THE CHANNEL ONE STORY: Part of the royal lineage that included such prestigious venues as Studio One and Treasure Isle, the Channel One studio was Jamaica's premier destination for musicians and producers in the mid-late seventies and early eighties. Two of Jamaica's biggest session bands - the Revolutionaries, featuring the world champion rhythm combination of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and later the Roots Radics - came together at Channel One, whipping up wave after wave of top-ranking, chart-busting 7" and 12" releases, and ensuring that Channel One was number one well into the early dancehall days of the 1980s.
VP's retrospective anthology collects many of Channel One's biggest hits; virtually every side collected here was a Jamaican top ten release, and several did brisk business abroad as well, especially in England. There's Dillinger's celebrated CB 200, The Meditations' classic WOMAN IS LIKE A SHADOW, John Holt's fantastic UP PARK CAMP, Junior Byles' FADE AWAY, and many more instantly recognizable roots rockers, as well as the best of the early eighties sound with Lone Ranger's NATTY BURIAL, Clint Eastwood's cut of DEATH IN THE ARENA and Yellowman's HERBSMAN SMUGGLING. Special mention must also be made of The Jay's TRULY, which in combination with Ranking Trevor's DJ cut was the first extended 12" reggae "discomix" ever released - a real historical document! While none of these sides will be new to reggae fans, it's a real bonus to find them all together in one place, and for that reason alone this release is well worth picking up. I would also recommend Pressure Sounds' MAXFIELD AVENUE BREAKDOWN, which features dub and instrumental versions for several of the singles collected here.