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This is what we want! A brand new collection of eight top Studio One hits in their extended format. Heartbeat starting the ball rolling a couple of year's ago with the CD release of STUDIO ONE SHOWCASE VOL.1, and followed up last year with RARE REGGAE GROOVES (originally known as SHOWCASE VOL.2). However, unlike these previous reissues, NICE UP THE DANCE is not based on a vinyl original but is a completely new compilation of those sublime 1970s 12” 45 rpm discomixes.

There is a subtle but very important difference between the ‘showcase’ extended mix and the 12” ‘discomix’ format. The former appeared almost exclusively on the series of showcase albums (and later on the 10” dub plates) and echoed the 7” single configuration of vocal followed by dub. The discomix, with a full 12” of vinyl to fill, moved from vocal into dub and then typically into a vocal+dub reprise. In other words, the mix is extended over 3 parts instead of over two.

Those Studio One 12”s are almost impossible to find nowadays, and fetch a high premium when they do come up for sale. Collecting them together on a CD is such an obviously good idea that I am surprised it hasn’t been done before (apart from on several bootlegs that I’ve seen). Maybe Mr Dodd is reluctant to let such good material out of his control. Whatever, I hope this release is enough of a commercial success that Heartbeat will want to repeat the exercise (and Mr Dodd will let them).

Needless to say, all the tracks are absolute killers and all appear on CD for the first time. As usual, there are excellent sleeve notes from Chris Wilson. The title track, although previously released on Michigan & Smiley’s RUB A DUB STYLE album, appears here with the instrumental Real Rock tacked on the end, and Slogan On The Wall benefits from being combined (to great effect) with Tommy McCook’s Tenor On The Call.

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Various Artists (2001)

Heartbeat HB 165


Queen Of The Minstrels (Cornel Campbell & Eternals); My Whole World Is Falling Down (Ken Parker); Love Is A Treasure (Freddie McKay); Mr Bassie (Horace Andy); Give Love A Try (Delroy Wilson); Nice Up The Dance (Michigan & Smiley); Can I Change My Mind (Alton Ellis); Slogan On The Wall (Viceroys with Tommy McCook & Discosonics)