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on 6 September 2011
The specific boxset is one of the greatest reggae collection i've ever purchased with tons of unreleased tracks and rarities. Disc one includes some of the very best and well known records of Reggae Hits (actually big UK Hits), propably known to the most reggae music lovers. Though the best part follows within the next four discs which they contain hidden gems and unknown to the most people extremely rare songs from the vaults of Trojan Records.
I still listening to them but the conclusion till now is that we have to do with the boxset of the year;it surely deserves every pound to spend!

A small update:I noticed that the second track on disc 3 has a small gap at 2:23min.If you hear the track in stereo headphones, you notice it better.

ps:Don't forget to register you record on TrojanRecords site and claim a digital album with 12 reggae gems!
So, the total number of tracks is... 135! What a collection!
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on 25 September 2011
First off, I am not a proffessional music reviewer, I am just an ordinary music buyer. When I first heard about this set on David Rodigan's, now ended Radio 2 show, my ears pricked up. It is strange that as a teenager I loved Reggae music, especially the type that got played by Steve Barnard on BBC Radio London and Tony Curtis on BBC Radio Birmingham in the mid seventies. This set however is something very different. Yes, the first CD contains all the regular reggae favourites that most people who have heard of Trojan Records will kow and love. In fact, many appeared on a 25th anniversary 4 CD set, Celebration of Reggae which I got back in the nineties.

The other four discs have been an ear opener and have given me many hours of pleasure since my set arrived last Tuesday. I can't pass judgement on the sound quality, my ears are not up to that. However the content is varied and evokotive of the late sixties and early seventies sound that this set is intended to capture. If you do as others have suggested, and register with the Trojan Appreciation Society and stuff CD1 into you computer's CD ROM you can get a FREE bonus digital album of 12 rare tracks. So you get 135 tracks in all.

I noticed the smudgy cover and the tainted background of the booklet and even though I have eyesight problems it did not affect readability> I know I am being pedantic here, but I did spot a couple of spelling errors, words printed twice and they somehow managed to move Evesham into Wiltshire. But hey I am being picky. Actually, it really would have been the icing on the cake if they could have got someone like David Rodigan to have read the booklet and then put that audio version on a CD or made it available to registered users, just a thought.

