TROJAN 35th ANNIVERSARY BOX SET (TJETD130) - Barring the giants of the popular music industry, such as HMV and Columbia, very few labels can boast such a massive and diverse scattering of artist's recordings than Trojan Records and all its subsidiary labels.

From the formative late 1960's onwards Trojan took stock of the burgeoning record scene in Kingston, and based on the rapid sales of a disc across the small island would hurriedly press it up to be sold through their London based Musicland shops. Some lucky discs transcended the tight sales to sound systems and West Indians, and moved onward to the national charts, educating new listeners to the delights of Jamaican popular music.

The lure of the UK market took hold quickly in Jamaica with artists such as Derrick Morgan, Laurel Aitken, Dave Barker and The Pioneers relocating to these less sunny shores, lured by the big bucks of the pop industry. Those big bucks were generated not by the local sales to West Indians resident in the UK, but a new generation of indigenous British listeners - the skinheads.

1969 saw the rise of the new youth cult from inner city underground smoky clubs to high-street, and along with the bovver-boots came reggae music. Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Dave (Barker) and Ansel Collins all were catapulted from obscure DJ's boxes to 'Top Of The Pops', as reggae took hold.

With the newly arrived Kingston artists came their songs that quickly were distilled with the cosmopolitan air of London. The straight reggae was mixed with bluesy guitar licks or jazzy Hammond flashes to create a distinct UK sound, and Trojan were nabbing them all for their vast array of flamboyant labels.

On one hand, Trojan were pushing the raw pump of Jamaica and on the other they offered an intriguing UK blend. The JA sound was the winner as far as sales were concerned, but with a thirty year hindsight much very worthy product was laid down in humble studios such as London's Chalk Farm.

An early pioneer of the UK recording scene was Robert 'Dandy' Thompson who as producer of the Brother Dan All Stars rocked out some worthy formative reggae, such as 1968's 'Tribute To KB'. Dandy was to go on to almost stardom with the skinhead favourite 'Reggae In your Jeggae' before cracking the big time with happy ditties such as 'Suzanne Beware Of The Devil' in the mid 1970's.

Also, groups like the London based Cimarons took stock of the desires of the dancers and came up with aggressive tunes, like 'Kick Me Or I'll Kick You', produced by South London sound system owner, Lambert Briscoe. While the Kingston recordings pulsed with a mellower sunshine vibe, such as The Sensations 'War Boats', produced by 'Technique', Winston Riley, or jumped like the Lee Perry engineered 'You're Gonna Feel It' from The Bleechers.

Not only were the strong and the smooth singers getting a shot at the charts, but instrumental outings were very much in vogue at the dawn 1970's, with the most famous being Perry's Upsetter romp, 'Return of Django', a track that cracked the UK national in 1969. Included here is ace hornsman Roland Alphonso's 'Saucy Horn', produced by Sid Bucknor just a couple of years later. The recording, which features a rhythm first laid down for the Winston Francis Ja. hit, 'Ten Times Sweeter' was originally unjustly hidden away on the flip side of The Slickers' Rude Boy commentary, 'Johnny Too Bad'.

By this time a new style was creeping through the dancehall in Kingston at this time, and it was soon to emerge on vinyl. It was the sound of the rapper, Master of Ceremonies, or 'Toaster' (abbreviated from Toast Master) that was to instil itself as the sound of now as the 1970's moved in to their early bleak power-cut years. These Deejay rappers outshone just about every singer and player with mad names like Dennis Alcapone, U Roy, King Stitt and Charlie Ace as they basically talked their way over a rhythm track. With flashing wit and tongue-twisting word dexterity, the Deejay ruled the nation, and sold records by the cartload. Presented on this set alongside Charlie Ace's fluid rap, is the scarce original vocal template to master jiver U Roy's 'Way Down South', in the form of 'Take Warning' from the little known singer Billy Dyce.

The Deejay's reign was to be short lived as few of them could move from frivolous chatter to speaking of the realities of the harsh ghetto life that was crushing the underprivileged poor Kingston dwellers. The angry, social conscience of the slum inhabitants had finally broken surface with a cry to the world for help and understanding of their dreadful situation. One of the very few Deejays to convert from jiver to preacher was I Roy and his harsh 'Silver Platter' for up-and-coming producer Keith Hudson paved the way for the roots-reggae sound of the 1970's as much as any new singer.

