Sunday, March 18, 2012

REVIEW: Bristol Reggae Explosion 3: The 80s Part 2

My current favorite reggae reissue series is the Bristol Reggae Explosion series from Bristol Archive Records. The series focuses on recordings (released or unreleased and previously only sold only at gigs in the 70s and 80s). According to the liner notes, all 15 tracks in this volume were previously unreleased on CD format. Despite the narrow focus, I assure you that the quality of the reggae, and the sound of the recordings, is exceptional. And for me, the collection is even more enjoyable because the artists generally are not famous.

This wonderful live track from Joshua Moses, "Stick It Up", displays the quality of this collection.

Here is some rare footage of the performance of the final track of the CD edition: "Sweet Rosie" by Dan Ratchet --

For some Reggae soul, here is "I'm Free" by Bunny Marrett --

The album is available in limited edition vinyl (with fewer tracks) and CD formats, and are packaged with artwork, rare photographs and extensive liner notes.

If you are a roots reggae fan, and especially if you are a reggae collector, I highly recommend the entire series. The first and second edition of the series were 28th on my top album list for 2011, and were the only non-rock albums on the list. Bristol Reggae Explosion 3: The 80s Part 2 continues the high quality and joy of discovery. Every music city should have an organization like Bristol Archive Records to keep their music history alive.

Bristol Archive Records

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