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Let's Do Rocksteady: The Story of Rocksteady 1966-68

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8/20/2002

Review

Positioned between the busy pulse of ska and the slower certainty of reggae, rocksteady combined some of the strengths and attributes of both during its brief Jamaican run between 1966 and 1968. The less kinetic rhythms allowed singers to step to the fore, and the island's fascination with American R&B grew even more pronounced, resulting in a whole host of interesting Jamaican re-imaginings of American soul hits. This two-disc, 54-track set makes for a nice introduction to rocksteady, but it has a down side. Filled with productions by Duke Reid, Derrick Harriott, Sonia Pottinger and Joe Gibbs, it lacks anything from Clement Dodd's Studio One, which is a bit like not including anything from Stax Records on a vintage Southern soul collection. Still, the story of rocksteady does get told here, and sides like Alton Ellis' "Cry Tough," Stranger & Patsy's gorgeous "Down By the Trainline," the Ethiopians' "Train to Skaville" (which was all rocksteady and not ska at all), the Uniques' brilliant "My Conversation" and Desmond Dekker's "Israelites" are stone-cold classics no matter what the genre. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Cry Tough Alton Ellis 2:14
  3. 2 Don't Stay Away Phyllis Dillon 2:31
  4. 3 Down by the Trainline Stranger & Patsy 2:43
  5. 4 On the Beach The Paragons 2:32
  6. 5 Girl I've Got a Date Alton Ellis & The Flames 2:27
  7. 6 Wear You to the Ball The Paragons 2:35
  8. 7 Hold Them (A.K.A. Get in the Groove) Roy Shirley 2:45
  9. 8 Save a Bread Justin Hinds & the Dominoes 2:41
  10. 9 Take It Easy Hopeton Lewis 2:51
  11. 10 Rocksteady 2:37
  12. 11 The Tide Is High The Paragons 2:40
  13. 12 You Don't Care (A.K.A. You'll Want Me Back) The Techniques 2:33
  14. 13 Do It Right The Three Tops 2:27
  15. 14 Bab Ba Boom The Jamaicans 3:17
  16. 15 Unity Desmond Dekker 2:21
  17. 16 Queen Majesty (A.K.A. Minstel and Queen) The Techniques 3:29
  18. 17 Please Stop Your Lying Errol Dunkley 2:46
  19. 18 Only a Smile The Paragons 2:54
  20. 19 Winey Winey The Kingstonians 2:51
  21. 20 You Have Caught Me The Melodians 3:11
  22. 21 The Things You Say You Love The Jamaicans 2:44
  23. 22 Tonight Keith & Tex 2:37
  24. 23 I Will Get Along Without You The Melodians 2:58
  25. 24 Train to Skaville The Ethiopians 2:49
  26. 25 Walk the Streets (A.K.A. You Might as Well Forget Him) Derrick Harriott 3:19
  27. 26 Gypsy Woman The Uniques 3:8
  28. 27 What Will Your Mama Say Clancy Eccles 3:16
  29. 1 The Loser Derrick Harriott 3:34
  30. 2 My Conversation The Uniques 3:26
  31. 3 Stop That Train Keith & Tex 3:14
  32. 4 Just Like a River Stranger & Gladdy 2:36
  33. 5 Long Story Rudy Mills 3:10
  34. 6 It's Hard to Confess The Gaylads 2:25
  35. 7 I Am the Upsetter Lee "Scratch" Perry 3:3
  36. 8 Engine 54 The Ethiopians 2:35
  37. 9 Napoleon Solo Lyn Taitt 2:26
  38. 10 54-46 That's My Number Toots & the Maytals 3:22
  39. 11 Long Shot (Buss Me Bet) The Pioneers 2:42
  40. 12 Lady With the Starlight Ken Boothe 2:42
  41. 13 Intensified '68 (A.K.A. Music Like Dirt) Desmond Dekker & the Aces 2:42
  42. 14 Silent River (Runs Deep) 2:39
  43. 15 Little Nut Tree The Melodians 2:22
  44. 16 It Mek Desmond Dekker 2:31
  45. 17 Travelling Man The Techniques 2:30
  46. 18 Illya Kuryakin Ike & The Crystalites 3:20
  47. 19 Over the Rainbow's End The Gaylads 2:49
  48. 20 Ride Your Donkey The Tennors 2:2
  49. 21 Memories by the Score The Paragons 2:36
  50. 22 It Comes and Goes The Melodians 2:35
  51. 23 My Willow Tree Alton Ellis 2:41
  52. 24 People Funny Boy Lee "Scratch" Perry 2:34
  53. 25 Watch This Sound The Uniques 2:30
  54. 26 Return of Django The Upsetters 2:28
  55. 27 Israelites Desmond Dekker & the Aces 2:32

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