Sunday, December 15, 2013

The 2013 Advent-ure #15

It's always a thrill to come across reggae out in the wild. It doesn't happen often, and when it does the record is often so trashed it is questionable whether it is worth taking a chance on it. 

For me, 2013 has been a particularly barren year reggae-wise. This 12", an original from 1977 on Phase One, is probably the pick of a very small bunch. I found it at a car boot sale in a suitcase full of, mostly, sleeveless 12 inchers and albums. As I started to go through them it was apparent that a high proportion of them were going to be reggae of one form or another so I was initially thrilled to the point I could hardly catch my breath. Unfortunately it turned out most of them seemed to be 90s and 00s Dancehall and Ragga, not my cup of tea at all. This coupled with the upfront entry price being £2 a pop and the questionable condition they were in had me deflated (to the point I was breathing easy again - now that's a strange contradiction!). In the end, after some serious sifting, I managed to amass five albums and two 12" singles that were in my era and free of deep gouges.

Visually the vinyl on this one is not pretty, but 12" platters are usually quite rugged and I was right to take a chance because this one plays much better than it looks. Beneath all the scuffs, scratches, and grime the grooves bear witness to the Chantells performing some wonderfully sweet rockers roots and, for those that like jam on their toast, some equally sweet toasting from U Brown.

Here you can read more on the Chantells short career, an unlucky episode (I mean, who wasn't?!) , and a sticky end.

Chantells - Children Of Jah  1977  


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