TROJAN REGGAE BROTHERS BOX SET (TJETD072) - In January 2003 Trojan released the excellent Sister's Boxed Set. Since the establishment of the Jamaican music industry, sound system clashes have been a popular feature of dancehall. As a consequence the brothers are ready to compete in a musical battle of the sexes.

Before spinning the platters let's study the form...

Roy Shirley, the first brother to step up to the mike is a wonderfully eccentric performer who was once a member of the Uniques before his solo success with 'Hold Them'. Here he characteristically sings 'I Am The Winner' and who could argue with that. Hopeton Lewis first came to prominence with 'Take It Easy'. Throughout the sixties he released a series of hits including the 1970 Jamaican Song Festival winner, 'Boom Shacka Lacka' and our second track the persuasive, 'Let Me Come On Home'. Derrick Morgan is best remembered for his independence anthem 'Forward March'. On this compilation he contributes the proverbial 'Horse Dead, Cow Fat' in a true Jamaican stylee. Hemsley Morris is best remembered for 'Just Can't Get You Out Of My Mind' and the favoured 'Little Things'. His legacy continued into the millennium when his son found fame and fortune with the Innocent Crew.

Highland 'Dobby' Dobson aka 'the Loving Pauper' began his career in the Deltas. On this set he demonstrates his rich modular tine on 'Trouble Jim' recorded with Duke Reid at the height of the Rocksteady era. Desmond Dekker should need no introduction having introduced reggae to the masses. Here he sings of 'Fu Man Chu' with it's chorus 'it makes no sense at all' that conversely makes perfect sense to this writer. Contrary to previous claims, the track was recorded in the UK, early in 1968 and produced by legendary sound engineer and entrepreneur, Graeme Goodall. Erroll Dunkley originally performed alongside Roy Shirley, before going solo in 1966, the following year he recorded 'I'm Going Home' and in 1979 relished an international hit with his version of John Holt's 'OK Fred'. Boris Gardiner is no stranger to the international stage having enjoyed chart hits with 'Elizabethan Reggae' and 'I Wanna Wake Up With You'. He also performed interesting cover versions such as this adaptation of the Mindbenders 1966 Pop hit, 'A Groovy Kind Of Love' - wouldn't you agree?

Freddie McKay recorded the revival favourites 'Love Is A Treasure' and 'Picture On The Wall' and while he is best remembered for those songs, 'Tears Won't Help You' from 1968 is a reminder of why he is a sadly missed performer. Roman Stewart won the 1975 Jamaican Song Festival with 'Hooray Festival', but seven years later recorded the allegory, @While I Was Walking', a song that demonstrates why his carrer spanned four decades. Dennis 'Walks' Vassell first came to notice when he recorded 'Having A Party' with Joe Gibbs. It was soon after that he recorded 'Belly Lick', after which he began recording with Spanishtown producer, Harry Mudie. The Vassell legacy continued into the nineties through his son Garfield who found fame as Zebra. Pat Kelly began his career in the Techniques before he embarked on a solo career in 1968. That year, he cut a Rocksteady version of the Johnny Mathis hit 'The Twelfth Of Never', a track which producer Edward 'Bunny' Lee saw fit to remix in 1969, with an updated Reggae beat.

Ken Boothe needs no introduction, having topped the charts with the pub quiz favourite 'Everything I Own'. He began performing alongside Stranger Cole in the early sixties before embarking on a hugely successful solo career at Studio One. On this compilation Ken eloquently takes on Bob Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man', produced by Keith Hudson early in 1969. Delroy Wilson is another sadly missed performer whose debut 'Joe Liges' led to a series of hits. Here his acclaimed version of the Isley's hit 'This Old Heart Of Mine' was recorded following Delroy's amicable departure from Studio One. Rudy Mills is best remembered for the amazing 1968 hit, 'John Jones', produced by Derrick Harriott. The song overshadowed such classics as 'Long Story' and this interpretation of the Gladys Knight & The Pips R&B favourite, 'Every Beat Of My Heart'.

Wilburn 'Stranger' Cole is the ska legend whose debut 'Rough And Tough' preceded a series of hits. By 1969 he was producing his own songs, including the insistent 'Give It To Me', which sees it's initial release on CD with this compilation. Earl 'Little Roy' Lowe initially recorded with Prince Buster before he joined producer Lloyd Daley, with whom he released numerous hits, most notably 'Bongo Nyah', 'Hard Fighter' and 'Without My Love'. Barry Biggs is no stranger to the British Pop charts, having crossed over with a number of hits, including 'Sideshow'. His debut was this version of Stevie Wonder's, 'My Cherie Amour'. He initially provided backing vocals at Studio One before Harry J launched his career in 1969. Joe White is a greatly underrated performer who was largely ignored until Trojan reissued 'Jamaican Memories' (TJACD014), a compilation that featured some if his work, including his initial version of 'My Guiding Star'.

