A deluxe 5 disc boxset with almost 100 recordings new to CD--these are the hits, artists, producers and labels that established Trojan as one of the greatest reggae labels of all time. The package includes:
• 123 tracks across five themed CDs, showcasing the hits, the artists, producers and labels as well as a disc of unreleased gems and rarities.
• 87 tracks new to CD. 69 of which are on CD for the first time, many unavailable since their original release in Jamaica, and 20 of which completely unreleased and unheard until now.
• 50 page book with a foreword from Rhoda Dakar (The Bodysnatchers/The Special AKA). Telling the label’s history from its birth in the late 60s to its chart topping hey-day in the late 60s early 70s, right up to now. Embellished with original photography, memorabilia and other ephemera.
• 4 original reproduction double-sided postcards. Lovingly recreated, fliers, and original promotional material.
• Trojan Window Sticker.
• Plus exclusive 12 track bonus digital album (disc 6) when you register this box set with the Trojan Appreciation Society.
There was a time in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the UK top 40 was rarely without a couple of reggae singles - and, invariably, they were on Trojan. This five-CD box set affords the label appropriate veneration with a sumptuous package: a lavishly illustrated book telling the label's history; reproductions of original publicity postcards; a Trojan window sticker; and, of course, 123 of their finest tunes.
Curated by Trojan expert Laurence Cane-Honeysett, the set is driven by the label's narrative. While the hits - Liquidator, Return of Django, Red Red Wine and so on - are covered by disc one, three CDs go deeper to explore the themes Artists, Producers and Labels; and the final disc is devoted to Rarities.
The Artists disc is a virtual who's who of Jamaican music, although the song choices aren't always what might be expected. Dennis Brown's Meet Me at the Corner and U Roy's Black Heart are featured, alongside less-than-obvious cuts from Augustus Pablo, Gregory Isaacs and Lee Perry. The Producers set is equally star-studded, running through a roll call including Derrick Harriott, Bunny Lee, Harry J, Rupie Edwards, Phil Pratt, Byron Lee, Joe Gibbs and, naturally, Lee Perry again. UK producers are represented to: Joe Mansano, Lambert Briscoe and Webster Shrowder. The disc showcases tracks that, understandably, include a high proportion of instrumentals.
Because Trojan would so often give individual producers their own label, as the fourth CD runs through the myriad of imprints - Jackpot, Clandisc, High Note, Big Shot, Amalgamated etc - it naturally subdivides into producers, too. Not that this is a complaint about a tracklisting that includes Mash Up by The Mighty Diamonds, Rocking Chariot by Tommy McCook, Music Alone Shall Live by The Meditators, and Brett Dowe's Freedom Train. The Rarities collection is a real treasure trove - not only of unexpected versions (Double Barrel without Dave Barker; Gladstone Anderson's organ-led I Shot the Sheriff), but among the 22 previously unreleased tracks are jewels like Val Bennett's Where Did the Russians Go, Al Berry's I'm Not a King and Marcia Griffiths' My Love.
Importantly, The Story of Trojan Records lays waste to the notion the label never understood Rasta, as there are plenty of proto-roots tracks here. And that is just part of it demonstrating what enormous diversity there was within this music at the time.
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