Sunday, April 03, 2016— Howard Campbell
WHILE it produced some of the ‘baddest’ bass lines and Jamaica’s most influential singers, rocksteady has never enjoyed the acclaim afforded ska, roots-reggae or dancehall.
To observe the sound’s 50th anniversary, VP Records will release First Class Rocksteady on April 16 through its 17 North Parade subsidiary. It is a vinyl singles collection with 14 rocksteady songs.
It includes singer Hopeton Lewis’s Sounds And Pressure, the song that kicked off the rocksteady craze in late 1966. Take It Easy, another song by Lewis, is also on the commemorative album.
First Class Rocksteady is rounded out by: The Return of Ezekiel — The Jupiters Dreader Than Dread — Honey Boy Martin Live And Love — Carlton Manning ABC Rocksteady — The Gaylads The Russians Are Coming — Val Bennett The Great Musical Battle — Derrick Morgan Last Train To Expo ‘67 — The Melodians Last Train To Ecstasy — The Melodians Born To Love You — The Sensations Long Time Me No See You Girl — The Sensations Please Stop Your Lying — Errol Dunkley You’re Gonna Need Me — Errol Dunkley VP will also release a double compact disc containing 30 songs on July 1, celebrated as International Reggae Day. The rocksteady era lasted until 1968.
It produced a number of quality vocalists in Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, Bob Andy, and Slim Smith, as well as a number of harmony groups such as The Heptones, Carlton and The Shoes, The Melodians, and The Techniques.