November 22, 2013, at 11:45 pm

Plenty Of Sugar And Spice

Studio One compilations tend to be hit and miss affairs. In recent years Soul Jazz have been the masters of them but whilst they are spot on with harnessing the cross over appeal the actual music selections often lack focus and can be a bit of a muddle.

Come in Drum & Bass records out of Japan with 14 tracks of Studio One rocksteady on LP; no gimmicks just great, timeless music. Titled Sugar & Spice: 14 Rock Steady Sure Shots, Drum & Bass have copied the late 60’s Studio On LP style with the art work and label on this LP. Musically we get a selection of rare and in demand tunes and it’s good to report that every tune is not only rare but a classic too – there are no rare for a very good reason tunes here.


Kicking off side one with the quite marvelous Soulful Music by the Invaders (which Drum & Bass also released on 7″ a while ago) the quality is maintained with selections from the Viceroys, Nora Dean, the Soul Vendors, the Termites etc. Side two is arguably even stronger with Mama Didn’t Know by the Termites and it’s instrumental cut Sure Shot by Jackie Mittoo, Reel Up by the Wrigglers and both I Make A Woman and Mother Miserable by the Kingstonians.


This set is licensed from Clement Dodd Jr who is apparently based in Jamaica and whilst he has control of the Studio One record stamper archive he does not have the master tapes, those are in Brooklyn with the Carol Dodd side of the family. As a result this set is mastered from original vinyl copies and not from the master tapes, though a few tracks lack a bit of detail the quality here is perfectly acceptable. Sleeve notes by Chris Lane are presented on the inner sleeve with some lovely label scans that set the scene nicely.

Drum & Bass have done the business here. If you’re looking to treat yourself this Christmas then you might just want to consider some fine Studio One rocksteady.

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