All in all, a cracking collection that has nearly 7 hours of music of the finest quality for you to enjoy.
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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2011
Disc: 1
1. Return Of Django - The Upsetters
2. Red Red Wine - Tony Tribe
3. Long Shot Kick De Bucket - The Pioneers
4. Liquidator - Harry J Allstars
5. Elizabethan Reggae - Boris Gardiner, The Love People
6. Wonderful World, Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff
7. Sweet Sensation - The Melodians
8. Young Gifted And Black - Bob & Marcia
9. Monkey Man - The Maytals
10. Love Of The Common People - Nicky Thomas
11. You Can Get It If You Really Want - Desmond Dekker
12. Double Barrel - Dave Barker, Ansell Collins
13. Black Pearl - Horace Faith
14. Rain - Bruce Ruffin
15. Pied Piper - Bob & Marcia
16. Black And White - Greyhound
17. Monkey Spanner - Dave Barker, Ansell Collins
18. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah - The Pioneers
19. Moon River - Greyhound
20. Suzanne Beware Of The Devil - Dandy Livingstone
21. Big Seven - Judge Dread
22. Everything I Own - Ken Boothe
23. Help Me Make It Through The Night - John Holt
24. Crying Over You - Ken Boothe
25. Skinhead Moonstomp - Symarip
Disc: 2
1. Stir It Up - Bob Marley & The Wailers
2. Sentimental Reasons - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
3. You Didn't Answer - The Ethiopians
4. Watermelon - The Maytals
5. Me Want Man - Max Romeo
6. Together - Delroy Wilson
7. Sha La La I Need You - The Pioneers
8. A Little Loving - Alton Ellis
9. Take Me - Bob & Marcia
10. How Do You Do It - Jackie Edwards & Del Davis
11. A Little Bit Of Soap - Jimmy Cliff
12. Stars - Lloyd Parks & Dennis Alcapone
13. French Connection - Lee Perry And The Upsetters
14. Meet Me At The Corner - Dennis Brown
15. Black Heart - U-Roy
16. Soul Sister - The Heptones
17. Pity The Children - Cornel Campbell & The Eternals
18. Now You Can See Me Again - Ken Boothe
19. On The Beach - Owen Gray
20. Natty No Jester - Big Youth
21. Fly Little Silver Bird - Gregory Isaacs
22. Behold! - Derrick Morgan & Johnny Clarke
23. Got To Get You (aka I'm In Love) - Horace Andy
24. The Great Pablo - Augustus Pablo
25. Lovely Woman - John Holt
Disc: 3
1. Bumble Bee - Ike Bennett & The Crystalites
2. Have You Time - Trevor & The Maytones
3. I Am Getting Old - The Lyrics
4. Mannix (B'wa Nina) - The Rhythm Rulers
5. (If It Don't Work Out) Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - Gene Rondo
6. Last Laugh - The Jokers
7. Apollo 11 - The Hippy Boys
8. Better Herring - The Pioneers
9. Tea House From Emperor Roscoe - Dice The Boss
10. Dog Your Woman - Peggy & The Cimarons
11. False Niah - Barry & The Affections
12. Put It Down, Children - The Melodians
13. Cabbage Leaf - Val Bennett & The J.J. All Stars
14. Skankey Baby - Niney
15. Groove Me, Parts 1 & 2 - Dave Barker & The Upsetters
16. Jumping Jack - Rad Bryan
17. Miss Labba Labba - The Twinkle Brothers
18. Iggy Iggy - Lord Comic & The Aquarians
19. Hot Stick Version - Phillip Samuel & Keith Hudson
20. International Scout - Bingy Bunny & Bongo Les
21. Heartaches - Annetta Jackson & Bobby Stephen
22. Arise Selassie I Arise - Freddie McKay
23. Expression In Dub - Joe White
24. Got To Get Away - Ken Boothe
25. Come Closer My Love - The Viceroys
Disc: 4
1. Every Little Thing I Do - Carlton Brown
2. I Am Losing You (aka I Can't Understand) - Austin Faithful
3. Chicken Lickin' (aka Night Fall) - Lloyd Charmers & The Hippy Boys
4. Black Panther - Sir Collins & The Black Diamonds
5. Bongo Jah - The Immortals
6. Tighten Up Your Guard (aka Run To The Rocks) - Keith & Tex
7. Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday - Winston Francis & The Rudies
8. She Caught The Train / Tony B's Theme - Roy Martell & Joe's All Stars
9. Shocks Of A Drugs Man - Hot Rod All Stars
10. See Me - Earl Lawrence
11. Rocking Chariot (aka Get Ready) - Tommy McCook & Randy's All Stars
12. Love For Everyone - The Viceroys with Hubcap & The Wheels
13. Music Alone Shall Live - The Medetators
14. The Same Old Life - Roy Panton
15. Right Track - Boy Friday with Ewan & Jerry
16. Sir Collins' Special - Lester Sterling & Collins All Stars
17. Freedom Train - Brent Dowe
18. Come On - The Cables
19. Be My Guest - Billy Dyce
20. Mash Up - The Mighty Diamonds
21. High School Dance - Hubert Lee
22. Youth Of Today - The Coolers
23. Doctor Honey/Honey Dub - Norris Weir
24. World Class - Jah Lloyd
25. I'm Still In Love (With You Boy)/Lover Boy - Marcia Aitken & The Mighty Two
Disc: 5
1. Where Did The Russians Go - Val Bennett & The Carib-Beats
2. Lick It Back - Winston Samuels
3. Death Rides A Horse - The Hippy Boys
4. Stagger Lee - Anonymously Yours
5. Walking Trouble - Hugh Hendricks & The Buccaneers
6. Dread It - Ska Campbell
7. Another Day Is Dawning (aka There Is A Hope Somewhere) - Earl Lawrence
8. What Does It Take - The Dynamites
9. I'm Not A King - Al Barry & The Aces
10. Double Or Nothing - Ansel Collins
11. Double Barrel Man - Dandy
12. Ain't Too Proud To Beg - Slim Smith & The Rudies
13. O Lord - Winston Wright
14. This Feeling I Can't Hide (aka My Love) - Dave Barker
15. I Can Win - Bob Andy
16. Black African Woman - Flick Wilson
17. Mama - Nora Dean
18. Rolling Stone - Tommy Shakespeare
19. My Love - Marcia Griffiths
20. Natty In Hong Kong - The Soul Syndicate
21. I'll Be Strong - Eric Morris
22. I Shot The Sheriff - The Gladstone Band
23. Sky At Night - Candy McKenzie
(Finally, the downloads - Available once registered)
1. Suzie Wong - Keeling Beckford
2. I Really Like It - The Jamaica Jubilee Stompers
3. Amapola - The Islanders
4. Wreck It Up Version - The J.J. All Stars
5. Wide A Wake In A Dream - Al Barry
6. (To Be) Young, Gifted & Black - The Harry J All Stars With The Johnny Arthey Orchestra
7. Pardon - George Dekker
8. The Exit - Leslie Butler
9. Who Knows I Love You - Dimple Hinds & The Marvels
10. Album Of My Life - Nora Dean & Dansak
11. Linda - Rudolph Mowatt
12. My Twenty Eight - Thunderball
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on 22 September 2011
When I pre-ordered this I was expecting a CD size collection much like the remastered Madness CDs or the legacy style editions of certain bands. What I didnt expect was this fantastic well packaged, unique presentation which has taken pride of place among my CD collection. If your hardcore Trojan fan or just a dabbler in the finest reggae Im sure you will be satisfied. This is a decent size box set made to look retro and old, It contains a large volume of some of the most choice cuts of Trojan music spanning the years along with a very interesting booklet with a forward by Rhoda Dakar, a Trojan sticker, some advertising cards, and a all in all a brilliant package that is well well well worth the money. All 5 discs have 25 songs bar one which has 23.....If you join the Trojan Appreciation Society and confirm the purchase you even get a decent amount of freebie songs to download also. So if you've not got it yet I couldn't big it up enough. Dont miss out on a fine piece of kit.
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UK released 29 August 2011 - "The Story Of Trojan Records" is a Book-Sized Box Set on Universal UMC/Sanctuary 2775354 (Barcode 602527753546) containing 123 tracks across 5 discs. 87 are new to CD and you can also use CD1 in your PC or MAC to register the set after purchase thereby entitling you to a further 12 tracks exclusive to download. This fabulous Box Set has been compiled by people with knowledge and a passion for their chosen brand of rhythmic poison - REGGAE. It breaks down as follows (all tracks are UK 7" singles unless otherwise noted)...

