World-leading Reggae Label VP Records Unveils 40th Anniversary Box Set

“Down In Jamaica: 40 Years of VP Records”

• Limited edition 2000-run compilation of Greensleeves and VP artists includes 94-tracks on four 7”, four 12”, four CDs, plus extensive booklet and exclusive art cards
• Features first-ever reissues of rare records like Freddie McKay’s “La La By Woman” and Echo Minott’s “Girls Mad Over Me” on vinyl
• Exhibition at Jamaican High Commission to showcase history of VP Records

As part of its 40th anniversary, VP Records — home to seminal British reggae label Greensleeves — is releasing a one-of-a-kind box set to commemorate the hits, rarities and history of the largest reggae label in the world.

Featuring 94 tracks from 101 Greensleeves and VP artists, Down In Jamaica: 40 Years of VP Records tells the sonic history of this pioneering label. From humble beginnings as a small Kingston record store, it has gone on to release some of the best known international artists in reggae, dancehall and soca, including Sean Paul, Chaka Demus, Maxi Priest, Shaggy, Vybz Kartel and Wayne Wonder.

Out now, this definitive anthology chronologically details the label’s defining records, including Ini Kamoze’s “Hot Stepper”, Johnny Osbourne’s “Ice Cream Love”, Tanya Stephens “It’s A Pity” and Yellowman’s “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng”. Other highlights from the set include Sean Paul & Sasha’s “I’m Still In Love With You,” Wayne Wonder’s “No Letting Go,” Beenie Man’s “Who Am I” as well as classics from Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and dozens of others.

The strictly limited 2000-edition box set contains four 12” singles, four CDs, and four 7” singles, including the first reissue of some of the most collectible vinyl records in the VP catalogue such as Junior Reid’s “What Do You Know” and Tenor Saw’s “Lots of Sign”. Also included is a 24-page 12-inch colour booklet on the label’s history as well as exclusive art cards featuring the personal histories of Dennis Brown, Sean Paul and several others.

Founded in the late 1970s by Vincent ‘Randy’ Chin and Patricia Chin from their downtown Kingston store, “Randy’s” quickly became the epicentre of the booming Jamaican music scene. After moving to New York in 1977 to escape civil unrest, Randy’s evolved into VP Records as it is known today.

Named after its owners, the label quickly became the de-facto home of Afro-Caribbean music in the US, cementing its place in the international mainstream. In 2008, VP Records acquired the seminal British reggae label Greensleeves — home of Eek A Mouse, Yellowman, Glen Brown and Mr Vegas — making it the largest collection of reggae songs in the world. Founded in 1975 as record store in Ealing, Greensleeves mirrored both the origins and success of VP Records, achieving legendary status with its hugely popular Discomix series, sampler LPs and hits like Shaggy’s ‘“Oh Carolina”.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, VP Records will also be hosting an exhibition at the Jamaican High Commission. Running October 29 to November 1, ‘A Reggae Music Journey’ details the company’s storied history featuring photos from the VP archive and artifacts like vinyl records, CDs and a platinum sales award for Sean Paul’s Dutty Rock LP. During the run of the exhibition there will also be several panel discussions with high profile guests on the history of VP and Afro-Caribbean music in the digital age including Steel Pulse’s Mykaell Ryley, VP artist Jah 9 and box set curator Carter van Pelt.

Box set curator and VP Records Director of Catalogue Development Carter Van Pelt commented, “The goal is to tell the story of a continually owned and operated family business at the heart of the global growth of reggae, dancehall, and Caribbean music. This set brings together that incredible story with some lost treasures in the form of vinyl rarities.”

“We’re excited about the box set and the re-telling of our story,” added President of VP Records — and son of co-founder Vincent — Randy Chin, “It’s a great way to complete our 40th anniversary celebrations.”

Also commenting on the box set, legendary DJ David Rodigan — a long term champion of reggae and dancehall — said “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Absolutely incredible… I’m like a kid on Christmas morning!”

About Down In Jamaica: 40 Years of VP Records
Release date: 1st November 2019
RRP: £150.00
Buy on Amazon here.

