First Cut: Treasure Isle

So this one might actually win for best First Cut. We’re of course biased in that we love both The Techniques and Pat Kelly. And this is one of his finest performances.

Duke Reid was already established in both Jamaica and England respectively at the time this label made its debut in the UK. You likely don’t need us to tell you just how incredible and voluminous an output he’d already had at this point. When you begin to learn about Jamaican music, you begin to learn the names of two men: Duke Reid and Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. So we’ll save you that bit of back story.

As for the Techniques? They were just hitting their stride. While in the ska and early rocksteady days they had recorded a number of incredible tracks with Slim Smith, it was after he left to pursue a solo career that things really took off.

In was Pat Kelly to pick up the main vocal duties, and he did so without missing a beat. Many of the Techniques most famous tracks would come out during this period. “You Don’t Care” is one of their finest.

Utilizing the rhythm which many so often attribute to Nora Dean’s “Barbwire”, this was in fact the first use of the rhythm. It’s absolutely infectious. We dare you to listen to this song and not have it stuck in your head. A rocksteady masterpiece.

Then you flip it over, and whose lurking on the B side? None other than the legendary Tommy McCook and The Supersonics with a lovely instrumental in “Down on Bond Street”. This group may have been the finest session team collected during any period of Jamaican music. They do themselves justice on this one.

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