TROJAN ROCKSTEADY BOX SET (TRBCD003) - ALTHOUGH THE ROCKSTEADY ERA was relatively short-lived, some of the most enduring recordings in the history of Jamaican music were created during it'e brief lifespan. From the emergence of the genre in 1966 until the development of Reggae two years later, Rocksteady prevailed in Jamaica and it is these soulful sounds from that golden era which provide the focus of this collection.

The development of Rocksteady, and the demise of it's predecessor, Ska, resulted from a general need for change allied to one of the hottest Jamaican summers on record. The scorching conditions which persisted throughout the early months of '66 undoubtedly played it's part in the desire for the creation of a slower style more conducive to dancing in such a climate. As the high temperatures continued unabated, the tempo of the music decreased accordingly and by the end of the year the transformation from Ska to Rocksteady was complete. The once favoured driving beat had disappeared and with it the limitations it's rigid structure had imposed. The new slower rhythm introduced a freedom of expression previously denied to performers, musicians and producers. While vocalists in general benefited greatly from the change, it was particularly welcomed by vocal groups, who were finally given the opportunity to bring their harmonies to the fore. The successful adaptation to the new style by the likes of the Gaylads, The Maytals and Desmond Dekker & The Aces inspired the formation of new trios and quartets and soon Jamaica was awash with new vocal groups.

Musicians also enjoyed the time and space they now experienced and fully utilised the new environment by developing more subtle and complex arrangements. Among those who led the way, few were more influential in shaping the sound and style of Jamaican music than Tommy McCook 7 The Supersonics, who worked exclusively for Arthur 'Duke' Reid - undoubtedly the most influential producer of the age. At his famed Bond Street studio, Reid created many of the finest recordings of the era, by some of Jamaica's leading performers which included The Paragons, Justin Hinds & The Dominoes, Phyllis Dillon, The Jamaicans and Alton Ellis - the man who had first coined the term 'Rocksteady' in his hit from early 1967.

Rocksteady continued to develop throughout 1967 and into the following year. Bass patterns became more complex, percussion more prominent, while brass sections were increasingly deemed unnecessary. By the middle of '68, the guitar style had become more abrupt and keyboards, or sometimes a second rhythm guitar began to be used to fill the space previously left empty. The overall effect was a jumpier, less laid-back style and following The Maytals hit "Do The Reggay", it aquired a title of it's own. Rocksteady had run it's course, although perhaps prematurely. Later that year, Larry & Alvin's "Nanny Goat" introduced an additional second rhythm guitar stroke and in doing so created the first real Reggae record. The rest is, of course, history.

This collection includes some of the finest and most important recordings from the Rocksteady era and in doing so provides a reminder of a glorious, if all to brief chapter in the history of Jamaican music.




Alton Ellis
Beautiful And Dangerous
Desmond Dekker
On The Beach
The Paragons
Little Nut Tree
The Melodians
Teardrops Falling
The Versatiles
The Loser
Derrick Harriott
Shocking Love
The Federals
Just Tell Me
The Maytals
Here I Stand
Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
Come On Now
The Ethiopians
Somebody's Baby
Pat Kelly
Ilya Kuryakin
Ike Bennett And The Crystallites
You You
The Natives
It's Hard To Confess
The Gaylads
Do I Worry
Derrick Harriott
Conquering Ruler
Derrick Morgan
My Conversation
The Uniques

Island In The Sun
The Paragons
To Sir With Love
Lyn Taitt & The Jets
You're Gonna Need Me
Errol Dunkley
Don't Touch Me Tomato
Phyllis Dillon
Dreader Than Dreader Dread
Honey Boy Martin
Mother's Young Gal
Desmond Dekker & The Aces
Swing And Dine
The Melodians
Walk The Streets
Derrick Harriott
Riding On A High And Windy day
The Paragons
A.B.C. Rocksteady
The Gaylads
All My Tears
Alton Ellis And The Flames
Super Special
Lester Sterling
Young Wings Can Fly
Johnny & The Attractions
Trust The Book
The Versatiles
Can't You See
Ken Boothe
Born To Love You
Derrick Harriott
Wear You To The Ball
The Paragons

Rudies All Round
Joe White
People Rocksteady
The Uniques
Once Upon A Time
Delroy Wilson
Ba Ba Boom
The Jamaicans
Live It Up
The Natives
The Upsetter
Lee Perry
Derrick Garriott
Engine 54
The Etyhiopians
I Want to Go Home
Derrick Morgan
I Will Get Along without You
The Melodians
Save A Bread
Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
Silent River (Runs Deep)
The Gayletts
The Time Has Come
The Versatiles
Bongo Gal
Desmond Dekker & The Aces
The Shadow Of Your Smile
Tommy McCook
Over The Rainbow's End
The Gaylads

Time - 48:46

Time - 46:49

Time - 44:00

All material Copyright Trojan Records