This three-disc, 50-track box presents a nice concise history of ska, starting with classic sides like the Skatalites' "Guns of Navarone" and the Maytals' gospel-energized "John & James" from the 1960s Jamaican ska explosion on the first disc. The second disc covers the rapid evolution of ska into rocksteady and early roots reggae on the island with classics like Justin Hinds' folk-wise "The Higher the Monkey Climbs" and the Paragons' "The Tide Is High" (Blondie amped up but otherwise kept the same arrangement of "The Tide Is High" for their hit version a few years later). The third disc closes out the circle, documenting the British ska revival of the late '70s and early '80s and featuring the Specials' "Ghost Town" and Prince Buster's fascinating take on "Stack-A-Lee," among others. A lot is left out, of course, but the end result sketches out a nice history of where ska started and where it subsequently went. ~ Steve Leggett
15286OVarious Artists - Beginners Guide to Ska (3-CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/71/5014797136724.jpg?v=315.9814.38USDOutOfStockNascenteCDReggaeVarious-Artists2010-04-15
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