A few years back, well decades really, sometime in the mid 90’s, I got this four -CD set of Jamaican music, from Mango Records, titled Tougher than Tough. Starting with the Folkes Brothers “Oh Carolina” from 1961 and ending with the same song by Shaggy, (which at the time represented the present day of Jamaican music), the compilation details the history of the genre from early ska from the 60;s, to the heavy reggae of the 70’s, to the dancehall of the 80’s/90’s. Really good collection. I got a whole lot of mileage out of the set.
So when I saw this record, I went ahead ant snapped it up, despite the high price. This collection predates the cd set described above a bit by presenting some seminal works from 1958 to 1962. The genres hit on the ska and easybeat sounds which birthed the nation’s music. A lot of decent artists on here including Owen Gray, Duke Reid, Lord Lebby, Derrick Morgan, Lauren Aitken, and Byron Lee.
For a sample, I was struck by three tunes in particular. “Crazy Dog” by Beans, Dumplings” by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, and “Palms of Victory” by Azie Lawrence.
Great little record. Satisfactory.