Various artists album review
Trojan Rare Groove Box Set ~ Limited Edition
Triple CD box set
17 - 08 - 1999

Tracking list

    Disc 1 ~ 1968 - 1970
  1. Pioneers - Some Having A Bawl
  2. Crystallites - Slippery
  3. Stranger Cole - Help Wanted
  4. Rolando Alphonso - Lover Boy
  5. Sir Harry & Ansel Collins - Bigger Boss
  6. Carlton Alphonso - Belittle Me
  7. Owen Gray - Reggae Dance
  8. Roy Shirley - I Like Your Smile
  9. Andy Capp - Poppy Show (Part 2)
  10. Rolando Alphonso - Music House
  11. Winston Williams - Sweet Like Candy
  12. Chuck Jnr. - Do It Madly
  13. Betty Sinclaire - Why Why Why
  14. Dice The Boss - Teahouse From Emperor Rosko
  15. Junior Soul - Jennifer
  16. Jay Boys - Tilly
  17. The Corporation - Sweet Musille
   Disc 2 ~ 1970 - 1972
  1. Herman - Love Brother
  2. Jamaicans - Love Uprising
  3. Winston Heywood - Never Fall In Love
  4. The Jet Scene - Jet 747 (Version 4)
  5. Ken Parker - Genuine Love
  6. Ansel Collins - Nuclear Weapon
  7. Herman - Uganda
  8. The Linkers - Bongo Man
  9. Audrey Rollins - Repatriation
  10. Hugh Roy Junior - Repatriation Version
  11. Bongo Herman, Les & Bunny - Chairman Of The Board
  12. Love Generation - Medicine Man
  13. Horace Andy - Feel Good
  14. King Smiley - Tipatone
  15. Bongo Herman - African Breakfast
  16. Keith Hudson - True True To My Heart
    Disc 3 ~ 1973
  1. Earl Flute & Horace Andy - Peter And Judas
  2. Jerry Lewis - Rhythm Pleasure
  3. Aggrovators - Dr. Seaton
  4. I Roy - High Jacking
  5. Simplicity People - The Murderer
  6. K.C. White - Anywhere But Nowhere
  7. Simplicity People - Nowhere
  8. Augustus Pablo - Cowtown Skank Version 2
  9. I Roy - Clappers Tail
  10. Eternals - Pity The Children
  11. Delroy Wilson - Trying To Wreck My Life
  12. Cornell Campbell - Girl Of My Dreams
  13. Bongo Herman & Bingy Bunny - Ration
  14. I Roy - Great Great Great
  15. Rupie Edwards All Stars - Great Great Great Version
  16. Keith Hudson - Melody Maker
  17. Big Youth - Can You Keep A Secret
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 3/4

With "Trojan Rare Groove Box Set" Trojan Records adds a new title to their anticipated series of "Limited Edition" box sets. The term "rare groove" makes one normally think of Soul Music, but also in Reggae music there are enough records which can be regarded as "rare". In Trojan's back catalogue alone one can find hundreds of extremely hard to find and, by now, very expensive singles from the sixties and seventies. This compilation set draws on no less than 22 of Trojan's original subsidiary labels - of which there were more than fifty - to collect 50 of these rarities, ranging from Rocksteady to Reggae.
The first disc opens with a classic rude boy tune from the Pioneers, originally released in the UK on the "Blue Cat" label. Sir Harry & Ansel Collins' "Bigger Boss" is a rare cut to the "Everything Crash" riddim, whilst Andy Capp's tune "Poppy Show" is a further take on Derrick Morgan's "Fat Man" riddim. Rolando Alphonso's Music House" happens to be a cut to Pat Kelly's "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye". The same singer's song "How Long Will It Take" is used for "Sweet Like Candy" performed by Winston Williams. "Tea House From Emperor Rosko" by Dice The Boss was released on the "Joe" label and is the next cut to Reco's "The Bullet". Furthermore Disc 1 contains the Jay Boys' instrumental "Tilly", the extremely rare original riddim to Bob Andy's "You Don't Know".
The first 8 tracks on Disc 2 cover the year 1971, whilst the remaining 8 tunes were released in 1972. In this period the basic beat slowed down and new producers like Herman Chin-Loy, Fud Christian, Keith Hudson, Phil Pratt, Lloyd Daley and Winston Riley - all represented on this disc - gained a much wider audience in the UK through licensing deals with Trojan. Ansel Collins' "Nuclear Weapon", released only as a 7" single on "Techniques", is an alternative cut to the smash hit "Double Barrell". Production work by Harry J. includes "Chairman Of The Board" (another cut to "Liquidator") and "African Breakfast" which versions Lorna Bennett's "Breakfast In Bed". Two interesting Joe Gibbs productions are King Smiley's "Tipatone", over a riddim also used by Augustus Clarke for Big Youth's "Tippertone Rock" the same year, and "Medicine Man". The latter features an uncredited Melodica, possibly from Augustus Pablo, over a riddim track that alternates between Nicky Thomas' "If I Had A Hammer" and "Time Is Tight". Horace Andy covers Delroy Wilson's Studio One classic "Feel Good All Over" and Ken Parker delivers the next cut to "Burning Fire" by Joe Higgs. Keith Hudson rounds off with the heavyweight "True True To My Heart", performed over the riddim track also used for the first track of Disc 3 : Earl Flute & Horace Andy's killer tune "Peter And Judas" a.k.a. "Satan's Side".
The final selection features many deejay and version tracks, including a number of cuts that are connected to producer Augustus "Gussie" Clarke and the deejays I Roy and Big Youth, who both recorded an excellent album for the aforementioned producer. "Gussie" Clarke produced K.C. White's "Anywhere But Nowhere" which provided the basis for Big Youth's "Solomon A Gundy" and "Lee A Law". The original vocal appears here, complete for the first time, with the backing track. I Roy's awesome "High Clapping", complemented by its bare riddim track, features the "Skylarking" riddim. Further I Roy contributions are the rare "Clapper's Tail" and "Great Great Great", which he recorded for Rupie Edwards. Bongo Herman & Bingy Bunny's "Ration" is another cut to Dennis Brown's "Money In My Pocket". Finally two more examples of Keith Hudson's work, his own "Melody Maker" and Big Youth's version "Can You Keep A Secret".
This "Trojan Rare Groove Box Set" collects not only "rare grooves", but also quality music from the late sixties and early seventies. Very interesting and well worth checking out !!

Teacher & Mr. T.