This year VP Records is celebrating its fortieth anniversary and as a proverbial birthday cake they are now presenting this 'Down In Jamaica: 40 Years Of VP Records' box.

After a short period in Brooklyn between 1977 and 1978, VP (named after the Sino-Jamaican founders Vincent and Patricia Chin) settled in Jamaica, Queens. The company moved to their flagship store on 170-2 Jamaica Avenue in 1980, expanding a Jamaican music adventure that began as Randy's Records in Kingston in 1958, and has since grown into a 40-year legacy that now includes more than 25000 recordings!

Randy's started out as a second-hand record store at 36 East Street ice cream parlor in Kingston, then became a small label and producer of original recordings in their iconic location at 17 North Parade.

VP Records may be celebrating its fortieth anniversary, but the VP Records label itself was only used briefly in the late nineteen seventies, before it disappeared again, only to reappear in the early nineteen nineties. The VP logo appeared on vinyl records as early as 1977, alongside other labels within the Randy's Records family such as Big Hit!, Roots From The Yard, Love, and Roots, then Lightning, Jah Guidance and Reggae Sound, and labels like Volcano, Spiderman, Jammy$, Music Works, Steely & Clevie, Digital-B, Germain and others. From 1980 onwards, VPRL or VPRD was almost always etched into the run-out of each record side, the space where the needle moves from the last track to the middle landing groove.

This time no choice between a CD or vinyl release, but one box containing no less than four 7inch singles, as many 12inches and 4 CDs with another 82 songs. As far as vinyl is concerned, compiler Carter Van Pelt opted for a first reissue of Freddie McKay's 'La La By Woman', the hard to find 'Don't Trouble Trouble' by Linval Thompson and a first vinyl edition of Romain Virgo feat. Angent Sasco's 'Face Away', completed with 12inch re-releases of Freddie McKay's 'Fire Is Burning', Echo Minott's 'Girls Mad Over Me' and Junior Reid's 'What Do You Know', among others. On the CD's you don't have to expect any obscure material, but rather an almost chronological overview of 40 years of VP hits ranging from a roots classic like 'Party Time' by The Heptones over the rub-a-dub from Michigan & Smiley in 'Diseases' or the ragga of Cutty Ranks' 'A Who Seh Me Dun', to Elephant Man's modern dancehall with 'Pon Di River Pon Di Bank' or the closing 2018 roots revival song 'Hardcore (Remix)' by Jah9 feat. Chronixx. The name of the box is derived from the eponymous song by Red Fox and Naturalee, a 1989 hit that can also be found on one of the CDs. 

As VP Records summarizes: "The definitive anthology of the company that helped bring reggae to the US and beyond!"