Looking at my vinyl collection a regret I have is that it doesn’t feature enough reggae. My DJing days, way back when, steered me into buying a lot of disco and jazz-funk, many of which just don’t lend themselves to being played outside the context of a hot sweaty club and some of which now, frankly, sound second rate. Oh how I wish now that I could swap at least 50% of my disco 12” singles for ones of the reggae variety.
My collection of reggae 12” inchers is highly treasured, but unfortunately distinctly limited. Most of them, including the one featured here, are now worth considerably more than any of the disco counterparts they rub sleeves with in the roll-top cabinet, although that is definitely not the point. Accept in a way it is because I feel like I missed a trick – I love Roots reggae in particular and I was buying a lot of 12” singles at the time that Roots was at its height. If I hadn’t been such a slave to the disco decks I would probably have a bigger Roots collection, and buying them new then would certainly have worked out cheaper than trying to acquire them now.
Here’s one of my treasures, from a former I-Three.
Judy Mowatt’s Black Woman backed with Joy Tulloch’s “dub poem” Black Beauty was originally released on the JA label Ashandan, as early as 1977 I think. This 12” on Grove Music appeared in the UK in 1980.