Island Records

Island’s history starts off in 1959 with a wealthy Jamaican man named Chris Blackwell who ironically started Islands capitol off with a mere 100 pounds (approximately two hundred dollars); to later sell the label for undisclosed millions. The label was meant to be a prominent Ska and Reggae label but soon feel into the mainstream market. The first recording was that of Laurel Aitkin’s, ”Boogie in my Bones” which reach number eleven on the Jamaican charts for nearly 11 weeks. The first album however was released in 1950 by a Jazz pianist named Lance Heywood, and Ernest Ranglin. Blackwell was 22 years old when the label begun its devastating attack on mainstream music.”

I choose to paraphrase the actual history of Island since I felt I didn’t know enough to continue. I will however list a few famous artists from the label many of you might recognize. The Island history can be found at their website.

Tom Waits, an eccentric jazz pianist, and vocalist. Although his music is often times categorized as Pop and sometimes even Rock. Should the critic actually take their time and energy to listen to the album straight through instead of 40 seconds of the first song, they’d find this “category” not suitable. I can image they’d also become an avid fan.

Bob Marley, also an eccentric vocalist and Reggae guitarist which has a little more of a following here in America than that of his home country of Jamaica. Oh sweet irony.

Common, Chicago’s very own world renowned Hip Hopsta.

The Mars Volta, Latin Rock icons vocalist Cedric Bixlar Zavala, and guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez.

Here’s a taste of Island’s finest at best…

Tom Waits, “Going West.”


~ by Joseph Stelmaszek on April 22, 2008.

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