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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Various Artists

By Matt Scheiner
Published June 25, 2007

Studio One Groups
Soul Jazz Records

Yet another Jamaican reggae compilation wailing about love, loss and righteousness, but as the title suggests, this one pays homage to the best of Studio One groups and some of the classic slowpoke tunes that helped form rocksteady and early reggae. It seems Soul Jazz Records never needs an excuse to throw some good reggae together, and we’re not complaining, because this collection features tracks like the Wailing Souls’ “Mr. Fire Coal Man,” the Clarendonians’ “You Can’t be Happy,” the Heptones’ “Get in the Groove,” Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “Love and Affection,” and the Ethipoians “Owe Me No Pay Me”—absolute pillars of Jamaica’s most marketable export. Complete with raspy production, attentive vocal arrangements and meaningful lyrics, Studio One Groups captures the essence of Jamaica’s musical beginnings and the discovery of its original “super groups.”