Although it was to be vocal groups and individual singers that really carried the swing on the Rasta-roots front, with fresh young artists like Johnny Clarke and Linval Thompson laying down the new style chants and rhythms. 'Every Rasta Is A star' said it all, as Johnny embraced the newly emerging religion and its powerful preaching of black awareness and salvation.

By 1978 the sound of Dub was throbbing through the dancehalls with no top-rate tune complete without its dub version echoing the rhythm to oblivion. The master of dub was the late King Tubby and so great was his influence that artists, in song and word, offered praise to him. Big Joe was no exception with his rolling 'Tubby At The Controls' recording, produced by singer-cum-producer Linval Thompson.

Another side of the reggae coin was the do-over, or cover version of a popular song from outside of the narrow Jamaican bandwidth. Past-master at reinventing the soul, jazz or pop song to reggae, Ken Boothe, here has taken a Sam Cooke composition 'Bring It On Home To Me' and made it very much his own. Ken's greatest triumph was 'Everything I Own', composed and sung by Bread-man David Gates, with which Mr Boothe cracked the UK charts wide open with a number one in 1974. Also the 1970's disco-soul sound of Willie Mitchell's US 'Hi' label is reprised in reggae on this set by the aptly named Al Brown. as he covers soul singer-supreme Al Green's 'I've Got To go On Without You', complete with Green's throaty growls.

Trojan Records and reggae music in all it's myriad of styles have become synonymous over their 35year relationship. Known the world over, and avidly collected, this small label and its flashy sub-labels have taken a minority music way beyond the bounds that could be expected, and on to world recognition as an influential factor in all forms of popular club music today.

Here's to the next 35 years!

Michael de Koning
Co-author of 'Young Gifted and Black, The Story of Trojan Records', published by Sanctuary Publications.
Compiled by Lawrence Cane-Honeysett
Mastered by Nick, Tim & Doug @ The Town House




The Immortals
I'll Make It Up
Carl Dawkins
Bobby Sox To Stockings
Boris Gardiner & The Keys
Mellow Reggae
Amiel Moodie
Bim & Barn
Mother Nature
The Mad Lads
No Honey, No Money
Niney & Slim Smith
Cock Robin
Ansel Collins
Swanee River
Gladstone Anderson
Kick Me Or I'll Kick You
The Cimarons
Don't Play That Song
Delroy Williams
Land Of Kinks
Hugh Hendricks & The Upsetters
Look over Your Shoulder
Nora & Vern
War Boats (aka Mr Blue)
The Sensations
Bum Ball Chapter II
Delroy Jones & The Jets
Why Can't I Touch You
The Chosen Few
If You Don't Mind
The Gaylads

Sugar Pantie
Andy Capp & Ken Parker
Saucy Horde
Roland Alphonso
Judgement Rock
Charlie Ace
Flying Machine (aka Those Magnificant Men)
Teddy Magnus
Jungle Fever
Cynthia Richards
Take Warning
Billy Dyce
Memories By The Score
Ansel Linkers
Pray For The Wicked
The Untouchables
Try Me
Roman Stewart
The Crystalites
Silver Platter
I Roy & Keith Hudson
Skanking Monkey
Stranger & Gladdy
Great Messiah
The Meditations
Every Rasta Is A Star
Johnny Clarke
Natty Dread Girl
Linval Thompson
Free Up Jah Jah Children
Owen Gray
Tubby At The Controls
Big Joe

Tribute To K.B
Dan's All Stars
I'll Follow You
The Beltones
Third Figure
Tommy McCook & Supersonics
Youíre Gonna Feel It
The Bleechers
Honey Don't Go
Winston Fancis
Run, Fattie
The Slickers
Donít Get Weary
Carl Dawkins
Julie On My Mind
Danny Ray
I've Got To Go On Without You
Al Brown
Drum Song
Willie Lindo & The Charmers' Band
Wild Honey
Zap Pow
What A Situation
The Silvertones
Come Closer To Me
Jackie Edwards
Tell The Children The Truth
Jimmy Riley
Bring It On Home To Me
Ken Boothe
If You Leave Me (aka Don't Stay Away)
Private Tabby

Time - 47:41

Time - 48:07

Time - 49:51

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