Track list:
7-inch Singles:
The Congos — “Fisher Man” (Lee Scratch Perry production)
Freddie McKay — “La La By Woman” (first vinyl repress)
Linval Thompson — “Don’t Trouble Trouble” (long out of print)
Romain Virgo feat. Agent Sasco — “Fade Away” (first vinyl pressing)

12-inch Singles
Roy feat. Errol Dunkley —.“Created By The Father” b/w Flabba Holt — “My Eyes Adore You” (long out of print on 12-inch)
Freddie McKay —.“Fire Is Burning” b/w “Lonely Man” (first repress)
Echo Minott — “Girls Mad Over Me” b/w “Saddest Day” (first repress)
Junior Reid — “What Do You Know” b/w Tenor Saw — “Lots Of Sign” (first repress)

CD1
The Heptones — “Party Time”
Gregory Isaacs — “Slave Master”
Dennis Brown — “Children Of Israel”
Johnny Clarke — “Roots Natty Congo”
Ranking Joe [with Barrington Levy —“River Jordan”
Johnny Osbourne — “Ice Cream Love”
Wailing Souls — “Fire House Rock”
Don Carlos — “Mr. Sun”
Michael Prophet — “Gun Man”
Frankie Paul — “Kushumpeng”
Barrington Levy — “Prison Oval Rock”
Tony Tuff — “Come Fe Mash It”
Michigan & Smiley — “Diseases”
Yellowman — “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng”
Echo Minott — “Lazy Body”
Leroy Gibbons — “This Magic Moment”
J.C. Lodge — “Telephone Love”
Eccleton Jarrett — “Turn On The Heat”
Krystal & Shabba Ranks — “Twice My Age”
Foxy Brown — “Baby Can I Hold You Tonight”
Freddie McGregor —“Stop Loving You”

CD2
Ini Kamoze — “Hot Stepper”
Chaka Demus — “Original Kuff”
Conroy Smith — “Dangerous”
Red Fox & Naturalee — “Down In Jamaica”
Reggie Stepper — “Drum Pan Sound”
Ninja Man — “Murder Dem”
Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks, & Ninja Man — “Serious Time”
Singing Sweet — “When I See You Smile”
Cutty Ranks — “A Who Seh Me Dun”
Colin Roach & Galaxy P — “Miss Goodie Goodie”
Jigsy King — “Gi Mi Di Weed”
Half Pint — “I Am Not A Substitute Lover”
Cocoa Tea — “Good Life”
Garnet Silk — “Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders”
Richie Stephens — “Trying To Get To You”
Mikey Spice — “Born Again”
Glen Washington — “Kindness For Weakness”
Buju Banton — “Destiny”
Tanto Metro & Devonte — “Everyone Falls In Love”
Spragga Benz —“She Nuh Ready Yet”
Beenie Man — “Who Am I”

CD3
Sanchez — “Never Dis The Man”
Singing Melody — “Want You Back”
Terry Linen — “Your Love Is My Love”
Capleton — “Jah Jah City”
VC — “By His Deeds”
Morgan Heritage — “Down By The River”
George Nooks — “God Is Standing By”
Beres Hammond — “Rock Away”
Junior Kelly — “Love So Nice”
Wayne Wonder — “No Letting Go”
Bounty Killer feat. Wayne Marshall — Sufferah”
Elephant Man — “Pon De River Pon De Bank”
Lady Saw — “I’ve Got Your Man”
Sean Paul & Sasha — “I’m Still In Love With You”
Sizzla — “Just One Of Those Days”
I Wayne — “Living In Love”
Luciano — Give Praise”
Warrior King — “Can’t Get Me Down”
Jah Cure — “Longing For”
T.O.K. — “Footprints”

CD4
Tarrus Riley — “She’s Royal”
Tanya Stephens — “It’s A Pity”
Richie Spice — “Youth Dem Cold”
Turbulence —“Notorious”
Shaggy — “Church Heathen”
Duane Stephenson — “August Town”
Romain Virgo — “Mi Caan Sleep”
Busy Signal — “One More Night”
Etana & Alborosie —“Blessing”
Queen Ifrica — “Lioness On The Rise”
Mavado — “On The Rock”
Gyptian — “Hold You”
Maxi Priest — “Easy To Love”
Raging Fyah — “Dash Wata”
Christopher Martin — “I’m A Big Deal”
Spice — “So Mi Like It”
Bunji Garlin — “Big Bad Soca”
Shenseea featuring Vybz Kartel — “Loodi”
Estelle featuring Tarrus Riley — “Love Like Ours”
Jah9 featuring Chronixx — “Hardcore (Remix)”

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