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Listening to: Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986

This is a really great little compilation that neatly summarizes an era and a particular sound. Compass Point was Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell’s studio in Nassau in the Bahamas. It was a very popular recording studio in the early 1980s – lots of ‘big’ acts recorded ‘big’ records there, like AC/DC’s Back in Black and the Stones’ Tattoo You and countless others.

But Chris Blackwell had also assembled a kickass ‘house band’ consisting of Sly & Robbie and a few other reggae and new wave greats. This band supported artists like Grace Jones and is responsible for creating the legendary ‘Compass Point Sound,’ a blend of reggae, disco and new wave/no wave.

This compilation presents an informative and entertaining cross-section of Compass Point’s 1980s output. The liner notes are excellent and (almost) worth the purchase price by themselves.

A related recommendation:

Vastly more entertaining and vital than you probably think. Most importantly, there’s something very contemporary about this sound. I’m not sure what it is, but it still sounds relevant. Maybe this band really was so far ahead of its time and it’s full relevance is only now coming into orbit. For me, anyway :)

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