-Videography by Kyle Hancock

Check out the full mix here!

It’s all been taken care of. The Reggae and the Afro Beat have come in, been cataloged, mixed, and placed on the shelves. This by no means we’re done in these genres. We’ve got our toes wet and we’ll keep swimming, we’ve just begun to focus.

To celebrate the recent editions to our collection we’ll focus on one of those that are just in. A super exciting find and all around great album, which personally graces some of our own private collections, this week’s album of the week is Inner Circle’s ‘Everything Is Great’ (Island, 1979).

Inner Circle is an awesome band to begin with and the fact that they were eventually able to fronted by Jacob Miller, Jamaica’s second most popular reggae artist of the time (only Marley had a larger following), speaks volumes. Inner Cirlce was formed in 1968 by brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore, and Michael Cooper. By 1970 they had achieved backing band status and were on several albums and singles – including Eric Donaldson’s ‘Cherry Oh Baby’.

Success brings many challenges and in the early days the band was adding and losing members and eventually split with Coore and Cooper breaking off in 1973 to form Third World – another groovy group itself. After the split, the Lewis brothers recruited a few new members and Ian Lewis formed the label Top Rankin. They played Kingston’s hotels and clubs with a refreshing mix of reggae, pop, and soul.

With their newfound popularity they were able to recruit Jacob Miller as front man and permanent vocalist while he also continued his solo career. Jacob was a massive star, only second to Bob Marley, but his live performances were the most exciting and engaging to see in Jamaica at the time.

The band’s genre defying take on reggae made them a success internationally as well. With many US tours ensuing. Sadly in 1980, Jacob Miller died in a car accident; this however, did not deter Inner Circle who kept performing and touring with an updated line up. In 1987, for all you COPS tv show fans, Inner Circle recorded ‘Bad Boys’.

Continuing through to the 21st century, Inner Circle continued writing, recording, and releasing often with big names. In 2012, they started the ‘Save The Regggae Music’ campaign which promoted more traditional forms of regge music over the increasingly US influenced (my guess is auto-tuned) contemporary Jamaican pop.

So come on down to the basement and have yourselves a wonderful time with our new additions and a proper vibes inducing GINGER cocktail; it’s guaranteed to bring out all the flavors of ‘Everything Is Great’. Peace and love.