Various artists album review
Trojan Jamaican Hits Box Set ~ Limited Edition
Triple CD box set
27 - 05 - 2000
Disc 1 ~ 1960-1967
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 3/4||Sleeve : 3/4|
Trojan Records continues to release "limited edition" triple cd box sets, which happen to be nicely packaged selections coming out of their extensive vaults. All the recordings included on this set appeared on the annual top 25 chart for one of Jamaica's premiere radio stations, JBC, from 1060 up until its final year, 1973. |
Disc One features tracks from the period 1960 to 1967 and opens with Derrick Morgan's hugely popular Fat Man which in 1960 provided the singer with his first major hit. Eric Morris' Humpty Dumpty has often been accredited as the first real ska record. Further ska hits from the early sixties include Derrick and Patsy with Housewives Choice, Lord Tanamo's Come Down and Carlos Malcolm's superb reworking of the theme from the popular TV show Bonanza. By the spring of 1966 the beat slowed down and from this transitional period comes Delroy Wilson's ever popular seminal version of The Tams' Dancing Mood. By 1967 the rocksteady sound ruled and the style particularly suited vocal groups like the Paragons -Only A Smile- and The Techniques -You Don't Care-.
Disc Two shines on 1968 and 1969, starting off with one of the first major hits of 1968, Rudy Mills with Long Story. Rocksteady was showing signs of change. The percussion, in particular the hi-hat became increasingly prominent in the mix, while the languid rhythm guitar style previously favoured, was supplanted by a more aggressive, cutting technique. The final result was a jumpy style of music. Such developments are clearly evident on Dance With Me,
The last disc covers the period 1970 to 1973 and opens with an artist who was the have a significant impact on the development of reggae : U Roy. He popularized the deejay style to a new level with tunes like Wear You To The Ball. 1971 proved a very successful year for The Wailers, with one of their best-selling singles of the year being Trenchtown Rock. Another artist who scored a number of hits during 1971 was former Pragaons' front man John Holt, featured here with Stick By Me. Lloyd Parks, who had previously sung with leading vocal groups The Termites and The Techniques, cut one of the biggest hits of 1972 with Officially. Junior Byles' Beat Down Babylon reflects the growing influence of Rastafarianism on Jamaican songwriters during the early seventies. The disc closes with two outstanding tracks : Cool Breeze from Big Youth and Westbound Train by Dennis Brown.
The 'Jamaican Hits Box Set' presents a great opportunity to trace the development of Jamaican music uptill 1973, but also to hear some of the most popular sounds of their day.