Apart from a couple of boring instrumentals; this is a lovely CD. Quite a bit of the music is quite dipsy in style, but still together, which I like- if you are looking for interesting, left of field, not run of the mill reggae, this is a CD for you. The music is quite danceable, but you could just chill out to this (on a nice summer’s day). I really love the organ player, who does some pretty interesting riffs on quite a few tunes. This is quite unique reggae, I don't know anything quite like it.
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THE MAN (AND HIS MUSIC) WHO KEPT TROJAN RECORDS ALIVE IN THE EARLY DAYS21 Jun. 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For fans/collectors of music on the Trojan Records label, this is something you might want to check out. Robert Thompson, known as Dandy, recorded and released the first full albums for the Trojan label. Along with those three albums (all included here), he recorded a number of 45 Singles (also here), all with the ska/rocksteady/reggae sound of the period.
Initially an engineering student, Thompson recorded a couple of 45's which were released unbeknownst to him. His nom-de-disque was "Dandy", because he always dressed very nicely. In the beginning the duo of Dandy and Sugar was actually Dandy solo-his voice double-tracked for recordings. When he began recording his albums and 45's, he used a rotating list of musicians (and names) to fit the sound he wanted. Lee Gopthal of the fledgling Trojan label signed Dandy to produce and record for him until the label (hopefully) could stand on it's own feet.
But Dandy's albums ("Follow That Donkey" and "Dandy Returns") didn't sell during that period (1968) because they were just to expensive in the era of 45's. Dandy also recorded a number of cover tunes like "You Send Me" and "Another Saturday Night" (Sam Cooke), "Yesterday" (The Beatles), "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (The Everley Brothers), "Sincerely" (The Moonglows), and others along with his own songs. There's also a few instrumentals included in the same rocksteady style, along with an early "toast", named simply "The Toast". But by 1969 Jamaican music was becoming popular and Dandy's third album ("Let's Catch The Beat") was released for the price of two 45's-quite a bargain, and went on to become a big seller. And with the combination of Jamaican music becoming popular and Dandy's production, singing, and songwriting, Trojan Records began to grow and flourish.
Needless to say Trojan went on from their shoestring beginnings and recorded many of the finest sides of Jamaican music ever recorded. And Dandy lives in Jamaica with his wife, running a crafts business-and still occasionally records. But to have the label's first releases, all in one nice package, is a real find for fans (like me) of early Jamaican music. The sound is very good-clean and warm with no annoying compression that destroys the original sound and feel of the music. The "booklet" is a fold-out sheet with information on both sides. The double jewel case slides inside a cardboard slipcase, which has a track listing on the back.
So if you've ever wondered about the beginnings/early days of the mighty Trojan Records label-this is a large piece of the puzzle. Dandy had a pleasant voice, his songs and music production were good for the era, and his backing bands were always filled with good musicians-especially when playing in a rocksteady style. Fans of early Jamaican music should check this out. I only wish Dandy's later 1969 song "Reggae In Your Jeggae" could've been included. What is a "Jeggae"? No one seems to know-and Dandy isn't saying.