TROJAN SKA BOX SET (TRBCD001) - THROUGHOUT THE FIFTIES in Jamaica the place to hear the most happening sounds were the sound system dances held at any venue large enough to contain a sizeable fee-paying audience, these glorified discos were organised and run by anyone able to afford to operate and transport the equipment to a suitable site. Over time, sound system owners such as Arthur 'Duke' Reid and Clement Seymour 'Coxsone' Dodd expanded their operations and became respected and revered figures on the island, with their dances attracting large loyal followings.

By far the most popular music among Jamaican audiences at this time was the hard-hitting New Orleans style of Rhythm & Blues, as performed by artists such as Smiley Lewis, Roy Brown and Fats Domino, and to acquire the newest, most obscure of these releases, operators made frequent forays to the U.S. This procedure of obtaining records for their systems continued until the end of the decade when certain developments had occurred which had major repercussions for Jamaican music in the years ahead. The most influential of these was the demise of the style of Rhythm & Blues so favoured by young Jamaicans. By now American music was starting to lose it's raw edge and the more polished sounds of soul had begun to supersede the less sophisticated style of it's earthier forerunner. In addition, the operators' cartel on U.S. releases was being severely challenged by a small number of entrepreneurs who had begun importing records direct from the States, enabling almost anyone the opportunity to obtain records previously only heard at dances. The final threat to the domination of the sound systems came with the growing popularity of jukeboxes, the distribution of which had become a major industry on the island.

As a result of these events, the only way operators could ensure audiences were provided with exclusive R&B sounds was to create the music themselves. So it was that men such as Reid and Dodd turned their hands to producing home-grown talent. The majority of these early Jamaican productions had little to distinguish them from the New Orleans R&B Records, but over the next year or so, the recordings began to develop their own unique sound, where the piano or guitar increasingly emphasized the back-beat. Eventually the music evolved from what was termed 'Jamaican Boogie' or 'Blues Beat' into Ska and until the blistering spring of 1966, the island rocked to it's driving rhythms. The eventual demise of Ska followed an unusually long spell of hot weather, resulting in a reluctance among audiences to expel their usual levels of energy when dancing. This, along with a general desire for change, led to a gradual decrease in tempo and Ska transmuted into an entirely new genre - Rocksteady. The sweltering conditions on the island during this period also led to an outbreak of civil disobedience in many of Kingston's poorer districts, resulting in the enforcement of a 10pm to 6am curfew and this period of unrest was reflected in many of the releases from the period, including Desmond Dekker & The Aces, U.K. chart hit, "0.0.7. (Shanty Town)".

Soon the last vestiges of Ska had disappeared for the next decade or so it seemed to all intents and purposes it would forever remain nothing more than a sound of a bygone age. In the late seventies, however, British bands such as The Specials, Madness and The Beat successfully revived it's slumbering spirit and in the years since, the popularity of Ska has steadily increased worldwide. The fifty recordings on this set should inspire others to embrace this wonderful music and ensure that the popularity of Ska remains on the ascendant for many years to come.




I'm In The Mood For Ska
Lord Tanamo
Next Door Neighbour
Owen & Leon Silveras
Watermelon Man
Baba Brooks Band
Get Up Edina
Desmond Dekker
Silver Dollar
Tommy McCook & The Skatalites
Doctor Dick
Lee Perry & The Soulettes
When I Call Your Name
Stranger & Patsy
Blackberry Brandy
Roland Alphonso
Lloyd & Glen
Baby I Love You
Carl Dawkins
Happy Go Lucky Girl
The Paragons
No Raise No Praise
Derrick Morgan
Carry Go Bring Home
Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
Blessings Of Love
Alton Ellis & The Flames
I Don't Need Your Love
Chuck & Dobby
Congo War
Lord Brynner
Don D Lion
Don Drummond

Rough & Tough
Stranger Cole
Free Man
The Ethiopians
Strongman Sampson
Eric Morris
Duck Soup
Drumbago's Orchestra
Wrong Embryo
The Rulers
Sudden Destruction
Johnny "Dizzy" Moore
What Can I Say
The Tartans
I'm So In Love With You
The Techniques
007 (Shanty Town)
Desmond Dekker
Want Me Cock
Owen & Leon Silveras
Iron bar
Lord Tanamo
Miss Jamaica
Jimmy Cliff
Owen Gray
Pheonix City
Roland Alphonso
One Eyed Giant
Baba Brooks & His Band
Rub & Squeeze
Lee Perry
Let George Do It
Don Drummond

Over The River
Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
If I Didn't Love You
Eric Morris
The Tide Is High
The Paragons
Guns Of Navarone
The Skatalites
Blazing Fire
Derrick Morgan
Doctor Zhivago
Tommy McCook & The Skatalites
Rudie Gets Plenty
The Spanishtonians
Train To Skaville
The Ethiopians
Open The Door
Clive & Naomi
Musical Storeroom
Frank Anderson
Blam Blam Fever
The Valentines
Sammy No Dead
Clancy Eccles
Storm Warning
Lyn Taitt & The Comets
Girl I've Got A Date
Alton Ellis & The Flames
The Third Man Theme
Granville Williams Orchestra
Denham Town
Winston & George

Time - 46:28

Time - 46:29

Time - 46:28

All material Copyright Trojan Records