The Lost Reggae Tapes

Nov 05, 2019

Imagine thousands of world-class reggae tapes going unreleased and unheard for decades....

Well, that's exactly what happened with one of Jamaica's legendary recording studios.

Studio 17 was set up in the 1950s by the Chins, a Chinese-Jamaican family who owned Randy's Records, a popular record shop in Kingstown. Through the 60s and 70s, Studio 17 saw many big reggae artists record music there - including world-famous Bob Marley and the Wailers.

In the late 1970s, the Chins moved to New York as Jamaica was experiencing political unrest, leaving behind Studio 17. When Studio 17 was damaged by a hurricane in the late 80s, as many as 2,000 of the original tapes recorded in this time were presumed lost or damaged.

Thankfully for the world of reggae, these tapes were eventually rediscovered and restored, revealing unique recordings from the golden ages of reggae.

Learn all about Studio 17 and the lost reggae tapes and hear interviews from reggae legends like Jimmy Cliff in the BBC film, Studio 17: The Lost Reggae Tapes.

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