Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hustle! Reggae Disco: Kingston, London, New York

Artist: Various

Album: Hustle! Reggae Disco, Kingston London New York

Label: Soul Jazz Records

Released: 2002 (2xVinyl) / Jan. 2003 (CD)

Style: Reggae, Dub, Disco

Buy From: Soul Jazz, Amazon,


1. Blood Sisters - Ring My Bell (Anita Ward)
2. Derrick Laro & Trinity - Don't Stop Till You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
3. Latisha - I'm Every Woman (Chaka Khan)
4. Black Harmony - Don't Let it Go to Your Head (Jean Carn)
5. Family Choice - Reggae Beat Goes On (The Whispers)
6. Xanadu & Sweet Lady - Rappers Delight (Sugarhill Gang)
7. Carol Cool - Upside Down (Diana Ross)
8. One Blood - Be Thankful for What You Got (William De Vaughn)

This is a fantastic collection of songs. It's all covers of popular American disco/hip hop from the late 70s and early 80s, done by artists in the UK and Jamaica. All of them were released originally as 12" singles (Track 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) around the same time the originals were still topping the charts. Track 5 was released on Union records, and track 7 on Hawkeye records; both went under in the 80s. All these are very rare tracks you could have easily heard on the dance floor in Kingston, London, New York (hence the name) or any other nightclub with a savvy DJ in the early 80s, but you'd probably have a little trouble tracking down a vinyl copy these days. The fact that Soul Jazz has acquired the rights for all of them to compile this album merits them a big Thank You! from me and reggae fans the world over.

So, what all that means is that here we have a bona-fide, vintage, reggae-dub album essentially from 1979, compiled and released in 2002. And the music really shows it too; slow reggae/dub beats, echoes, layered vocals, and all the little reggae 'pow' noises (you know, like in Serge Gainsbourg's Mauvaises Nouvelles Des Etoiles.) Plus the opening to 'Upside Down' sounds like it's straight out of an NES game. You couldn't ask for a better combination of funky, reggae jams with catchy lyrics that you probably already know anyway.

I've only been sitting on this for a few months now and already it's turned into an instant classic. I keep it readily available for the time when I'm done trying to sift through all the stuff I download each day for gems, the time when I just want to hear something familiar that I already know and love. This album, in the short time I've had it, has already achieved that status and I listen to it often, then find myself humming and even singing out loud throughout my day (Reggae beat goes onnnn..just like my love, everlastiiiing) only to get home and turn it on again to get another taste. Needless to say, this little jammer has carved out a permanent home on my iPod's hard disk. If you're into reggae, despite whether you like the original tracks or not, this comes highly recommended.

Oh and for the record, Soul Jazz released an EP for this album in 2002.

Click here for my HubPages review on this album. Includes videos via YouTube, shopping options from eBay and Amazon, and lots more!

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