Disc 1: "25 Big Ones - UK Hits"
(Red & White Trojan Records CD Label, 25 from 1969 to 1974, 74:56 minutes)
1. The Return Of Django - THE UPSETTERS (January 169, Upsetter US-301)
2. Red Red Wine - TONY TRIBE (April 1969, Down Town DT-419)
3. Longshot Kick De Bucket - THE PIONEERS (August 1969, Trojan TR-672)
4. Liquidator - HARRY J ALL STARS (August 1969, Trojan TR-675)
5. Elizabethan Reggae - BORIS GARDNER & THE LOVE PEOPLE (September 1969, Treasure Isle TI-1205/Duke DU-39)
6. Wonderful World, Beautiful People - JIMMY CLIFF October 1969, Trojan TR-690)
7. Sweet Sensation - THE MELODIANS (December 1969, Trojan TR-695)
8. (To Be) Young, Gifted & Black - BOB & MARCIA (February 1970, Harry J HJ-6605)
9. Monkey Man - THE MAYTALS (February 1970, Trojan TR-7711)
10. Love Of The Common People - NICKY THOMAS (May 1970, Trojan TR-7750)
11. You Can Get It If You Really Want It - DESMOND DECKER (August 1970,Trojan TR-7777)
12. Double Barrel - DAVE & ANSEL COLLINS (August 1970, Techniques TE-901)
13. Black Pearl - HORACE FAITH (September 1970, Trojan TR-7790)
14. Rain - BRUCE RUFFIN (April 1971, Trojan TR-7814)
15. Pied Piper - BOB & MARCIA (May 1971, Trojan TR-7818)
16. Black And White - GREYHOUND (May 1971, Trojan TR-7820)
17. Monkey Spanner - DAVE & ANSEL COLLINS (June 1971, Techniques TE-914)
18. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah - THE PIONEERS (July 1971, Trojan TR-7825)
19. Moon River - GREYHOUND (December 1971, Trojan TR-7848)
20. Suzanne Beware Of The Devil - DANDY LIVINGSTONE (August 1972, Horse HOSS-16)
21. Big Seven - JUDGE DREAD (November 1972, Big Shot BI-613)
22. Everything I Own - KEN BOOTHE (May 1974, Trojan TR-7920)
23. Help Me Make It Through The Night - JOHN HOLT (December 1974, Trojan TR 7909 (Single) and January 1975 LP "1000 Volts Of Holt" on Trojan TRLS 75)
24. Crying Over You - KEN BOOTHE (December 1974, Trojan TR-7944)
25. Skinhead Moonstomp - SYMARIP (October 1969, Treasure Isle TI-7050)

