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

Tracking list

    Disc 1 ~ 1968 - 1970
  1. The Jivers - Our Love Will Last
  2. Brother Dan All Stars - Eastern Organ
  3. Derrick Morgan - Fat Man
  4. Val Bennett - South Parkway Rock
  5. Silverstars - Old Man Say
  6. Silverstars - Promises
  7. Clancy Eccles - Bangarang Crash
  8. Dynamites - Rahtid
  9. Tyrone Evans - If This World Were Mine
  10. Tyrone Evans - You Done Me Wrong
  11. Beverley's All Stars - Double Shot
  12. Melodians - Banana Water
  13. Derrick Morgan - Copy Cat
  14. Kingstonians - I Need You Tomorrow
  15. Beverley's All Stars - Smoke Screen
  16. Clarendonians - Lick It Back
  17. Beverley's All Stars - Busy Bee
   Disc 2 ~ 1970 - 1973
  1. Ken Boothe - Keep My Love From Fading
  2. Techniques All Stars - Eldora
  3. The Maytals - 54-56 That's My Number
  4. Hot Rod All Stars - Virgin Soldiers
  5. Joe White - I'm Gonna Get There
  6. Rupie Edwards All Stars - Kinky Funky Reggae
  7. Joe White - So Much Love
  8. Beverley's All Stars - Be Yours
  9. The Barons - Darling Please Return
  10. Jackie Edwards - Take Me As I Am
  11. Bruce Ruffin - One Big Happy Family
  12. Jackie Edwards - Come On Girl
  13. Joyce Bond - Help Me Make It Through The Night
  14. Pioneers - You Don't Know Like I Know
  15. Deltones - I'll Take You There
  16. Pioneers - At The Discotheque
    Disc 3 ~ 1973 - 1978
  1. Pat Rhoden - What About You
  2. Cimarons - Check Out Yourself
  3. John Holt - Reggae From The Ghetto
  4. B.B. Seaton & Ken Boothe - Whole World's Down On Me
  5. Teddy Brown - I'm Lonely No More
  6. Tito Simon - Time Is The Master
  7. Derrick Harriott - Being In Love
  8. Freddie McKay - Help Me
  9. Lorna Bennett - Reverend Lee
  10. Ken Boothe - Let Go
  11. Donna Hinds - Run Away Pet
  12. Louisa Marks - Keep It Like It Is
  13. Barry Biggs - Why Must You Cry
  14. Nicky Thomas - Come Back Girl
  15. Honey Boy - Strange Thoughts
  16. Eugene Paul - Pie In The Sky
  17. Ken Boothe - Love Don't Love Nobody
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

"Trojan Singles Box Set" collects 50 out of hundreds of sides that have appeared on the Trojan label, thus providing - as with the other box sets in the series - a good introduction to the company's output. The Trojan label was originally launched in the UK by the B&C/Island partnership, as an outlet for Duke Reid productions. Following B&C's decision to split away from Island, and the latter's decision to withdraw from Jamaican music, a new company called Trojan Records was set up. In 1968 the Trojan label was relaunched, with a batch of UK recordings produced by Robert Thompson a.k.a. Dandy or Brother Dan. Before long, Jamaican produced releases replaced the UK sides, and a string of high quality records hit the shops. Top producers like Duke Reid, Leslie King, Joe Gibbs, Lee Perry, Clancy Eccles and Harry J. saw their production work issued on Trojan and a little over a year since the relaunch, Trojan penetrated the UK singles chart for the first time, scoring hits with discs by the Pioneers, Harry J. All Stars and Jimmy Cliff.
The majority of the tracks on Disc 1 have never been on album or CD before. After two Rock Steady cuts from producer Dandy Derrick Morgan performs his big seller "Fat Man" followed by its horns version fronted by Val Bennett. The next four tracks are produced by Clancy Eccles, including an alternative take on the "Auntie Lulu" riddim entitled "Bangarang Crash". Then Tyrone Evans of the Paragons offers two truly fine classics. "Double Shot" by Beverley's All Stars versions the Pioneers' hit and is the first of several Leslie Kong productions included on this compilation set.
Disc 2 features releases from a time Jamaican music went to a series of subtle changes. Leslie Kong dominated the smoother side of Reggae until his untimely death in 1971. Suddenly being without a producer Desmond Dekker as well as The Pioneers moved to the UK, signed contracts with Trojan and helped to forge a distinctly commercial Pop oriented reggae sound. This particular style proved very popular and provided the label with a number of UK chart hits. However, by the summer of 1973 tastes had changed, and most Reggae fans had turned towards a more rootsier sound. Ken Boothe showcases his typical vocal style in the fine opener, which is followed by the Winston "Techniques" Riley produced instrumental "El Dorado" and the Rock Steady cut to "54-46 Was My Number". Joe White's "I'm Gonna Get There" comes complete with version. "So Much Love" from the same singer was produced by Leslie Kong and marks the gradual change to a more commercial sound, further illustrated by the remaining tracks.
Between 1973 and 1978 there was a noticeable swing towards Roots music amongst Jamaican producers, whilst UK based artists continued to deliver a more commercial sound. Trojan failed to follow the trend and finally Trojan's original management collapsed in 1975. The company was quickly bought out of receivership by Saga Records, and before long, the Trojan label was in full flow once more. However, the company employed a new strategy and concentrated on the album market using singles gradually to publicise album releases. For the first time in over twenty years Disc 3 collects together recordings from above mentioned period. Pat Rhoden's "What About You" is an update of his hit record from 1973. John Holt's smooth production "Reggae From The Ghetto" has never featured on album before. Production work of the most soulful producers of that time, Lloyd Charmers (who enjoyed great success with Ken Boothe) and Derrick Harriott, is included as well. "Trojan Singles Box Set" is an entertaining and enjoyable set featuring some noteworthy and surprising tracks from the vaults.

Teacher & Mr. T.