Derrick Harriott originally sang with the Jiving Juniors before working as a producer and performer. On this compilation his self-produced version of 'Laugh It Off' is a fine example of his sophisticated, soulful style. Another singer-turned-producer is Glen Brown, who, prior to his success with his Pantomime label recorded for a number of Kingston-based producers. Among these was Leslie Kong, for whom he cut the intoxicating 'Collie And Wine' in 1970. The late lamented Nicky Thomas began his career with 'Run Mr. Nigel Run' in 1969 before he crossed over into the Pop Charts the following year with 'Love Of The Common People'. Prior to his relocation in the UK soon after the release of the latter, he recorded a series of classics with Joe Gibbs including this ultra rare gem 'Schoolgirl'.

Clancy Eccles is a veteran in the Jamaican recording industry having recorded 'Freedom' for Clement Dodd in the late fifties. By the late sixties he was producing his own material for his Clandisc and New Beat labels, with 'Uncle Joe' among his rarer offerings from this period. Jimmy Cliff's career took off in 1962 with 'Kings Of Kings', which proceeded a sojourn to the UK. In 1968 Jimmy represented Jamaica in a song festival held in Brazil. It was at this time that he recorded a number of tunes with Leslie Kong including our selectors choice, the exceedingly rare 'Dreaming'. Lloyd 'Charmers' Tyrell' has enjoyed a diverse career recording with the Charmers and Uniques vocal groups before becoming a solo performer and producer in 1968. Two years later he recorded 'Colour Him, Father' that preceded his international success with Ken Boothe. Kentrick 'Lord Creator' Patrick left Trinidad for Jamaica when his ballad, 'Evening News' topped the nation's chart. With Clancy Eccles producing he released the renowned 'Kingston Town' as well as the whimsical 'Molly'.

Winston 'Bobby' Francis is the Studio One veteran celebrated as 'Mr Fix It', although it was his version of 'California Dreaming' that led to notoriety in the UK. However when compiling this set we felt the much sought-after 'Ten Times Sweeter' was more fitting. The late Keith 'Slim' Smith performed in the Techniques and Uniques before savouring a successful solo career. His numerous hits include 'My Conversation' and 'Everybody Needs Love' and he is still regarded as one of Jamaica's greatest vocalists and after one listen to the Duke Reid produced, 'What Kind Of Love' who can dispute this? Joe Higgs is another late lamented performer who famously steered the embryonic Wailers. He performed in the duo Higgs and Wilson before he released the classic 'There Is A Reward' around 1960. As a songster he recorded with a number of producers throughout his career, including Clancy Eccles for whom he cut the riveting 'Captivity' in 1970. David Crooks aka Dave Barker achieved international acclaim when he performed with Ansel Collins. He also sang with the Techniques and is noted for his solo hits with Lee Perry and Duke Reid, as well as the previously unissued 'Loneliness'.

Alton Ellis sang with Eddy Perkins before he formed the Flames. Unlike manufactured pop stars he could perform a well-known song and make it his own. A perfect example of this unique talent is demonstrated on this version of the Drifters' 'Room Full Of Tears'. Bobby Davis performed in the Techniques alongside Winston Riley who produced 'I've Got To Get Away' in 1971, before the singer left for the UK. There he was reacquainted with Dave Barker and Bruce Ruffin and formed the soul styled Chain Reaction. David Isaacs recorded a handful of hits with Lee Perry including 'Place In The Sun' and this wicked interpretation of 'Just Enough To Keep Me Hanging On'. The much heralded John Holt launched his career in the Paragons before embarking on his highly successful solo career towards the end of 1968. His version of 'Oh Girl', but four years later illustrates how easy it is to appreciate his winning formula.

After making his mark as a member of the Blues Benders, the hugely talented Ken Parker recorded with Clement Dodd who produced his popular rendering of Joe Simon's 'Choking Kind' in 1969, a few years on, he recorded 'Jimmy Brown' for Duke Reid before embarking on his self-productions such as 'You Better Go'. 'Startime' legend Eric 'Monty' Morris' is perhaps best known for the ska hit 'Penny Reel', although he continued recording through to the reggae period and in 1972 united with producer, Bunny Lee to record the Drifters' favourite 'This Magic Moment'.

Hariss 'BB' Seaton originally performed in the inappropriately named Gaylads before going solo in 1971. Soon after, he recorded alongside Ken Boothe and Lloyd Charmers as the Messengers and while working with the latter, he recorded the superb 'I'm A Changed Man'. Freddie McGregor was tutored by leading vocal duo, the Clarendonians before embarking on a solo career in 1966. He is internationally renowned for his hit version of 'Just Don't Want To Be Lonely', while Jamaican music lovers remember him for his work at Studio One. He also recorded a number of sides with Bunny Lee who, in 1973, produced 'He Needs Love'. Trevor 'Jimmy London' Shaw performed in the inspirations before he pursued a solo career. His version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' is considered a classic while other memorable adaptations include the Elvis Presley/Terry Stafford hit 'Suspicion'. Horace 'Andy' Hinds was a Studio One apprentice who subsequently worked with a host of top producers in Jamaica. With Keith Hudson he cut previously unreleased version of the Jim Reeves hit 'Bimbo' long before he relished international notoriety with Massive Attack.

