Loading...

STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES DOCUMENTARY

Posted by Anne van Lingen on

Debuting on BBC television n the UK tonight, feature documentary STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES tells the story of the birth of reggae music in Kingston Jamaica, and of one man’s quest to rescue a treasure trove of tapes that were abandoned in 1977. There are hundreds of reels featuring many unheard and unreleased songs. Artists on the reel include The Wailers, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, The Skatalites, Alton Ellis, Gregory Isaacs and many more that survived decades of neglect including looting, hurricane Gilbert and intense tropical heat. Now they have been rescued by Clive Chin. The songs were produced by his father Vincent “Randy” Chin at his Randy's Studio 17 in downtown Kingston which also had a record store downstairs called Randy’s Records where they would sell the records that where produced and pressed from the studio. Only after Clive’s son Joel was murdered did Clive plunge into the digitizing process, as a way of honoring his son’s life and their shared love for music.

STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES documents one man’s quest to salvage a lost archive of reggae history, as well as opening a door into the creation of a musical form that changed the sound of popular music around the world and changing the lives of many of the poor musicians who created it. The film also follows Clive Chin’s emotional struggle to overcome his son’s death and his own battle to secure the rights to the tapes and make sure the music can be heard by a new generation. In a highly poignant conclusion an unfinished song by the late “Crown Prince of Reggae” Dennis Brown is beautifully re-mixed with new vocals of a rising star, Hollie Stephenson. The two singers were both teenagers when they laid down their vocals—forty years apart. The whole thing is magically orchestrated by producer and one time Eurythmics star, Dave Stewart.

Shot in Jamaica, New York, Hamburg and London the film includes interviews with Jimmy Cliff, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Dave Stewart, Sly Dunbar, Ali Campbell, Ernest Ranglin, Carl Malcolm, Lord Creator, Bunny Lee, King Jammy, Jimmy London, Lester Sterling, Rico Rodriguez, Clive Chin, Pat Chin, Maxi Priest, and many more.