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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

BY SPECIAL REQUEST: 18 TOP ROCK-STEADY AND REGGAE CLASSICS

By Pilar Alvarez
Published September 8, 2005

Heartbeat

No discography of the rocksteady years would be complete without contributions from Duke Reid’s legendary Treasure Isle label. Arthur “Duke” Reid had an outsize reputation as a rough, gun-toting ex-cop who reputedly got into the record business to drum up liquor sales at his wife’s rum shop, but that didn’t stop the producer and sound system proprietor from recording some of the hottest sounds of the era. Just listen to some of the tracks here, voiced by some of Jamaica’s top talent and recorded by some of the island’s finest musicians and soundmen. Almost every song here is a little-known gem, rescued, dusted off and fondly remembered. John Holt’s “I See Your Face” and Justin Hinds’ “Time Pass By” represent just two of the great singers of the ’60s who recorded for Reid, and the Techniques’ “There Comes A Time” and the Melodians’ “What Can I Say” pay homage to the great vocal trios that were a key part of the Treasure Isle sound. Dennis Alcapone and U-Roy demonstrate how Reid retooled his catalog to score a string of DJ hits in the 1970s.