Disc 2: "Reggae Greats - The Artists"
(Pale Blue Trojan Records CD Label, 25 from 1967 to 1980, 79:44 minutes)
1. Stir It up - BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS (November 1968, Trojan TR 617A)
2. Sentimental Reasons (Alternate Take, Recorded 1968) - DESMOND DEKKER & THE ACES
3. You Didn't Answer - THE ETHOPIANS - (Recorded 1968 - see NOTES)
4. Watermelon (Alternate Take, Recorded 1968) - THE MAYTALS
5. Me Want Man - MAX ROMEO (May 1969, Blue Cat BS-161)
6. Together - DELROY WILSON (November 1970, Randy's RAN-506)
7. Sha La La I Need You (Jamaica Mix, Recorded 1970) - THE PIONEERS
8. A Little Loving - ALTON ELLIS (February 1971, Smash SMA-2319)
9. Take Me - BOB & MARCIA - (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES
10. How Do You Do It - JACKIE EDWARDS & DEL DAVIS - (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
11. A Little Bit Of Soap - JIMMY CLIFF (Recorded 1971 - See NOTES)
12. Stars - LLOYD PARKS & DENNIS ALCAPONE (April 1972, Randy's RAN-524)
13. French Connection - LEE PERRY & THE UPSETTERS (June 1972, Upsetter US-385)
14. Meet Me At The Corner - DENNIS BROWN (July 1972, Randy's RAN-528)
15. Black Heart - U ROY (Recorded 1972 - see NOTES)
16. Soul Sister - THE HEPTONES (February 1973, Smash SMA-2328A)
17. Pity The Children - CORNEL CAMPBELL & THE ETERNALS (March 1973, Jackpot JP-809)
18. Now You Can See Me Again - KEN BOOTHE (December 1974, Trojan TR-7944)
19. On The Beach - OWEN GRAY (May 1975, Horse HOSS-87)
20. Natty No Jester - BIG YOUTH (May 1975, Action ACT-101)
21. Fly Little Silver Bird - GREGORY ISAACS (July 1975, Attack ATT-8106)
22. Behold! - DERRICK MORGAN & JOHNNY CLARKE (August 1975, Horse HOSS-104A)
23. Got To Get You (aka I'm In Love)- HORACE ANDY (Recorded 1975 - see NOTES)
24. The Great Pablo - AUGUSTUS PABLO (February 1976, Attack ATT-8122)
25. Lovely Woman - JOHN HOLT (January 1980, Attack TACK-16)
NOTES: Tracks 2-4, 7, 9-11 and 23 are Previously Unreleased; 15 Previously Unreleased in the UK

