As expansive as the title is, “Reggae Golden Jubilee” does not do justice for just how culturally rich this new box set it is. Spread over four CDs, with an accompanying 64-page booklet rife with photos and commentary, the lavish set is the equivalent of a college course on the past 50 years of Jamaican popular music.
Curated by Edward Seaga, a former prime minister of Jamaica who was born in Boston, educated at Harvard, and also used to be a record producer, the set uses 100 recordings to trace the chronology of the island’s music. Ska gives way to rocksteady and reggae and then to dub, dancehall, and deejay. (Released on VP Records, the box set is available only as a physical product.)