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Various When Rhythm Was King

Heartbeat Records has been on a tear, repackaging and releasing material from Studio One, the hyper-influential Jamaican recording studio. Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, who opened the studio in 1963, was a workaholic, setting up labels, producing constantly, and mentoring up-and-comers. The happy result is a wealth of classic material from his studio, the source of Heartbeat’s series. The current installment is unsurprisingly excellent, with contributions from the likes of Dennis Brown (an extended mix of “Created by the Father”) and the Wailing Souls, as well as lesser-knowns such as Basil Daley. The enduring popularity of these songs, whose rhythms have been used countless times since their original recording, is no mystery; they are, frankly, just plain good.

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