Cuba-born and Jamaica-bred singer Laurel Aitken would eventually become known as "the Godfather of Ska," but first paid his dues as a Jamaican folksinger and nightclub entertainer who played a blend of early rock & roll, jump blues, and boogie. By the time he was signed to London's Blue Beat label in 1960 -- his "Boogie Rock" was their first-ever release -- he had started to shape the sound that would later make him famous. Although "Boogie Rock" is inexplicably missing here, this generous compilation contains heaping helpings of straight R&B and proto-rock amidst tasty ska tracks like "Brother David," "You Got Me Rockin'," and a blue-beat version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." It's on the spiritual numbers -- "Zion," "Mighty Redeemer" -- that Aitken's soulful voice really soars, although he is equally capable of getting down and dirty. Newcomers to Aitken's music might be better served by Pressure Drop's more comprehensive two-disc anthology The Godfather of Ska, which showcases the ska and pre-reggae island sound for which he was renowned, but fans of early R&B, rock, and soul, or Laurel Aitken completists, will have much to celebrate and enjoy here. ~ Paula Carino
54111OLaurel Aitken - You Got Me Rockin': The Best of the Blue Beat Years 1960-1964 (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/96/80/5013929680920.jpg?v=319.9917.99USDOutOfStockPressure DropCDReggaeLaurel-Aitken2013-07-19
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