Monday, 4 June 2018

Trojan Classic Reggae

  

First off, all these Trojan releases (of which there are many) are excellent in their sound quality. Nowhere is this more apparent on here, this wonderful double CD that shows just what a contribution the small island of Jamaica has made to music. From the early ska/rocksteady/bluebeat days of "007 (Shanty Town)", "Rudy, A Message To You", "Train To Skaville" and "Liquidator" these classics are remastered wonderfully - as good as I have ever heard them. Full and bassy, as reggae should be, but on many of the recordings, imperfections seem to have been ironed out.

The hits just go on and on, from Desmond Dekker's "Israelites" through Toots & The Maytals' "Monkey Man" and Symarip's "Skinhead Moonstomp" to Bob & Marcia's iconic, inspirational "Young, Gifted & Black" to the similarly so "54-46 Was My Number" from Toots & The Maytals. 

Then there is the "UK pop reggae" of Ken Boothe's "Everything I Own" and John Holt's "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and the rootsy "Uptown Top Ranking" from Althea & Donna and the dubby "Ire Feelings" from Rupie Edwards. Dennis Brown's "Money In My Pocket" is another eminently singalong number. Also on here are some excellent late seventies/early eighties hits like Errol Dunkley's infectious "OK Fred", Janet Kay's high-voice lovers rock hit "Silly Games" and the precocious Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie". Boris Gardinder delivers a smoocher in "I Want To Wake Up With You"

Reggae turns to Ragga by the end of this wonderful musical journey, but it still brought us some catchy hits such as Sophia George's irresistible "Girlie Girlie" and Chaka Demus & Pliers' "Twist And Shout". Apache Indian's "Boom-Shacka-Lack" is mildly irritating but addictive at the time. You can't help singing along to it. He was of British Indian heritage, though, not Jamaican, though, being pedantic!

Thanks, Jamaica. Irie!

TRACK LISTING

1. Jamaican Ska - Byron Lee & The Dragonaires

2. 007 (Shanty Town) Desmond Dekker & The Aces
3. Rudy, A Message To You - Dandy
4. Train To Skaville - The Ethiopians
5. Return Of Django - The Upsetters
6. Israelites - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
7. Liquidator - Harry J. All Stars
8. Red Red Wine - Tony Tribe
9. Long Shot (Kick The Bucket) - The Pioneers
10. Wonderful World Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff
11. Monkey Man - Toots & The Maytals
12. Skinhead Moonstomp - Symarip
13. Young, Gifted & Black - Bob & Marcia
14. Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
15. 54-46 Was My Number - Toots & The Maytals
16. You Can Get It If You Really Want - Desmond Dekker
17. Double Barrel - Dave & Ansil Collins
18. Small Axe - Bob Marley & The Wailers
19. Black And White - Greyhound
20. Rain - Bruce Ruffin
21. Trench Town Rock - Bob Marley & The Wailers
22. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah - The Pioneers
23. Help Me Make It Through The Night - John Holt
24. Everything I Own - Ken Boothe
25. Hurt So Good - Susan Cadogan
26. Sideshow - Barry Biggs
27. Ire Feelings - Rupie Edwards
28. Cokane In My Brain - Dillinger
29. Uptown Top Ranking - Althea & Donna
30. Money In My Pocket - Dennis Brown
31. Silly Games - Janet Kay
32. OK Fred - Errol Dunkley
33. Pass The Dutchie - Musical Youth
34. Girlie Girlie - Sophia George
35. I Want To Make Love To You - Boris Gardiner
36. Give A Little Love - Aswad
37. Twist & Shout - Chaka Demus & Pliers
38. Boom-Shacka-Lack - Apache Indian
39. Compliments On Your Kiss - Red Dragon, Brain & Tony Gold
40. Dancehall Queen - Beenie Man (feat. Chevelle Franklin)

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