August 10, 2010, at 8:41 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #26

Message Of Old – Joe Higgs & Ken Boothe (Studio One Production)

Ken Boothe is a giant of Jamaican music and one of it’s greatest ever voices though on this tune it’s hard not to think that it’s Joe Higgs who carries it. Higgs has a pedigree in the Jamaican music industry that is almost second to none, alongside Roy Wilson in the duo Higgs And Wilson he was one of the first hit makers on the island and famously went on to tutor Bob Marley as well as having significant success in the 70’s as a solo artist.

Message Of Old has something of a late ska sound due to the horns on the off beat but it has a subtlety and sophistication that is pure rocksteady. Another Studio One masterpiece.

Message Of Old was incorrectly credited to Dudley Sibley on the original UK issue on Coxsone. The original Jamacian issue came on a blank though there may have been a labelled issue on Coxsone as well(?). It is currently available of Soul Jazz’s Studio One Roots Volume 2.

3 comments to The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #26

  • Bernard

    Hi Tim,

    I have only just discovered the Dancecrasher website and am hugely impressed at the labour of love it represents. The Rocksteady countdown is a great feature which has kept your correspondents on the edge of their seats for a couple of years. I like the way you play it out gradually. It’s not until you are finished that anyone can complain about their favourites being left out. I am looking forward to seeing “Inez”(in the top ten),”Soul and Inspiration”(Hamlins), as well as “Sad Movies” all featuring.

    Keep up the good work. It’s an informed and thoughtful site for those of us who love the music



  • Susi (the one and only)

    Yes Tim,
    Wonderful, thanks. This music can NEVER die. Thanks for all the efforts….

    Susi (the one and only)

  • Al

    Message Of Old came out in Jamaica on the Muzik City label as well as a blank. A very rare tune on JA press, especially with a label.

    I love the Higgs/Boothe duets, on my personal top ten would be “You Hurt My Soul”, the only flaw it has is being too short.

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