Various artists album review
Trojan Rastafari Box Set ~ Limited Edition
Triple CD box set
10 - 09 - 2000

Tracking list

    Disc 1
  1. False Leaders-Ronnie Davis
  2. Tired Of The System-Winston Jarrett
  3. Back Weh With Your Mix Up-Don Carlos
  4. Jah Jah Rain A Fall-Michael Prophet
  5. Rivers Of Babylon-Ronnie Davis
  6. Oh Oh Natty Dread-Mike Brooks
  7. Save Us Jah-Vernon Buckley
  8. Free Up Rasta-Al Campbell
  9. Free Speech And Movement-The Royals
  10. Nyah Bingi-Jimmy Riley
  11. Dread Locks-Anthony Johnson
  12. Press Along Natty-Cornell Campbell
  13. Never Give Up In A Babylon-Pancho Alphonso
  14. Hold On To Jah-Reggae George
  15. Going The Wrong Way-Al Campbell
  16. Got To Go Home-Ronnie Davis
  17. A Yah We Deh-Barrington Levy
   Disc 2
  1. The People Ought To Know-Sugar Minott
  2. Give Thanks-Johnnie Clarke
  3. Jah Jah Give Us Love-Cornell Campbell
  4. Natty Roots Man-Barry Brown
  5. Have Faith In Jah-Michael Palmer
  6. Praise Jah With Love & Affection-Don Carlos
  7. If I Were You-The Royals
  8. This Is True True Love-Al Campbell
  9. Jah Jah Love Everybody-Barry Brown
  10. Jah Love-Michael Prophet
  11. Praise The Name Of Jah-Johnnie Clarke
  12. Watches Over You-Pancho Alphonso
  13. Jah Praise-The Maytones
  14. Give Thanks And Praise-Barry Brown
  15. So Many Things-Sugar Minott
  16. Peace And Love-The Royals
    Disc 3
  1. The Moment Of Truth-Al Campbell
  2. Jah Oh Jah-The Viceroys
  3. Throw Down Your Arms-The Maytones
  4. Never Get To Zion-Pancho Alphonso
  5. Fight Against Corruption-Cornell Campbell
  6. No Weak Heart (Shall Enter Zion)-Ronnie Davis
  7. Enter The Kingdom Of Zion-Barry Brown
  8. Captivity-Barrington Levy
  9. Lead Us Jah Jah-Barry Brown
  10. Hard Headed Israelites-Jimmy Riley
  11. Wicked A Go Feel It Now-Al Campbell
  12. Evil Doors-Michael Prophet
  13. Jah Jah Fire-Barry Brown
  14. Who Can't Hear Will Feel-The Maytones
  15. Revelation-Barrington Levy
  16. Mash Down Babylon-Winston Jarrett
  17. Armagideon Time-Peter & Paul
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4

Many of Jamaica's singers and players profess a belief in Rastafari, and the faith's influence on the island's music over the years has been phenomenal. Without doubt, the most famous Rasta musician was Bob Marley., and it was partly through the latter's patronage that the Twelve Tribes achieved a high profile in the late seventies. Currently, largely due to the activities of Capleton 'The Prophet', it's the Bobo Dreads who are at the forefront, although is has to be said that their 'Fire Burn' policies have proved controversial. At the same time, artists like Beenie Man and Luciano still hold true to a more traditional set of beliefs based on the the Old Testament. Whilst others identify themselves with the Nyah Bingi sect. Despite being spread across a number of factions, Rastafarians have resisted becoming marginalised through their diversity. If anything, the reverse is true and they have steadily grown in influence over the last decade.
All tunes on this Rastafari Box Set date from between the late seventies and mid-eighties, with majority being recorded at Channel One studio on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.
The first disc opens with a trio of social commentary, starting with a stinging criticism of society's leaders by Ronnie Davis. Formerly a member of the Tennors vocal group, Davis also features on the compelling Got To Go Home, and on a rootsy update of the Melodians hit tune Rivers Of Babylon. Winston Jarrett attacks the Jamaican establishment on Tired Of The System, whilst Don Carlos uses Back Weh With Your Mix Up to warn against division in the ghetto. The latter, one of several recuts, uses an updated riddim track to Johnny Clarke's 'Cold I Up'. Others include Al Campbell' Free Up Rasta and Hold On To Jah by Reggae George. Collectively, the sequence of cuts on disc one highglights the many trials and tribulations faced by Rastafarians, mostly brought about by society's ignorance, prejudice and injustice.
The second disc concentrates more on the spiritual wealth gained from worshipping Jah and living an upright life. Starting off with Sugar Minott's superb The People Ought To Know, on which he outlines creation and man's fall from grace. Recorded in 1979 and taken from the album 'Ghetto-Ology' it captures the singer at his youthful best. Johnny Clarke follows with the complimentary Give Thanks over a Bunny Lee update on the riddim to Ken Boothe's 'Freedom Street'. Further riddims updates include Don Carlos Praise Jah With Love And Affection which uses Slim Smith's 'Love And Affection', and Barry Brown's Natty Roots Man which rewinds Johnny Clarke's classic tune 'Enter Into His Gates With Praise'. The Royals continue the central theme with their own If I Were You, the second of three cuts from the group in this collection.
The tunes on disc three are bound together by a central theme of Armageddon. Al Campbell sets the scene with The Moment Of Truth, warning that a day will come when everyone must stand up and face his judgement. Jimmy Riley complements with Hard Headed Isrealites as does Michael Prophet on Evil Doers across a heavy Glen Brown riddim. Other tracks noteworthy mentioning include Cornell Campbell's Fight Against Corruption across the riddim of Junior Byles' 'Beat Down Babylon', the two tunes by Barrington Levy : Revelation and Captivity, Winston jarrett's Mash Down Babylon and Barry Brown's Lead Us Jah Jah.
This collection of songs is a beautiful showcase of the influence of Rastafari on reggae music and the messages heard here have lost nothing of their relevance. Burning Stuff !

Teacher & Mr. T.