Jamaican Music

"Reggae Vinyl : The Collectors Rare Treasure"

In today’s music world, Reggae, and all its other known forms such as Ska and Dancehall, are spreading like wild fire. The music is becoming more infectious day by day. Its unstoppable rhythm is gaining respect in many other parts of the world and it is pulsating its way into the hearts of fans, wherever they might be.

Along with its growing popularity and enthusiastic momentum, comes the increasing craving for vinyl records. Reggae, Ska, or Dancehall music lovers tend to love and appreciate their vinyl discs any day over CD.

From the very early days of Jamaica’s recording industry, many of the big hits that are now world-renowned are still preferred on vinyl. Studio 1 has a slew of big stars, from Alton Ellis, John Holt, Heptones, Phyllis Dillon, Delroy Wilson, Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, Dennis Brown, Skatalites, Don Drummond and Roland Alphonso.

Bob Marley records which are mastered and distributed by Bob’s official label, Tuff Gong in Kingston, continues to press the King of Reggae LP’s, 12” singles and 45’s. As more and more loyal Reggae fans prefer the nostalgia associated with buying these rare records. It’s a known fact, that owing Bob on vinyl is like going back in time to those wonderful yesteryears when Bob Marley was still alive.

Not only from the USA are increasing requests from Reggae fans for vinyl, but from Germany, Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, even as far as Saudi Arabia.

Vinyl is final – this is the buzzword out on the streets, especially in the Reggae, Ska and Dancehall world. The contagious craze to seek out and own vinyl is like that of an old miner searching for his very own goldmine.

These Reggae vinyl records of pure hot wax, full of pulsating rhythms are quickly superseding its rival counterpart: the CD. Many DJ’s, clubs and sound system operators will swear their allegiance to the famed vinyl records any day over its high tech competitor the CD.

Many other music buffs and collectors of Reggae vinyl will emphatically claim, that they too prefer to collect and own the popular wax for a multitude of reasons. The touch, the feel, and most importantly the big sounds that emanate from Reggae or Dancehall vinyl records are just not the same as from CD’s.

Most Reggae DJ’s unanimously will agree that its popularity has now evolved into an art form. As they feel at one with the discs, or dub plates that they handle, giving them the flexibility to create, improvise and remix songs.

They can do scratch effects, special effects and control the play sequence more vibrantly with vinyl. The DJ’s they are a showpiece, as Dancehall audiences marvel while watching the DJ’s in action, toying with their musical craft.

Spinning a vinyl record on a turntable with an excellent needle hitting that record groove will yield a more mellow sound. The texture of the song is richer and fuller, and DJ’s love that gritty sound that the speaker boxes belch out. Plus they boast that the rough rhythms also seem to be fatter and stronger.

Here are a few big advantages to owning vinyl records as opposed to CD’s.

Many die hard vinyl collectors find they can own more vinyl records for the cost of a CD. Although many older yet popular Reggae vinyl records are sometimes not very easy to find, many can be obtained at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets for low prices. An LP can be found from US$3.00 and up, depending on the artist, if you search seriously. The LP’s, 45’s 12” records may sometimes be found for discount prices much lower than CD’s.

With the majority of older Reggae collectors growing up with vinyl, they tend to identify and connect more easily to the wax than to the new arrival of CD’s.

Many owners of the famed vinyl have more fun with their collection. They have a special bond with the discs and also view it not only as collectible items but also as an investment. As the rare vinyl tends to appreciate in value and can pay big dividends for the serious collector, who is wishing to sell or trade.

If properly cared for and stored, the life of the vinyl can far exceed the CD, or the cassette tapes, which can corrode, stretch and even burst.

Collectors are also fascinated with album cover designs, and rate the intrinsic artistic value of the album and its design. Many album covers are used to decorate the home, studio or office. Albums with authentic autographs by the singers are also known to fetch big money for its owners’.

Many rare albums/LP’s that were purchased for US$1.00 or so in the past, can now be easily worth hundreds of dollars, depending on its rarity, the artist, the issue date and condition.

Jamaica has many big artists that have rare vinyl albums and or 45’s that are unique and hard to find. Many great authentic Studio 1, Treasure Isle and Island Records issued from way back in the 70’s are sometimes known to be very invaluable and can command anywhere from US$50 up to US$500.00 for an album.

Big Bout Ya Music, an online music company located in Miramar, Florida started in early February of this year. The company sells vinyl records mainly via the Internet to Reggae music lovers and enthusiasts worldwide. Its philosophy is, “Spreading the Majic Of Reggae Music”. At Big Bout Ya Music, vinyl is indeed king. Their web site can be accessed at www.BigBoutYa.com.


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