrate the label's over 60 years of existence.
For a full history on Studio One, click HERE.