Fashion In Fine Style ~ Significant Hits Volume Two
Reggae Archive Records / Fashion
CD / Digital Release
July 27, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
Launched in the summer of 1980 by reggae devotees Chris Lane and Dub Vendor's John MacGillivray, Fashion Records became the dominant player among UK reggae studio-record companies. It all started with a small four-track studio under the Dub Vendor Record Store in Clapham Junction, South London, and from the outset it encompassed all facets of reggae, taking inspiration from Studio One (whose "Hi Fashion Dub" album inspired the label's name) and, in Kingston tradition, building its own production style at its revamped A-Class studio in nearby Forest Hill.
There, the label created its own riddims with musicians such as Mafia & Fluxy, Jazzwad, and members of Aswad and the Massive Horns. Furthermore they employed tracks from Donovan Germain's Penthouse set up in Kingston, Jamaica. For two decades -- they closed their business in the late 1990s -- they captured the sound of the UK as it was happening. Their constant stream of singles and LPs effectively defined the UK MC style, dominated the UK lovers rock charts, pioneered the UK ragga sound, released roots and dub and provided huge inspiration for the jungle and garage scenes.
After a long hiatus, Fashion Records has recently been relaunched in the digital domain but, with a strong demand for physical releases of their back catalogue from fans old and new, Reggae Archive Records (sister label of Bristol Archive Records) has been chosen as their partner to meet that demand with a comprehensive programme of vinyl and CD releases. They have been given access to all of the Fashion catalogue, including unreleased tracks. The extra classic compilation set "Fashion In Fine Style ~ Significant Hits Volume One" hit the streets last year, and now the second volume has become available.
This new 20 track compilation spans all the corners of the Fashion back catalogue and offers some truly nice memories from the days the UK played an important role in the reggae business. Johnny Clarke opens with the song that provided the label with a huge hit in 1982, Rocking To The A-Class Champion, a groovy mellow cut across the 'Conversation' riddim. Former Investigators front man Michael Gordon brings his 1986 smasher Magic Feeling, while in that same year Nereus Joseph and Winsome got together for the remake of Rock With Me Baby. Nereus returns later with the 1985 ganja tune Sensi Crisis. That same year the late great Junior Delgado released the underrated Two To Tango.
Paul Robinson aka Barry Boom, producer, writer, performer and front man of One Blood, scored big at the end of the 1980s with Making Love. UK born, but JA raised, Neville Morrison had one of his finest moments of his career in 1995 with the chart success True Friends. Nicknamed Jamaican Stevie Wonder, better known as Frankie Paul, had a hit with the medley The Greatest, a dancehall excursion of the Ethiopians hit tune 'The Whip'. Horace Andy delivers a straight forward version of Bob Marley's Hypocrites. On the dancehall side you get treated to cuts from Papa San, whose DJ Business provides us with a fast paced history of Jamaican toasting history! From Birmingham comes Pato (Banton) and here he brings his mid-80s hit The Boss. The 'Heat' riddim was quite popular during the 1990s and Top Cat's version Gallist proved to be one of the most popular cuts. General Levy's Breeze was his answer to his own 'Heat'!
This is your second chance to pick up some of Fashion Records' biggest hits! Grab it!