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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

A dubplate is a term used to describe a one off or exclusive piece of music played by Sound Systems.


From the 50's through to the 90's this invariable referred to an acetate, though from the 90's onwards other formats, firstly DAT (Digital Audio Tape) and minidisc and now CD-R and digital formats have blurred the definition.


The earliest dubplates were recordings of music that had yet to be released that was played on Sound Systems to gauge audience approval and popularity. Later (by the end of the 60's) the trend began to record exclusive mixes that would remain unavailable to purchase in order to enhance the reputation of the Sound System.


In the mid 80's the exclusive dubplate developed into the Special. A special is an exclusive mix or recording of a tune that usually has the lyrics altered to mention and praise a specific Sound System. The rise of the special coincided with a decline in the appearance of live DJ's on sound systems.


Whilst the special became prevalent in the 90's the first example of this is probably On The Beach by Owen Gray, recorded in the very late 50's. This contained the lyric "Dancing to the sound of Sir Coxsone Downbeat, on the beach". Whilst On The Beach saw general release in the early 60's on 7" single it was undoubtedly aired on Sir Coxsone's sound on dubplate prior to this.


There has been a trend in recent years to describe 10" vinyl releases as dubplates. This is a marketing ploy by record sellers, frequently on ebay and similar sites, to build interest in the records they are selling.


Original acetate dubplates

Count Lasher on a 7" from circa '60An early Tubby's plateAn 80's Tubbys plate
Prince JammyLater King JammyRoof International from 80's/90's
3 from the UK. A ClassJah Tubbys StudioMusic House
An American plateAn early 2000's Arrows plateConroy Smith - My Style/The Devil
Johnny Osbourne - Hanging Tree King Everald - Long Time Gal/Vision Banana Man - Killa Sound Boy

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 3:15 pm on Jul 1, 2007

Wow! Fantastic pictures!

Anonymous said

at 11:17 am on Jun 3, 2008

I'm not sure if we need duplicate illustrations of dubplate labels, one of each design should be adequate? I'll tidy this up if no one objects?

Anonymous said

at 10:47 pm on Jun 4, 2008

You're thinking of the double King Jammy's with the classic blue design?

It's nice with a plethora of dub plate label scans ... but as you say no need for the duplicates so please go ahead.

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