Serious reggae listeners argue a lot about these Trojan albums, especially in regards to the sheer amount of times new label bosses Sanctuary release the same songs on different compilations -- but surely these are minor and relatively insignificant objections when one considers the value for money and the enduring quality of the music on these albums.
(A possible objection to this otherwise comprehensive and worthy compilation is that "Six and Seven Books of Moses" and the Maytals Rasta/Rockers late 70's interpretation of "Bam Bam" are -- sadly-- excluded.)
"When I Laugh" will be a minor revelation for Delta blues fans, with it's distinctly Robert Johnson blues vocal style and brass section reminiscent of The Dirty Dozen New Orleans octet.
"My New Name" -- like "Six and Seven Books" -- has a Cajun abandon to the vocal and rhythm.
The version of "Bam Bam" on CD 1 is the mid 60's cut, not the later confident, confessional Rasta meditation which appeared on the Island anthology. (It is worth noting that Chaka Demus and Pliers also released their own digital interpretation of this tune on the same backing track as "Murder She Wrote.")
"Bim Today" has a thudding b line reminiscent of Junior Delgado's "Tichion." "Scare Him" has a full speed and reckless Rockers rimshot snare pattern.
Cd 2 moves -- from jazz influenced bluebeat and ska -- into Toot's distinctive soulful reggae incarnation .
"It's You" on this 2nd cd gets the reggae treatment over a slower b line, contrasting with the earlier frantic ska interpretation. "Time Tough" is a stand out track here, with its fearful, yet stoic lyric about the struggle of life.