Various Artists- “The Definitive Collection of Federal Records (1964-1982)

Album Reviews | Jul 26th, 2010

Genres: Reggae, Rocksteady, Traditional Ska
Label: VP Music Group

With this two disc retrospective, VP Records has released and showcased the early years of Ska, Reggae, and Rocksteady with “The Definitive Collection of Federal Records.” Spanning nearly two decades, Jamaica was home to various styles from the early 60’s to the early 80’s. Featuring some of the big names in music back then including The Maytals, John Holt, Marcia Griffiths, Ken Boothe and many more, this collection is a must own for all reggae and traditional ska fans.

Disc One covers the time period of 1964 to 1972, which was part of the 1st wave of Ska and then developed into Reggae music over that time in Jamaica’s musical history. With such artists to emerge like The Gaylettes, Bob Andy, The Maytals and Ernie Smith, music came out of the Island differently than it does today. Record shops, disco’s and radio stations played this new type of music from their native island. With the help of the Chin’s VP records helped supplant reggae music in American spread the vibe of the music. Disc two covers the years of 1973-1982 and this era was made famous by Bob Marley as his popularity was growing exponentially, though not featured on this collection. As the years grow, so did the music. You can start to hear a change when the music starts to develop a more appropriate sound for that time, when soul and disco were so prevalent in America. Jamaica’s music always had such close ties to what was going on here in America, with artists like Johnny Nash, Ken Boothe and Marcia Griffiths part of that cross over in those years to come. Federal Records really delivered some excellent music and those artists who recorded through this label are now part of Reggae royalty.

Bottom Line: Excellent collection of old school favorites!
Notable Artists: The Maytals, Keith Lyn & Ken Lazarus, The Gaylettes, Johnny Nash, John Holt


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