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Boomkat Product Review:
The final volume of Jamaican 1950s/60s doo-wop and R&B excavated by London's Death is not the End imprint to shine a light an an often overlooked period of the island's rich musical history.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, before the rise of ska, rocksteady and reggae, Jamaican soundsystems were desperate for home-grown records to challenge the rising popularity of US R&B and soul that was taking the island by storm. London's Death is not the End label has assembled an impressive selection of records from this era, as local performers (some, like Alton Ellis, Derrick Morgan and Derrick Harriott who would go on to have long careers) cut doo-wop and R&B tracks to rival those coming from across the water.
This third selection of tracks is another porthole into an era that's often skipped. It provides historical context for what would come next, but it's also a charming, dusty selection of lilting romance that's almost impossible not to love. It highlights a time when Jamaica's independent industry - one whose global influence is still impressively outsized - was in its infancy, and while the sounds are familiar near-pastiches of American songs of the era, there's plenty to enjoy here.