Version Galore


180 gram audiophile vinyl
Limited edition of 750 individually numbered copies on gold coloured vinyl

Music On Vinyl
U Roy


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Version Galore

The pioneer of toasting Ewart Beckford, better known by his stage name U-Roy, was a Jamaican vocalist. He was bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the early 1970s with his typical rapping style of singing (toasting) over the rhythms and beats he created. All of a sudden, Jamaica awoke one morning and U-Roy was everywhere. 

He released his debut album Version Galore in 1970, it consists of his earliest songs, all recorded for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. Most listeners will especially recognize “Tide Is High,” originally by the Paragons and recorded later as a 1980 hit by Blondie. Enjoy listening to the way he's bringing his lyrics all over the record. It's toasting at best.

Version Galore is available as limited edition of 750 individually numbered copies on gold coloured vinyl.


A1.  Your Ace From Space 
A2.  On The Beach 
A3.  Version Galore 
A4.  True Confession 
A5.  Tide Is High 
A6.  Things You Love 

B1.  The Same Song 
B2.  Happy Go Lucky Girl 
B3.  Rock Away 
B4.  Wear You To The Ball 
B5.  Don't Stay Away 
B6.  Hot Pop

All of a sudden, Jamaica awoke one morning and U-Roy was everywhere… - So read the original liner notes to this classic reggae LP, which originally hit in 1971 and washed over the island like a grooving tropical storm. 

U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the early 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called toasting, which in addition to bringing Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American vocal style also in its infancy: rapping. 

This full-length, his first after a string of singles (mostly on the Treasure Isle and other Duke Reid labels, run by the famed producer and studio owner), rolls like a crazy party where a wobbly, but talented, master of ceremonies grabs the mic and wont let go. Speaking over and around songs that already have straight-ahead vocals on them, U-Roy shows the world why he is considered an iconoclast and trailblazer. 

In all honesty, there are few standouts on the album since they all run a similar course, and all are captivating in their own way. Modern listeners will especially note Tide Is High, originally by the Paragons (featuring dulcet-toned vocalist John Holt) and recorded later as a 1980 smash hit by Blondie. 

Each track here is a new adventure, and while U-Roys approach might take some getting used to, it will eventually capture your ears as it did the entire island of Jamaica in the 60s and 70s. Sit back, drop the needle, and enjoy.