Lloyd Parks was one half of the Termites before joining the Techniques in 1969. He also released a number of solo hits including the self-produced 'Just Say You Love Me'. demand for his bass playing skills both live and in the studio resulted in him forming the We The People band. Keith 'Junior' Byles originally performed in the Versatiles before enjoying success as a solo artist. Some of his finest moments were recorded with Lee Perry, including this rare take on Harold Melvin's 'If You Don't Know Me By Now'. Ronnie Davis originally performed with the Tennors, noted for the exceptional 'Hopeful Village'. As a soloist he released a series of popular sides, including 'I've Lost My Lover'. He later joined the Itals and in 1994 formed Idren (brothers). The late great Dennis Brown was hailed the Crwm Prince Of Reggae before his untimely demise and needs no introduction. While he recorded with all the top producers in Jamaica he also worked with the Pioneers' Sidney Crooks who produced the long forgotten 'Message To Martha'.

Johnny Clarke began his career with Rupie Edwards and provided the foundation to the producer's chart hit 'Irie Feelings'. Johnny is best remembered for his work with Bunny Lee where he became known as 'Mr. Do over Man' due to his rendering of several reggae standards, including 'Left With A Broken Heart', a song originally performed by the Four Tops. Owen Gray's singing career began in the late fifties. He later joined a number of 'ex pat' Jamaican singers in the UK, but in 1975 returned to Jamaica to record 'Natty Bongo' with Bunny Lee, which revitalised his career, before he relocated to Miami where he performed on the revival circuit. Cornell Campbell briefly performed in the Sensations before he formed the Eternals in 1969. His distinctive falsetto voice shone through and led to a solo career. In 1975 he released 'I will Never Change' for producer, Bunny Lee, along with perhaps his best known side 'Natty Dread In A Greenwich Farm'. Wilfred Jackie Edwards was another long established performer who relocated to the UK in the early sixties. His career was also rejuvenated in the seventies after a session with Bunny Lee in Jamaica, with his version of the John Holt classic 'Ali Baba' among his best works from this period.

Junior Murvin first performed as Junior soul before an audition with Lee Perry in the early seventies. The Upsetter produced the classic 'Police And Thieves', which provides the same rhythm to 'Bad Weed', featured here. The final contributor on this set, Gregory Issacs originally performed with the Concords before he becoming the Cool Ruler, owing to his inimitable style. Here he performs the magnificent 'Handcuff (Hey Mr Babylon)', on which, while dealing with reality lyrics, he manages to maintain his image of the lonely lover.

When you've decided the winner, why not vote for the genuine talent of these boys and girls on the Trojan website. Gwaan get Your Mojo working!

Stephen Nye




I Am The Winner
Roy Shirley
Let Me Come On Home
Hopeton Lewis
Horse Dead, Cow Fat
Derrick Morgan
Little Things
Hemsley Morris
Trouble Jim
Dobby Dobson
Foo Man Chu
Desmond Dekker
The Prodigal Returns (aka I'm Going Home)
Errol Dunkley
A Groovy Kind Of Love
Boris Gardiner
Tears Won't Help You
Freddie McKay
While I Was Walking
Roman Stewart
Belly Lick
Dennis Walks
The Twelfth Of Never
Pat Kelly
Mr Tambourine Man
Ken Boothe
This Old Heart Of Mind
Delroy Wilson
Every Beat of My Heart
Rudy Mills
Give It To Me
Stranger Cole
Without My Love
Little Roy

My Cherie Amour
Barry Biggs
My Guiding Star (Reggae version)
Joe White
Laugh It Off
Derrick Harriott
Collie And Wine
Glen Brown
Nicky Thomas
Uncle Joe
Clancy Eccles
Jimmy Cliff
Colour Him, Father
Lloyd Charmers
Lord Creator
Ten Times Sweeter
Winston 'Bobby' Francis
What Kind Of Life
Slim Smith
Joe Higgs
Dave Barker
Room Full Of Tears
Alton Ellis
(I've) Got To Get Away
Bobby Davis
Just Enough (To Keep Me Hanging On)
David Isaacs

Oh Girl
John Holt
You Better Go (aka My Mother's Eyes)
Ken Parker
This Magic Moment
Eric Morris
I'm A Changed Man
B.B. Seaton
He Needs Love
Freddie McGregor
Jimmy London
Horace Andy
(Just) Say You Love Me
Lloyd Parks
If You Don't Know Me By Now
Junior Byles
I've Lost My Lover
Ronnie Davis
Message To Martha
Dennis Brown
Left With A Broken Heart
Johnny Clarke
Natty Bongo
Owen Gray
I Will Never Change
Cornell Campbell
Ali Baba
Jackie Edwards
Bad Weed
Junior Murvin
Handcuff (Hey Mr Babylon)
Gregory Isaacs

Time - 46:01

Time - 46:17

Time - 58:24

All material Copyright Trojan Records