Reggae albums with great sound quality

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Kingston12, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Kingston12

    Kingston12 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I had a reggae day yesterday. Some really variable sound quality on the albums I listened to, and that is part of the fun.

    I finished with two Bob Marley albums (Survival and Rastaman Vibration) and not only are they the best recorded reggae I’ve ever heard, I think they rival almost anything in my collection of any genre for sound quality.

    Are there any other reggae artists or albums that were treated to this level of sound quality?
     
  2. django68

    django68 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dartford
    It's hard to compete let alone top the Marley/Island stuff. Probably only major label releases would come close such as Gregory Isaacs Night Nurse album, maybe Third World, Black Uhuru etc. But it's all different style and depends on what for you personally define as good sound quality.

    Just steer clear of Studio One re-presses LOL
     
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  3. mrob0000

    mrob0000 Forum Resident

    I'd like to recommend that you get a hold of 1994's Reggae on the River CD's volume 1 and 2. This is my number one so far on sound quality, and to me it's one of the great live recorded performances period. It's punchy, clean, clear, high-resolution and full of "you-are-there" ambiant sound. At times, it rocks. The performances of the artists are truly special and memorable as well.
     
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  4. mcwlod

    mcwlod Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sopot, Poland
    Bunny Wailer's "Blackheart Man" sounds very good and it's my favourite reagge album ever, highly recommended.
     
  5. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Pretty much anything on Island, at least from the mid-seventies onward is excellent sounding, most things on Greensleeves, On-U Sound, most UK pressed 12"s, although it was often cheaply done using older gear and pushing things to the limits, most Jamaican music was actually engineered and recorded very well, the problems come with poor Jamaican pressings and poor, cheap UK pressings sometimes taken from a poorly dubbed record.

    Back in the mid-eighties I often took the first Ini Kamoze album along to demo gear, at least one person in a Hi Fi shop went and bought his own copy.
     
  6. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    Location:
    Bretagne
    Aswad - New Chapter and especially New Chapter Of Dub
     
  7. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I love the sound of Culture - Two Sevens Clash. There's a lot of great sounding albums from the likes of Culture, The Mighty Diamonds, The Gladiators and The Twinkle Brothers on the Virgin Front Line label.

    For early reggae, Leslie Kong's productions for Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, The Wailers and The Melodians, along with many others are very often excellent sounding. Sadly as with a lot of reggae there are a lot of poor sounding releases of this material, some of it even on Trojan.

    I'm currently playing this Lee Perry CD compilation I got a couple of days ago. For non Island Black Ark era stuff a lot of it sounds excellent. Gregory Isaacs - Mr. Cop was a revelation! I've been listening to it for over 20 years on a budget Music Club compilation and just thought is was a poor recording. It's superb! I need to get his Extra Classic album.
    Lee 'Scratch' Perry & Friends* - The Black Ark Years (The Jamaican 7"s)
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  8. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Always thought this had good sonic's for one of Bob'a albums.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    All Bob Marley's Island albums sound fantastic.
     
  10. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Good to know. :righton:
     
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  11. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    A lot of people here love the old CDs of them mastered by Barry Diament. Mine are all UK vinyl. Wonderful, though it's been a long time since I played one. I'll have to do something about that!
     
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  12. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    I've the most Marley/The Wailers Island albums both as UK pressings on vinyl and as Barry Diament CDs and yes they do sound stellar both on vinyl and those CDs.

    Some of my favourite reggae albums soundwise on vinyl are:

    Bunny Wailer- Blackheart Man (a true classic)
    Rico- Man From Wareika (more or less demo quality soundwise)
    Bob Marley & The Wailers- Rastaman Vibration (amazing recording, so vibrant, so clear)
    Aswad- Showcase (not an album per se but good sounding)


    Yes they are all related to the Island label but I like the Island "sound" as a lot of the reggae releases especially from the 70's do sound really great.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
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  13. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    They really do. Top notch pressings and the lovely orange label too.
     
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  14. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Toots And The Maytals "Reggae Got Soul" :righton:
     
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  15. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    The entire Blood & Fire label catalogue
     
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  16. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    Location:
    BossTown
    "Party Time" by the Heptones (Lee Perry production) sounds fine.

    Just about all of Israel Vibration's output was well-recorded, as was WWIII by Mikey Dread (a trip, that one). Many more, including Gregory Isaacs later output.

    For high-powered reggae, there are very good recordings by Black Uhuru, especially the album "Red."

    Reggae 12" singles can be really great-sounding, but they're all over the map.

    Many more........
     
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  17. TerpStation

    TerpStation "Music's not for everyone."

    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Another vote for Black Uhuru. Great sounding records....and great records.
     
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  18. speedracer

    speedracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sapa
    Gregory Isaacs Best Of Volumes One and Two,
    Heartbeat, 1 cd

    Unreal sound, best sounding record I own, voodoo engineering, this one:

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    Location:
    BossTown
    I remember well latching onto "Two Sevens Clash" when it was issued. It was a Jamaican pressing - loved it but it sounded like it was pressed on sandpaper. Ugh! I was hoping against hope that the album would make some noise (the "other" kind) and get picked up in England or the US so I could get a better pressing. Sure enough, a bit later it was capably pressed in the UK on the Lightning label (dist. by WEA). Funny - when the CD was issued, they flipped the track order, putting what was Side 2 of the LP at the beginning of the CD, followed by the Side 1 tracks. I prefer the original LP track order and made a CD-R with the track list of the LP so I don't have to bother to program the CD player to change the order of the tracks..

    As for The Cool Ruler, yes, you should pick up "Extra Classic" - well worth having. Though I had the vinyl, I also got the CD when it finally appeared.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
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  20. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I have the Lightning pressing and love it. There's some horrible sounding CDs of Two Sevens Clash. It's an unusual production for the 70s roots era. Not so bass heavy and a lot going on in the top end. It's a record that has to sound clear. I first heard it on a friend's CD that had the sides reversed. It sounded awful with crap artwork too. I think he threw it out when he got a Lightning LP pressing too.
     
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  21. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    Location:
    BossTown
    Couldn't agree more.

    I have the Shanachie CD with that "flipped" track order - sounds pretty good, though I still give the Lightning vinyl pressing the edge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  22. 99thfloor

    99thfloor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    I think the best LP pressing is the one on Blue Moon, sounds better than the Lightning in my opinion.

    The CD you mention is the original Shanachie, it has been reissued several time after that, the 4oth Anniveraary 2-CD release on VP is probably the best.

    CDs I've run fast compared to the LPs I've heard, not sure which is correct.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  23. crozcat

    crozcat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    For Culture's Two Sevens Clash on CD, I´d say the Blue Moon sounds best (and I don´t think it runs fast).
     
  24. fallbreaks

    fallbreaks Forum Resident

    From memory, Toots and the Maytals’ Funky Kingston and In the Dark sound on par with Catch a Fire and Burnin’ by (Bob Marley and) the Wailers. If you like those Bob Marley albums you’ll almost certainly like those Toots albums.
     
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  25. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    Location:
    BossTown
    Yes, the original Shanachie. Good to know the VP release is worthwhile - back in the day, the fidelity of VP releases was totally unpredictable - some good, some painfully awful.
     

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