For Record Store Day next Saturday, VP Records will be releasing a limited edition box of vinyl singles called "First Class Rocksteady" which contains what they rightly describe as "14 classic rocksteady gems". Apparently this is being done to mark 50 years of rocksteady, which sounds like an entirely spurious anniversary to me. But never mind, it provides an excuse to reissue some fantastic tunes.
It is not entirely clear from the blurb I have been sent whether the box set will be available anywhere other than VP's own stores in New York and Miami. Fortunately they kindly sent me a few samples to share with you, just in case it can't be found in your local record store. Here are the sweet, sweet sounds of the Melodians, followed by some tough talking from a very young Errol Dunkley.
And if you happen to find yourself in Miami next Saturday, you really ought to pop into VP Records. As well as picking up a copy of "First Class Rocksteady", you can enjoy a DJ set by none other than the legendary King Jammy.
"Last Train To Ecstasy" - The Melodians
"You're Gonna Need Me" - Errol Dunkley
And here is some more first class music.