Duke Reid's Rocksteady ~ Trojan Fanclub
June 30, 2007

Track list
Disc 1
  1. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Rock Steady
  2. The Techniques - You Don't Care
  3. The Three Tops - It's Raining
  4. The Jamaicans - The Things You Say You Love
  5. The Techniques - Oh Babe
  6. Tommy McCook & Lester Sterling - Inez
  7. The Techniques - Out Of Many One
  8. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Carry Go Bring Come (Rocksteady)
  9. Phyllis Dillon - Perfida
  10. The Techniques - Day O
  11. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Girl I've Got A Date
  12. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Train To The Ska-thedral
  13. Phyllis Dillon - Don't Stay Away
  14. Tommy McCook & Lynn Taitt - The Yellow Basket
  15. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Here I Stand
  16. Gloria Crawford - Sad Movies
  17. Tommy McCook & Supersonics - Indian Love Call
  18. Tony & Dennis - Folk Song
  19. The Paragons - Happy Go Lucky Girl
  20. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Cry Tough
  21. The Paragons - On The Beach
  22. The Paragons - The Tide Is High
  23. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Save A Bread
  24. The Paragons - The Tide Is High
  25. The Three Tops - You Should've Known Better
  26. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - On A Saturday Night
  27. The Three Tops - Do It Right
  28. The Moving Brothers - Darling I Love You
  29. The Paragons - I've Got A Pain
Disc 2
  1. The Treasure Isle Boys - Judge Sympathy
  2. The Jamaicans - Dedicate My Song To You
  3. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Why Birds Follow Spring
  4. Dawn Penn - Why Do You Lie
  5. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Duke Of Earl
  6. The Paragons - Only A Smile
  7. The Melodians - I Will Get Along Without You
  8. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Fight Too Much
  9. The Melodians - You Don't Need Me
  10. The Techniques - Queen Majesty
  11. The Melodians - You Have Caught Me
  12. The Paragons - The Same Song
  13. Dobby Dobson - Trouble Jim
  14. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Soul Serenade
  15. Phyllis Dillon - It's Rocking Time
  16. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Ain't That Loving You
  17. The Three Tops - The Sound Of Music
  18. The Paragons - Wear You To The Ball
  19. The Jamaicans - Baba Boom
  20. Freddie McKay - Love Is A Treasure
  21. The Silvertones - Cool Down
  22. Vic Taylor - Heartaches
  23. The Paragons - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
  24. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Real Cool
  25. Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Once A Man
  26. Dobby Dobson - Loving Pauper
  27. The Melodians - Last Train To Expo '67
  28. The Melodians - Last Train To Ecstacy
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
The selection presented here is impressive -- and with over fifty tracks to choose from, it covers a diversity of styles, from doo wop influenced grooves, to 50's r n' b Etta James/Johnny Guitar Watson styles, onto Bluebeat, Rock Steady and very early embryonic roots sounds.

The other interesting point for roots Rockers lovers, is how many of these bass lines later reappeared in the dub era -- The Techniques "You Don't Care" appeared as one of the dub tracks on Big Youth's "Dreadlocks Dread", whilst The Three Tops' "It's Raining" was later re interpreted by King Tubby as the cavernous "King Tubby At The Controls" (See Pressure Sounds, "Sounds And Pressure Volume Three"). The profound, dark loneliness of The Jamaicans' "Things You Said You Love" was also later versioned to huge effect with wild dub effects on one of U Roy's late 70's Front Line albums.

Listening to these grooves, the dub lover will keep on recognising vocal melodies and bass lines from many much later 70's Rocker's records, and even from some dancehall records from the 80's and 90's. Duke Reid's label clearly provided many a later reggae style with vibes to be reworked.

Another pleasurable surprise here is the addition of Tommy McCook's early work -- much of his later work sounded as if it was influenced by Pharaoh Sanders, Coltrane, Ornette Coleman et al (albeit with in a far more disciplined,tight framework) whilst these Duke Reid productions display a consciousness of more conventional Charlie Parker and earlier 1930's jazz styles.

The Techniques "Out Of Many" features a conscious lyric -- be a peaceful, calm, reflective spirit -- but never humble yourself in the face of unbalanced oppression and bullying aggression.

Phylis Dillon chants her melodramatic, eerie torch song "Perfidia", a cover of a popular Mexican song from the 1930's, as well as the melancholy "Don't Stay Away."

CD 2 is perhaps not as varied and as consistently impressive as the first side, but nonetheless, offers a very good selection of early ska styles, with thunderous bass mastering, and, in the final analysis, is redeemed by the inclusion of further beautiful Tommy McCook blasts.