Skanking Lizard originated in Chicago in 1978 by a group of friends who had a deep love for reggae music, and by the 80’s this line up of northside musicians became Chicago’s original performing reggae band. Skanking Lizard was no island tribute band, they concentrated on developing their own sound which incorporated American roots rock with reggae rhythms. In the 1980’s, they became one of Chicago’s favorite festival bands and toured with the likes of Toots and the Maytals, Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, Neville Brothers, and the B-52’s. They released the “Jesse James/Mushroom” 7 inch single in 1983, charting on Jamaica’s Top 40 List. In 1984 lead singer Alan “Blood” Lery released “Kingston Meets Chicago” 12” EP, which was recorded at Channel One Studios in Kingston and featured Jamaican legends Santa Davis on drums, Ranchie McLean on bass, Skully on percussion, Ansell Collins on organ, Howard Yukon of the Blue Riddim Band on guitar, and Shay Jones on backing vocals. The producer was Jimmy Becker of Blue Riddim band, a famed studio harmonica player who also was a member of Skanking Lizard in the early 1980’s. Both original vinyl releases appear on the band’s first ever anthology “Original Chicago Reggae”, out now in celebration of Record Store Day! Eleven tracks including never before released studio gems, including two ska tunes from 1988 recorded as a tribute to 2-Tone! First pressing is limited to 250 copies on lizard green (SOLD OUT) and yellow vinyl!
Side A: Jesse James / Mushroom / I Don’t Mind / It Happened / Heart Full of Soul / Video /
Side B: Strange Cargo / Wear A Smile / Tonight / Tears of A Clown / Too Much Pressure
LONG LOST ALBUM is back and now on VINYL and 8 TRACK! The Skatalites are more than a band, they are an institution, an aggregation of top-notch musicians who didn’t merely define the sound of Jamaica, but WERE the sound in the ’60s. Frequently credited as the originators of ska — the Skatalites’ various members banded together as both an original group and the often uncredited backing band for artists/producers such as Prince Buster and Duke Reid. Although the group officially existed in its original incarnation for less than 18 months (1964-1965), its members brought their signature styles to thousands of the island’s releases. Following a handful of reunions in the ’70s and early ’80s, the Skatalites re-formed for good in 1986 and, over subsequent decades, have included a rotating lineup of both original members and newcomers responsible for late-period highlights like 1994’s “Hi-Bop Ska” and 2000’s “Bashaka”, now reissued on vinyl for the first time. “BASHAKA” is an album lost in time, plagued by a label bankruptcy and released when mainstream’s support for the genre had waned. Simply put, this brilliant album never got the credit it deserves! Original members Lloyd Knibb, Lloyd Brevett, Lester Sterling and Cedric Brooks lead the charge into scorching ska instrumentals and rootsy jazz reggae, Doreen Shaffer adds beautiful vocals on ska tunes “Oh baby” and “Reach for the Sky”, while special guest Ken Boothe delivers the mid-tempo groover “I Never Knew”. Brand new updated art by Chema Skandal, pressed on clear yellow vinyl limited to 500 copies to celebrate Record Store Day. 8 TRACK edition of 30 for the ultimate collector housed in an original ISLAND RECODS sleeve! Comes with a FREE Jamaican music timeline poster!
BLUE VINYL + BONUS 7″. First time on vinyl for 1993 classic from ska originators. Part of the the Shanachie trilogy of 90’s albums from legendary Jamaican big band that invented the genre in the early 1960’s. Released in 1993, Ska Voovee finds original saxophonist Tommy McCook leading a lineup that includes original members (bassist Lloyd Brevett, drummer Lloyd Knibbs, alto saxophonist Lester Sterling ) alongside newcomers and jazz guests, including trombonist Steve Turre and trumpeter Frank Gordan. This edition of the Skatalites was quite faithful to the band’s history, lively instrumentals like “Skamaica” and “Skapan” are instantly recognizable as authentic Skatalites performances. These dozen tunes are solid and engaging, an effort that both die-hard and casual fans will equally enjoy. Blue vinyl LP with bonus “Jamaican Blank” style 45 rpm 7 inch single, originally scheduled for Record Store Day 2020 – but we pulled the title to keep our fans safe! We don’t want you to have to wait in a line this fall….it’s just too dangerous. Ska At Home Saves Lives!
First time on wax for Jamaican ska originators’ 1996 masterpiece, green vinyl edition with poster insert exclusive for Record Store Day. Produced by Joe Ferry (Big Ska Band, SKAndolous All Stars) and band leader Tommy McCook, On this set original 60’s players are still going strong – lead by the saxophone trio of Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, and Lester Sterling, drummer Lloyd Knibbs, bassist Lloyd Brevett, and vocalist Doreen Shaffer. The band revisits 60’s gems like “Phoenix City” , and “El Pussycat” while creating many new classics including “Skalloween”, “Trip To Mars” and “Skamania”. The Skatalites perfected the big-band ska sound while backing some of the finest ska and rocksteady artists in the 60’s, and this album is another crowning jewel in their lifelong goal to party like it’s 1964!