June 24, 2009, at 9:51 pm

Don't rest on your Laurels

That’s perhaps the most naff title for an entry ever but I’ve run out of smart arse headings for Laurel Aitken so now they get cheesy.

Original Cool Jamaican Ska. CD coverAnyway, just when you thought that the Pressure Drop/Cherry Red mining of the Laurel Aitken back catalogue had run it’s course they are back with two more releases!

The Original Cool Jamaican Ska (PDROP CD 5) is based on the Original Cool Jamaican Ska AKA After Sunset LP that was first release in 1964 on Decca in the UK and on London in the USA. The Pressure Drop reissue drops the non Laurel Aitken tracks of this release (by Bobby Aitken and Alan Martin) and replaces them with a slew of bonus tracks. There is plenty to like here though the differce in quality between the Jamaican and UK recorded tracks is hard to ignore. The cover retains the design for the US issue of the LP and the sleeve notes by Mark Wyeth and Drew Stanshall are nice (enough of Club Ska references though!).

Laurel Aitken – Fire

The Fantastic Laurel Aitken. CD CoverThe Fantastic Laurel Aitken (PDROP CD 6) is based on the Belgian LP of the same name from 1972. Again the original 12 tunes are supplemented by a whole load of bonus tracks. Everything here is from a relatively extended period of between 1969 and 1972, funnily enough this is a real bonus as it means that there are subtle (and not so subtle) differences in styles here which make for a more enjoyable listening experience than was perhaps the case on other Pressure Drop releases such as Scandal In Brixton Market. Another bonus are the Tiger tracks, there are 5 of these here including the schmaltzy classic Guilty.

Tiger – Guilty

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