Disc 3: "The Big Shots - The Producers"
(Orange & Yellow Big Shot Records CD Lbl, 25 from 1969 to 1981, 79:50 minutes)
1. Bumble Bee - IKE BENNETT & THE CRYSTALITES (January 1969, Big Shot BI-505)
2. Have You Time - TREVOR & THE MAYTONES (February 1969, Blue Cat BS-153)
3. I Am Getting Old - THE LYRICS (Recorded 1969 - see NOTES)
4. Mannix (B'wa Nina) - THE RHYTHM RULERS (June 1969, on the LP "Tighten Up, Volume 2" by Various Artists on Trojan TTL 7 - later reissued in 1973 on Trojan TBL-132)
5. (If It Don't Work Out) Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - GENE RONDO (June 1969, Down Town DT-431)
6. Last Laugh - THE JOKERS (August 1969, Duke DU-36)
7. Apollo 11 - THE HIPPY BOYS (November 1969, Amalgamated AMG-846)
8. Better Herring - THE PIONEERS (January 1970, Attack ATT-8011)
9. Tea House From Emperor Roscoe - DICE THE BOSS (May 1970, Joe JRS-3)
10. Dog Your Woman - PEGGY & THE CIMARONS (June 1970, Hot Rod HR-107)
11. False Niah - BARRY & THE AFFECTIONS (June 1970, on the LP "Herbsman Reggae" by Various Artists on Trojan TBL-124)
12. Put It Down, Children - THE MELODIANS (Recorded 1970 - see NOTES
13. Cabbage Leaf - VAL BENNETT & THE J.J. ALL STARS (November 1970, Duke DU-94)
14. Skankey Baby - NINEY (December 1970, Smash SMA-2304)
15. Groove Me, Parts 1 & 2 - DAVE BARKER & THE UPSETTERS (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
16. Jumping Back - RED BRYAN (April 1971, Techniques TE-909)
17. Miss Labba Labba - THE TWINKLE BROTHERS (October 1971, Green Door GD-4007)
18. Iggy Iggy - LORD COMIC & THE AQUARIANS (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
19. Hot Stick Version - PHILLIP SAMUEL & KEITH HUDSON (June 1972, Green Door GD-4034)
20. International Scout - BINGY BUNNY & BONGO LES (July 1973, Ackee ACK-506)
21. Heartaches - ANNETTA JACKSON & BOBBY STEPHEN (April 1974. Attack ATT-8067)
22. Arise Selassie I Arise - FREDDIE McKAY (December 1974, Attack ATT-8085)
23. Expression In Dub - JOE WHITE (April 1975, on the LP "Ja Gan" by LESLIS BUTLER (actually Joe White) on Trojan TRLS 112)
24. Got To Get Away - KEN BOOTHE (October 1978, on the LP "Who Gets Your Love" on Trojan TRLS 164)
25. Come Closer My Love - THE VICEROYS (March 1981, on the LP "We Must Unite" on Trojan TRLS 208)
NOTES: Tracks 3 and 18 are Previously Unreleased in the UK, 12 is Previously Unreleased, 15 is a Previously Unreleased Extended Version

Disc 4: "A To Z Of Trojan - The Labels"
(Red & Yellow Attack Records CD Label, 25 from 1968 to 1977, 78:25 minutes)
1. Every Little Thing I Do - CARLTON BROWN (December 1968, on the LP "Once More" by Various Artists on Big Shot BLIP 4001)
2. I Am Losing You (aka I Can't Understand) - AUSTIN FAITHFUL (December 1969, Blue Cat BS-140)
3. Chicken Lickin' (aka Night Fall) - LLOYD CHALMERS & THE HIPPY BOYS (October 1969, High Note HS-030)
4. Black Panther - SIR COLLINS & THE BLACK DIAMONDS (October 1969, Duke DU-64A)
5. Bongo Jah - THE IMMORTALS (November 1969, Amalgamated AMG-851)
6. Tighten Up Your Guard (aka Run To The Rocks) - KEITH & TEX (January 1970, Explosion EX-2008)
7. Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday-Day - WINSTON FRANCIS & THE RUDIES (January 1970, Grape GR-3010)
8. She Caught The Train/Tony B's Theme - ROY MATRELL & JOE'S ALL STARS (May 1970.Joe's JRS-3 & Joes JRS-9)
9. Shocks Of A Drugs Man - THE HOT ROD ALL STARS (July 1970, Hot Rod HR-108)
10. See Me - EARL LAWRENCE (June 1970, Clandisc CLA-215)
11. Rocking Chariot (aka Get Ready) TOMMY McCOOK & RANDY'S ALL STARS
12. Love For Everyone - THE VICEROYS with HUBCAPS & THE WHEELS (November 1970, Dynamic DYB-402)
13. Music Alone Shall Live - THE MEDIATORS (November 1970, Big BG-305)
14. The Same Old Life - ROY PANTON (November 1970, Harry J HJ-6624)
15. Right Track - BOY FRIDAY with EWAN and JERRY (February 1971, Down Town DT-471)
16. Sir Collins' Special - LESTER STERLING & COLLINS ALL STARS (March 1971, Smash SMA-2321)
17. Freedom Train - BRENT DOWE (November 1971, Summit SUM-8530)
18. Come On - THE CABLES (March 1972, Jackpot JP-787)
19. Be My Guest - BILLY DYCE (April 1972, G.G. GG-4532)
20. Mash Up - THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS (August 1972, Song Bird SB-1097A)
21. High School Dance - HUBERT LEE (February 1973, Green Door GD-4050)
22. Youth Of Today - THE COOLER (February 1973, Bread BR-1112)
23. Doctor Honey - NORRIS WEIR (April 1975, Horse HOSS-81)
24. World Class - JAH LLOYD (January 1976, Attack ATT-8121)
25. I'm Still In Love (With You Boy)/Lover Boy - MARCIA AITKEN & THE MIGHTY TWO (September 1977, Lightning LIGS-102)

