Johnny you're too bad....
Just as all this Trojan series are, this album of 60s/70s reggae classics is wonderfully remastered, the songs are as good as I have heard them. Check out Sweet Sensation as proof.
This compilation takes over where Trojan Classic Reggae - The Sound Of Jamaica left off. (Although, strangely, Dennis Brown's Money In My Pocket appears on both - the only track that is duplicated). Many of the tracks I would have liked to have seen on that album are on here - every schoolboys' favourite Wet Dream by Max Romeo; the mighty Pressure Drop from Toots & The Maytals; the beautiful, uplifting Sweet Sensation by The Melodians; The Slickers' (pictured) excellent Johnny Too Bad; Lord Creator's lovely Kingston Town; Nicky Thomas's inspirational Love Of The Common People; also the same artist's Have A Little Faith; Eric Donaldson's Cherry Oh Baby and The Heptones' Book Of Rules. All great stuff.
Lesser known but still killer cuts are the skanking Bangarang by Stranger Cole, Cuss Cuss by Lloyd Robinson and the soulful Everybody Needs Love by Slim Smith. Ken Boothe's Freedom Street is also a favourite of mine and there is also Bob Marley's original cut of Duppy Conqueror. Lorna Bennett's "Lovers Rock" groove of Breakfast In Bed is excellent, too.
There is also some crucial roots present in Niney's iconic Blood And Fire and King Stitt/Andy Capp's Herbsman. Peter Tosh also makes an appearance with Maga Dog. John Holt's Stick By Me will be familiar to many as it was covered by UB40 on Labour Of Love II.
Many more, of course, are present, from the ska/bluebeat/rocksteady years to the commercial pop reggae of the 1970s. A pretty essential compilation. If you want some more from the same era, but slightly more obscure, try Trojan's Boss Reggae compilation.
1. Do The Reggay - The Maytals
2. No More Heartaches - The Beltones
3. Tighten Up - The Inspirations
4. Wet Dream - Max Romeo
5. Bangarang - Stranger Cole & Lester Sterling
6. Cuss Cuss - Lloyd Robinson
7. Everything Crash - The Ethiopians
8. Everybody Needs Love - Slim Smith
9. One Thousand Tons Of Megatons - Roland Alphonso
10. Fatty Fatty - Clancy Eccles
11. Mama Look Deh - The Reggae Boyz
12. Pressure Drop - Toots & The Maytals
13. Come Into My Life - Jimmy Cliff
14. Clint Eastwood - The Upsetters
15. Sweet Sensation - The Melodians
16. Samfie Man - The Pioneers
17. Kingston Town - Lord Creator
18. Dynamic Pressure - The Music Specialists
19. Satisfaction - Carl Dawkins
20. Freedom Street - Ken Boothe
21. Love Of The Common People - Nicky Thomas
22. Duppy Conqueror - Bob Marley & The Wailers
23. Herbsman - King Stitt & Andy Capp
24. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
25. Blood And Fire - Niney
26. Cherry Oh Baby - Eric Donaldson
27. Let The Power Fall - Max Romeo
28. Better Must Come - Delroy Wilson
29. A Little Love - Jimmy London
30. Shaft - The Chosen Few
31. Maga Dog - Peter Tosh
32. Stick By Me - John Holt
33. Beat Down Babylon - Junior Byles
34. Money In My Pocket - Dennis Brown
35. Breakfast In Bed - Lorna Bennett
36. Have A Little Faith - Nicky Thomas
37. Book Of Rules - The Heptones
38. Java - Augustus Pablo
39. All I Have Is Love - Gregory Isaacs
40. Westbound Train - Dennis Brown
Pictured are Jimmy Cliff and Delroy Wilson.