Ever had one of those record shopping trips that later proves to be more fortuitous than originally thought? I had one years ago. The Sensational Maytals, Duke Reid's Greatest Hits and Alton Ellis Sings Rock and Soul, all three in one fell swoop, and they were cheap. I don't remember how much, but cheap enough to take a chance just based on the album covers. I knew the Maytals, but Duke Reid and Alton Ellis were totally unknown to me (It was a long time ago.) The three of them introduced me to rock steady. They also introduced me to shitty sounding reggae records. Not the music, but the fidelity and the pressings. I'd been used to the U.S. major label stuff, most of it on Island Records or Mango. But I got over the muddy productions. Once I imagined the music coming out of a shitty transistor radio, it made sense. Ever since then, Alton Ellis's voice coming out of a radio has been my white whale.
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