Trojan Sound System Volume 1
Trojan Records
April 19, 2006

Track list
  1. Melody Maker - Keith Hudson
  2. Liquidator - The Harry J All Stars
  3. Through The Fire I Come - The Heptones
  4. False Leaders - Ronnie Davis
  5. I Love Marijuana - Linval Thompson
  6. Peace And Love In The Ghetto - Johnny Clarke
  7. Guess Who's Coming To Dinner - Michael Rose
  8. Land Of Love - The Sons Of Light
  9. Laser Beam - Don Carlos
  10. Revolution - Dennis Brown
  11. Soul Rebel - Bob Marley & The Wailers
  12. Marijuana - Richie Spice
  13. Everything Is Everything - Johnny Osbourne
  14. Now Wey Better Than Yard - Admiral Bailey
  15. Police And Thieves - Junior Murvin
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 1
It is sometimes tempting to see these relentless Trojan compilations as cynical cash ins, recycling as they do the same tracks again and again in different order and with different album titles -- but this album is quite a different proposition, and whilst a cursory glance at the track listing seems to offer little new -- a closer listen reveals some indispensable gems.

To begin with, the seamless mix is beautiful, with the currently unmatchable Brother Culture chanting over some of the tracks. He easily could have hindered the flow of such classic tracks, but on the contrary, he enhances most of the grooves with his original style and intelligent conscious lyrics. Thankfully, he doesn't attempt to imitate foundation DJ's but very much innovates and experiments confidently.

It's a deep joy and pleasure to hear the rare Johnny Clarke Third World label '45, "Peace And Love", a version of which appears on an early Blood and Fire compilation. A Tappa Zukie toast over the dub is also available and is also an essential purchase, replete with its fluid funk rising and falling b line groove, hypnotic timbale tuned snare and shimmering hi hat work.

Also quite essential here is the inclusion of Admiral Bailey’s "No Wey Better Than Yard" with its raucous, shredding rewinds and sheer euphoric aggression extended over an eight minute groove. Equally indispensable is the oneness and meditative optimism of Johnny Osbourne's "Everything Is Everything."

The album includes Junior Murvin's "Police And Thieves" -- BUT, thankfully -- NOT the Upsetter version we have heard ad nauseam since the late 70's, but an uplifting joyful digi cut, reminiscent of the work Junior Murvin did for the underrated Gussie P in the mid 90's.

Whatever occasional yet genuine reservations one may entertain vis a vis the repetition of tracks on these Trojan releases, equally so, one can't deny the regular inclusion of some real scorchers and long lost classics from the dusty vaults on their re-release albums of the last four years -- and it is precisely this which makes these Trojan compilations so consistently satisfying and urgently worth getting hold of, especially at their very reasonable prices.