Soul Jazz Records are proud to present this new collection of music from the great Fashion Records, one of the most important and iconic independent labels to come out of the UK, and which ran from 1980 for nearly 20 years.
In that time Fashion released hundreds of records that successfully reflected, and indeed set, the changing styles and perspectives of reggae music in the UK – from UK dancehall and lovers rock in the 1980s through to the mighty rise of jungle in the second half of the 1990s.
While nearly all other UK reggae labels focused on releasing Jamaican music – from the early days of Island and Trojan in the 1960s, through Island and Virgin in the 1970s, and Greensleeves that came up in the 1980s – Fashion’s focus was firmly on music produced in the UK. This unique British perspective shaped both lyrical content and musical fashion. And like all the great music labels – from Studio One to Blue Note – Fashion was able to create a significant roster of its own artists.
Amazingly for a small independent label, a number of Fashion artists achieved mainstream UK chart and crossover success – including Laurel & Hardy, Smiley Culture and General Levy. But although this success was welcomed, crossing over into the mainstream was never the main focus for the label owners Chris Lane and John McGillivray (who also runs the successful Dub Vendor record shop) whose starting point was always primarily focused on producing quality music first.
In the early 1980s, Fashion Records captured the rise of the emerging British dancehall scene in its ascendency. The large roster of first generation British-born artists and MCs on the label – including General Levy, Papa Face, Smiley Culture, Bionic Rhona, Asher Senator, Laurel & Hardy, Top Cat and many more – often gave a unique and sometimes humorous British lyrical perspective to Fashion releases, discussing everyday subjects, from police harassment to road safety!
The album is released on heavyweight triple vinyl + download code.
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