Disc 5: "Unreleased Gems, Rarities & Oddities"
(Blue & Yellow Blue Cat Records CD Label, 23 from 1969 to 1975, 73:57 minutes)
1. Where Did The Russians Go -VAL BENNETT & THE CARIB-BEATS - (Recorded 1968 - see NOTES)
2. Lick It Back - WINSTON SAMUELS (1969, Trojan THB-7002)
3. Death Rides A Horse - THE HIPPY BOYS (Recorded 1969 - see NOTES)
4. Stagger Lee - ANOYMOUSLY YOURS (Recorded 1969 - see NOTES)
5. Walking Trouble - HUGH HENDRICKS & THE BUCCANEERS (Recorded 1969 - see NOTES)
6. Dread It - SKA CAMPBELL (Recorded 1969 - see NOTES)
7. Another Day Is Dawning (aka There Is Hope Somewhere) - EARL LAWRENCE (Recorded 1970 - see NOTES)
8. What Does It Take - THE DYNAMITES (Recorded 1970 - see NOTES)
9. I'm Not A King - AL BARRY & THE ACES (Recorded 1970 - see NOTES)
10. Double Or Nothing - ANSEL COLLINS (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
11. Double Barrel Man - DANDY (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
12. Ain't To Proud To Be (Live) - SLIM SMITH & THE RUDIES (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
13. O Lord (Take 2) - WINSTON WRIGHT (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
14. This feeling I Can't Hide (aka My Love) - DAVE BARKER (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
15. I Can Win - BOB ANDY (Recorded 1971 - see NOTES)
16. Black African Woman - FLICK WILSON (Recorded 1973 - see NOTES)
17. Mama - NORA DEAN (Recorded 1973 - see NOTES)
18. Rolling Stone - TOMMY SHAKESPEARE (Recorded 1975 - see NOTES)
19. My Love - MARCIA GRIFFITHS (Recorded 1975 - see NOTES)
20. Natty In Hong Kong - THE SOUL SYNDICATE (Recorded 1975 - see NOTES)
21. I'll Be Strong - ERC `MONTY' MORRIS SYNDICATE (Recorded 1975 - see NOTES)
22. I Shot The Sheriff - THE GLADSTONE BAND SYNDICATE (Recorded 1975 - see NOTES)
23. Sky At Night - CANDY McKENZIE SYNDICATE (Recorded 1977 - see NOTES)
NOTES: Tracks 1, 3-7, 10, 16 and 18-22 are Previously Unreleased in the UK; tracks 8-9, 11-15, 17 and 23 are Previously Unreleased

On the inside - each fully loaded CD is housed in a card sleeve with a different Trojan Records logo on the front to reflect the period - while the discs themselves also go into Trojan associated labels (as described above). The 50-page booklet contains extensive liner notes by set compiler and Reggae expert LAURENCE CANE-HONEYSETT (Author of "Young Gifted & Black - The Story Of Trojan Records" - see separate review) with the text peppered by period photos, album covers, trade reviews etc. There are also 4 full-length double-sided colour reproduction postcards featuring adverts for Trojan LPs and 45's, best-seller 7" single charts from the period, gig flyers etc. Visually the cards are probably the best things in here - they're really pretty and hugely evocative of the late Sixties and early Seventies. There's also a small Trojan Window Sticker and even the shaped-well that houses the card sleeves in the base of the box is a repro of a May 1970 Magnetic Tape Box. It's very nicely done indeed. JARED HAWKES did the tape transfers and the remastering was carried out at Tim Debney and Nick Watson's FLUID MASTERING in London.

First up is the look of the set - if you look closely at the photos provided above, you will notice a slight smudging on the white and yellow Trojan logo on the front box - with the same effect carried over to the front page of the booklet. It looks like it's dirtied - smudged with fingerprints and toner ink. I don't know what bright spark thought this was a good idea because it isn't. One of our customers who bought the box on the day of release brought it back to the store where he bought it from complaining bitterly that it was 'stained'. When it was pointed out to him that this 'old tape box' look was deliberate - he still didn't want it! Hardly the effect the makers of this set would want. It may seem like a small pedantic point, but when you actually see the box - it just looks like it needs a good wash (every page in the booklet is back-grounded with the same). It's a shame, because I wouldn't want any person put off the real deal here - the actual content and the huge improvement in sound achieved...

