As the Roots and Culture 70's turned into the Rub-A-Dub 80's, nearly every producer at every studio started versioning classic Studio One rhythms. So Coxsone seemed to come out of his slumber and answered the hunger of the people for the Studio One sound with real Studio One productions.
Singer-wise, some of the biggest successes were by Sugar Minott whose "Live Loving" and "Showcase" albums showed Sugar could vocalise in a fine style over the classic rhythms. Also Freddie McGregor and his "Bobby Babylon" album and Johnny Osbournes "Truths and Rights" were massive hits for Studio One. Willie Williams also had a great success with "Armagidieon Time" which was not only a hit among the established reggae market in the UK but also among the young punk rockers of the late 70's. Williams' tune also set off a explosion of tunes riding the "Real Rock" rhythm.
In the realm of deejays, Coxsone had even more success. Especially with a young duo Michigan and Smiley and their "Rub-A-Dub Style" album which started a new trend for combination style deejaying. They rode rhythms like the Heptones "Pretty Looks", "Real Rock" and many others. Also Brigadier Jerry who has been imitated many times, released his classic "Jamaica Jamaica" album on Studio One. And Lone Ranger's "On The Other Side of Dub" is now considered a classic with the deejay riding many of the hot rhythms on one side of the album with the dub versions following on the second half.
Bringing the story up to date, Coxsone started slowing down, but just a bit. An extensive reissue program has been started with the American lable Heartbeat whos has released many Studio One ska albums, specialising it seems in Bob Marleys ska. Also classic reggae albums by The Cables and Jackie Mittoo and the dancehall sets by Johnny Osbourne, Fredie McGregor and Michigan and Smiley. Also the UK based label Soul Jazz has recently been issuing many great Studio One compilations like Studio One Roots and Studio One Rockers and so on. They are also working on a documentary celebrating the history of Studio One.
As far as new music is concerned, its been a bit slow as Coxsone has been more interested in rereleasing. But some promising stuff has been released by the likes of English singer Alpheus. His debut "Quality Time" rides all the old rhythms and has been doing well in the reggae scene. Hopefully this will make Dodd interested in searching out new talent.
Its hard to think where reggae music would be if Dodd, Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles, and all the Studio One stable never happened. They have had a more profound influence on reggae music than even Bob Marley. Its the label where all the main superstars got their start. It's also the provider of all the classic rhythms that the newer, younger guys are using on their hit tunes. For many reasons, those involved in Studio One provided reggae music with its much needed backbone. And its impact can never be understated.
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