Heartbeat Records proudly announces the next installment of its definitive Studio One Series celebrating 50 years of Jamaican music from the pioneering reggae producer Clement Seymour "Sir Coxsone" Dodd. The long-awaited expanded, remastered reissues of Freddie McGregor's 1980 masterpiece â€œBobby Bobylonâ€ and the seminal compilation â€œSka Bonanza: The Studio One Ska Yearsâ€ are in stores now.
Founded in 1954 by Clement S. Dodd, the Studio One label was a major force in the birth and evolution of Jamaican popular music. Beginning with the American R&B and doo-wop inflected bluebeat of the '50s, continuing through the ska and reggae explosions of the '60s and '70s, and then laying down the thick pulsing sounds of dancehall and dub, Studio One has shaped the sound of Jamaica and given it to the world. On May 1, 2004, Kingston's Brentford Road was rechristened "Studio One Boulevard" in honor of Clement Dodd's musical accomplishments. He died of a heart attack four days later, doing what he loved most, working at Studio One.
The full range of Studio One's Ska era can be heard across the 44 tracks on â€œSka Bonanza,â€ which mixes up familiar classics like Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Simmer Down" and Don Drummond's "Man In The Street" with a wealth of unreleased gems and obscure tracks appearing on CD for the first time on this remastered, expanded edition. Jamaica's emerging musical identity can be heard throughout "Ska Bonanza," illustrating the many ways these musicians were able to blend elements of indigenous folk music with African-American sounds and attitudes to create a distinct new musical genre.
Ska laid the foundation for Jamaican music to connect with the world at large, and its rapid development into rock steady and reggae by the end of the 1960s demonstrated the vibrancy of Kingston's new music industry. One of the stars of the emerging Jamaican reggae scene was Freddie McGregor, whose essential album "Bobby Bobylon" has also been remastered on CD with eight bonus tracks and packaged with detailed liner notes. McGregor, like many Studio One artists who would go on to achieve international recognition, first recorded for Dodd in the 1960s, but it wasn't until 1980 that the label offered him a full-length collection. "Bobby Bobylon" is regarded among reggae aficionados an essential Studio One album, admired for its seamless track-to-track continuity and inspired lyrical content.
As profound an influence on Jamaican music as Motown was to American R&B, Studio One created a sound that continues to strike familiar chords with music lovers around the world. The melodic themes, rhythms, and lyric flourishes that originated with Studio One have recurred on literally thousands of recordings, both Jamaican and non-Jamaican, over the past 40 years. Studio One's influence can be heard in popular groups from Blondie and The Clash to 311, No Doubt, Sublime and beyond.
The re-releases of "Ska Bonanza" and "Bobby Bobylon" continue a relationship between Heartbeat and Studio One dating back to 1983. The Heartbeat/Studio One reissue series was launched earlier this year with the release of "The Best of Studio One," "Full Up: More Hits From Studio One," "Downbeat The Ruler: Killer Instrumentals From Studio One," and "Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers' One Love From Studio One."