A word on the sound first - everybody knows that Reggae and Ska from the late Sixties and early Seventies was recorded in a bucket with a hole at the bottom - it's always lo-fi and that's part of its charm actually. But to my ears there's a big improvement on here to what went before. I've reviewed 4 of Sanctuary's DELUXE EDITIONS for Trojan Records - Tighten Up Vol.1 & 2, John Holt and Symarip - and somehow the sound achieved here trumps them all - as if someone made a concerted effort to get as many real tapes as possible. And even on the unreleased stuff like "You Didn't Answer" by Desmond Dekker on Disc 2 or the superb "Double Barrel Man" by Dandy (a version of "Double Barrel") on Disc 5 - it's still excellent. This is not Audiophile but it is Audiogold...

Content - while people will love the improved sound of the hits on Disc 1 (Greyhound's "Black And White" still has a message that resonates to this day - lyrics above), I personally like everything on Disc 4 where the set stretches out to Trojan associated labels and their rare 45's. Stuff like "Chicken Lickin'" by Lloyd Charmers on High Note or the lovely Ska of "Freedom Train" by Brent Dowe on Summit. "Rolling Stone" by Tommy Shakespeare on Disc 5 has been a hard-to-find 45 too (a Jamaican import I believe) - and it sounds great here. The Producers set (Disc 3) has gems on it like "Put It Down, Children" by The Melodians produced by the legendary Leslie Kong in 1970 and unreleased until now. In fact most of it is an embarrassment of riches...

To sum up - with its huge haul of unreleased and first-time-on-CD goodies, this superb box set (despite reservations about how it looks) is clearly aimed at diehard collectors and is not for the faint hearted who would probably find a ten spot spent on the Deluxe Edition of "Tighten Up" will suffice. But if you're prepared to dig a bit deeper and fork out the bit extra - then "The Story Of Trojan Records" will pay dividends for years to come.

As Bob Marley said "...Stir it up little darling..." and he was right...
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on 9 September 2012
Trojan Records is a name synonymous with the heyday of reggae and this box set does not disappoint. The first CD contains most of the big hits, which were often doctored for English ears, but remain as fresh sounding as when they were released. It is the rest of the discs that are most pleasing with lots of gorgeous music to be discovered or remembered. I particularly like the irritatingly catchy Bumble Bee by Ike Bennett and the Crystalites.

It is only when you reach the 'rarely found' CD that standards drop. The vaults seem to have been trawled for items that should perhaps have remained there!

The accompanying booklet traces the history of Trojan Records with loving care and it is interesting that musicians were beholden to the label for their records to be released. There has been some criticism that Judge Dread has been included in this set but he was a Trojan van driver and unquestionably part of The Story of Trojan Records.

There are so many Trojan CDs that it is difficult to choose between them but this set can be strongly recommended
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on 16 January 2012
This is an amazing compilation of music and a great gift for ska lovers and those who are just getting into the scene. the 1st disc contains lots of UK hits and the other discs go much more in depth. a great collection and amazing value for money!
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on 16 April 2013
so says my son in law i bought it for, though it was worth passing on that the design of the cover looks as though it's damaged but in fact it's part of the design meant to look retro---- see the info on the description.
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on 7 February 2013
God where do I start with this box set, this is the best Trojan box set I've ever got, I have over 40 so I think im fair to say that.its just pure quality, there isn't one bad track on it, some have never been released on cd before, I've got it on now as I'm writing this reveiw, it's mind blowing, I don't think it can be beaten, I paid 26 quid for this, free postage , next day delivery.. Any Trojan fan must own this.please don't ponder this,just go and buy it,don't be long as once their gone you will have trouble getting them
This will become one of Trojans best sellers,it's a must have.good luck.enjoy
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on 13 June 2012
Where do i start ?. Let me think...hanging out with some proto-mods and lapsed suedeheads in the late sixties listening to some incredible music - on 7" vinyl after school . Desmond Decker was the king and rasta wasnt on the scene - just rock steady and ska enjoyed with a good mix of people - some kids whos parents came from Jamaica - the big sounds came from Trojan / Island and it was good. These tracks bring it all back - not one dud one ( except maybe Judge Dread ) hugely and highly recommended.
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