Reggae Rejects

A box of reggae rejects waits to be recycled at the Tuff Gong pressing plant in Kingston.

During reggae’s heyday Jamaica was the prominent producer of 45 singles. Defective records are often recycled and most plants use some combination of new and recycled vinyl. Finding classic vinyl in Jamaica is not that easy anymore, record collectors have long ago cleaned out most of the reggae gems from record stores and scoured private collections.

Jamaica still has a few pressing plants running, Tuff Gong being one of them, but over the last few years reggae singles production has slowed as more DJ’s use CD’s or MP3’s. Today vintage singles, some not even that rare are going for hundreds and hundreds of dollars at various record auctions. New pressings of classics are still being made, mostly pressed by record companies overseas in Japan and the UK and even those can go for a premium price. Still nothing can test the sound of a classic reggae 45 on the turntable, turned up loud, and I mean way up loud. Wheel & come again !

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