Rock A Shocka Re-issues Skatalites’ Freedom Sounds & Norma Fraser Track

It’s always a welcome pleasure to come home and find a package sitting on the porch. One can tell instantly that it is a new 7 inch vinyl platter – one that I did not order in fact – so that much more exciting. What is it? What’s inside? Only one way to find out. Get inside and open it up!

I don’t even look at the from address – just rip into the box to find the latest Rock A Shocka Records (Japan) release! They know what’s up. They continue an unprecedented release schedule of the highest quality and rare represses from the cream of the crop. Tommy (who was a feature at the London International Ska Fest in April) and crew are always on the look out for the most amazing and rare tunes for their program of releases.

This latest offering is no different and is the first in what I am sure will be more Studio One masters. What I like about these releases other than the tunes and new vinyl of course is the detail and care even going down to the paper labels themselves. Looks very old school indeed.

Here is the info from their site:
It is possible that the late great Coxsone Dodd had personal reasons for doing so, but despite the legendary status of this tune among Ska connoisseurs, Freedom Sound has never once seen release on 7 inch – until now. The players and tune itself hardly need any introduction, except to say that even among the Skatalite’s enormous output, there are very few tracks that feature performances with quite the same awesome power. The lack of trombone melody suggests that this might have been recorded during one of Don Drummond’s stints at Bellevue mental asylum. Despite his absence, however, this is a Ska instrumental that is rivaled by few others. The flip side is a lovely up tempo Ska tune from Norma Fraser, who is best known for her hit version of the First Cut is the Deepest, also recorded for Coxsone Dodd.

I find it hard to believe that this is the first proper issuing of this essential Ska tune ever. Really. Surely it was on a blank somewhere right? In any case it’s become a standard for the always touring Skatalites to this day.

Check out this amazing – just like everything else they do – little promo clip with wonderful visuals and a sample of the tunes (like anyone of the readers really were not already familiar the tunes.

Side A: Skatalites/ Freedom Sound
Side B Norma Fraser/ Every Body
Rock A Shacka, LTD 7″ (Ska)
(DBCS-001)

Check the Rock A Shocka site HERE for even more great releases.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.