Jah Love Rockers
Trojan Records
2 CD
December 1, 2003

Track list

Disc 1.
  1. The Heptones - Through The Fire I Come (Extended Mix)
  2. The Son Of Selassie - I Man A African
  3. The Observer All Stars - African Language
  4. The Jewells - Jah I (Extended Mix)
  5. Dennis Brown & The Ranking Buckers - Tenement Yard / Kill Landlord (Extended Mix)
  6. Don Carlos - Can't Waste Time
  7. The Observer All Stars - Time Version
  8. Leroy Smart - We Want To Go Home
  9. Johnny Clarke - African Roots
  10. Dillinger - Natty Dread Have The African Roots
  11. Ronnie Davis - Jah Jah Jehoviah
  12. King Tubby & The Aggrovators - Jah Jah Version
  13. Barry Brown - No Wicked Shall Enter (Extended Mix)
  14. Tabby & The Heptones - Red Hot
  15. Leroy Smart & I Roy - Jah Is My Light / Wicked Eat Dirt - Medley (Extended Mix)
Disc 2.
  1. Johnny Clarke - Blood Dunza
  2. Johnny Clarke & The Aggrovators - Blood Version
  3. Horace Andy & The Sticks - Zion Gate (Extended Mix)
  4. Leroy Smart - Let Your Heart Be Pure
  5. Knowledge - Fools And Their Money (Extended Mix)
  6. The Rockstones - Oh Jah Man
  7. Junior Delgado - The Raiders (Extended Mix)
  8. Horace Andy & Ranking Buckers - Them Never Tell I
  9. Johnny Clarke & U Roy - Every Knee Shall Bow (Extended Mix)
  10. Dennis Brown - Tribulation
  11. Cornell Campbell - Follow Instructions
  12. Reggae George - Trodding Along
  13. Tyrone Taylor - Sufferation (Extended Mix)
  14. Horace Andy & Headly Bennett- This Must Be hell (Extended Mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
Since Sanctuary Records Group took over Trojan Records the quality of releases have increased. Their compilation set, the beautifully packaged double cd "Jah Love Rockers", subtitled "Revolutionary Sounds From The Rockers & Steppers Era" brings together 29 crucial tracks drawn from Trojan's archives. The collection not only highlights these two popular styles of reggae music, but also highlights the growing influence of Rastafarianism upon Jamaican music and society as a whole. The project is compiled and annotated by reggae journalist, Michael De Koningh, and follows in the wake of the highly acclaimed "Arise Rootsman" set.

The double cd offers a well varied selection of well known songs and rare outings from that fertile period of Jamaican music. No rockers collection would be complete without Johnny Clarke tunes. He had his best spell with producer Bunny Lee, putting out some deadly tunes aimed at the roots market. Check out the excellent African Roots track, followed by the deejay version by Clint Eastwood. More fire on Blood Dunza and the accompanying masterfully King Tubby dub. Every Knee Shall Bow sees Johnny in steppas' style, complete with a deejay cut from master wordsmith U Roy. Leroy Smart's Jah Is My Light is a fearsome menacing re-cut of the Abyssinians' classic "Satta Massagana" and highlights deejay I Roy at his articulate best on part 2 called Wicked Eat Dirt. The same artist brings Let Your Heart Be Pure, where he's updating another Abyssinians classic "Decleration Of Rights" in a righteous style.

Well known vocal masters, the Heptones retuned their sweet sound to rasta, and here you'll find a nice example of their style, the highly sought after song Through The Fire. It was produced by Niney The Observer as a 12" single and comes complete with a mesmerising dub. Horace Andy takes the jazzy "Take Five" and the result is a plaintive song called This Must Be Hell which is featured here in an extended 12" mix style, bringing in Deadly Headly Bennett to fade us out with the jazz original. A name to appear in that period was Reggae George, whose Trodding Along bears more than a slight resemblance to Burning Spear's "Slavery Days" from four years earlier. Great tune!

Ronnie Davis, a member of the Itals, recorded some memorable solo roots reggae tunes, and none more heartfelt than Jah Jah Jehoviah. The basic riddim track was used some two years earlier previously by deejay Dennis Alcapone for his boxing anthem "Cassius Clay", the original being the Studio One classic "Drum Song". The five man vocal group Knowledge dropped in on the deejay/producer Tappa Zukie one day and realising their potential he cut a fine album with the group. The track selected for this compilation Fools And Their Money comes inna extended mix and is taken from a Jamaican Stars 12" single. In the 80's Tyrone Taylor crossed over with "Cottage In Negril" into the mainstream and his sparse Sufferation is many miles away from the sunset-bathed cottage he was later to call to mind.

What can we say......"Jah Love Rockers" is a more than excellent collection of rockers and steppers sides.