Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm talking 'bout the elephantitis...

Pic: Jayenems

As introductions to Jamaican music go, you can't go far wrong with The Story of Jamaican Music. By no means comprehensive, it still serves as a taster of the Carribean scene from its early inception to the current Dancehall phase, taking in dub, ska and reggae influences along the way.

I was listening to an old Blue Room a while back when Monsieur Da Bank played 'Diseases' as part of the Dub Club segment on the show. Upon hearing said track i dropped everything and vowed to seek out a copy and share it with the wider world (or failing that, bloggers).

Which, in a roundabout way, is how i came across The Story of Jamaican Music. A 4 cd compilation, beginning in 1958 with ska and ending with the first wave of dancehall in 1993. A quick scan of Amazon reveals that copies are going for well over 100GBP! However, you can always do a crafty google search and download the torrent (but you didn't hear that from me).

As hard as it is to pick a favourite from the 95 tracks on offer, i'll have to go with the first one i heard, 'Diseases' by Michigan & Smiley. It still puts a smile on my face and makes me skank like a bad boy, and garners plenty of 'Who is this?' attention from friends when played in the car.

Having said that, i can listen to the entire collection quite happily (only having to skip Shaggy's dreadful Oh Carolina) and a few of the songs have made it onto my all-time favourites list.

Do yourself a favour and download them all.

The Wailers - Simmer Down
The Maytals - 54-46 (That's My Number)
Jacob Miller - Tenement Yard
Black Uhuru - Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
Michigan & Smiley - Diseases (Hermetic Seal of Approval)
Tenor Saw - Ring The Alarm

All links are Yousendit. You have a week. Go!