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Roland Alphonso (2000)

Heartbeat HB 228

Four Corners; From Russia With Love; Dr Ring Ding; Jack Ruby; El Pussy Cat Ska; Federal Special; Do It Good; Jah Shakey; Pepe To; You Trouble Me; Rollie Pollie; Proof Rum; James Bond; Provocation; Grand National; Hully Gully Rock; Something Special; Rolando Special; Groovy Sax; Maria Elena

Heartbeat’s long anticipated tribute to the late, great Roland Alphonso finally hits the record stores - and it’s been well worth the wait. Initially scheduled for February 2000, release was delayed in order to include extra tracks and previously unpublished photographs.

The 20 track compilation, recorded at the Federal and Brentford Road studios, covers the 10 year period from 1958 to 1968, with musical styles ranging from the boogie-shuffle of Proof Rum to classic rock steady rhythms like Jah Shaky, as well as the many ska hits promised in the title. The majority of tracks appear on CD for the first time, with two (Do It Good and Groovy Sax) previously unreleased on any format. An informative 32-page booklet, lovingly compiled by Chris Wilson, Brian Keyo and Dro, includes a comprehensive biography, a track by track list of musicians and soloists, and contemporary photos of Roland with many of the bands and musicians he worked with. Sound quality and overall presentation are uniformly excellent.

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