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Such Is Life is one of those records which can steer you through. Ridiculously it’s CD-only here (like the great prison song, Come Down ‘68). Such is life.

Killer ska vocal from the dapper Creator in 1964, with Sonia Pottinger’s old man Lindon at the controls.
Nice jazzy calypso on the flip.

Plaintive, lovely Duke Reid pop from 1967, with a nice Tommy McCook on the other side.

Dread rocksteady.

God’s own ska. Cornerstone of the Far East in reggae. (No Augustus Pablo without it.) We put a dubplate mix on Studio One Scorcher; first ever time out for the second take here.

Tearing, quintessential Don. Aka Allepon, Alley Pang… according to Lloyd Knibb ‘the name of the obeah woman Annie Palmer, who was the white witch of Rose Hall… three feet tall.’

Heavy, slowed-down Green Island excursion, revisited as a duet with the mighty Lennie Hibbert. Originally a Down Beat dubplate special.

Previously-unreleased takes of this ball of fire hurtling East with no survivors (from the second Ska Authentic) — a pitiless, wondrous companion-piece to Last Call, from the same session.

Rudie gone soft. Irresistible love songs — with simmering brass, splashing cymbals on the A; classy sax on the flip.

Treasure Isle gems.

Eschewing the well-known Studio 1 and Treasure Isle sides, this is mostly early and rare material, including Alton’s own imprints like All Tone and Ellis, with double helpings of US soul in his singing.

Don’t miss the tearaway Baba Brooks ska on the flip.

All-time killer rebel-sound instrumental, launching a new ‘Chariot’ Harriott series of couture sevens courtesy of Dub Store, Tokyo.