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On the Beach With the Paragons

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iTunes Review

In the mid-‘60s, the frantic beats of ska started to give way to the languid tempos and soul-influenced vocal harmonies of rocksteady. Some listeners treat rocksteady as a transitional style, one that paved the way for the ultimate emergence of reggae at the close of the decade. But recordings by rocksteady outfits like The Techniques, The Paragons, and The Eternals are as remarkable as any of the finest music of the roots era that followed. The Paragons’ On the Beach—recorded for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle imprint in 1967—is arguably the definitive rocksteady LP. Not only does it boast remarkable singing and musicianship; it serves as a vehicle for the songwriting talent of group leader John Holt. He would record innumerable hits for producers like Bunny Lee, Phil Pratt, King Tubby, and Junjo Lawes in future decades, but it was for Duke Reid that he wrote many of his most lasting and memorable compositions: from celebratory anthems like “Wear You to the Ball” and “The Tide Is High” to embittered love songs like “Only a Smile” and “Happy Go Lucky Girl.”

Customer Reviews

rockn steady

Rocksteady ruled Jamaica for two and a half years between ska and reggae but it's my favorite and this record is among the best Jamaican Rocksteady.

happy sounds from bygone days

this is not the paragons i grew up with in the 50's but if you want to hear some early unpolished island music thats fun, this stuff fits the bill nicely


this album is aweful i didnt think you could screw up mercy mercy mercy because it is a really easy tune and just groves really well but they some how managed to do it BAD


Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

If you're familiar with the song "The Tide Is High" you probably know it as a huge hit for Blondie, but before Deborah Harry and company got a hold of it, it was a 1960s hit for the Paragons. Formed in Kingston, Jamaica, the Paragons were originally made up of Garth "Tyrone" Evans, Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964, just before they broke big in Jamaica, Stamp was replaced by John Holt, and Menz (who left to join another Jamaican vocal group, the Techniques) was replaced by Howard Barret....
Full Bio
On the Beach With the Paragons, The Paragons
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