TROJAN DJ BOX SET (TRBCD04) - IT WAS NOT until the early seventies that deejays first made any substantial impression on the Jamaican recording industry. Although the likes of Count Matchuki and Sir Lord Comic occasionally frequented the studio to spice up instrumental recordings, by and large, their services were confined to sound system dances.

Initially little more than record selectors for sound systems, deejays assumed a greater role following the exploits of Winston 'Count Matchuki' Cooper, who in the early fifties began embellishing records with smatterings of live and aural effects. Others swiftly followed suit and by the late fifties the practice was widespread, with the deejay's profile considerably raised as a consequence. Despite this, however, it was still many years before they would be taken seriously as recording artistes.

The breakthrough came in 1969, when King Stitt (real name Winston Spark), a former deejay for one of Sir Coxsone's Downbeat systems, cut a series or popular releases for producer, Clancy Eccles. Recordings such as "Fire Corner", "Vigerton 2" and "Herbsman Shuffle" (on which he was accompanied by Lynford 'Andy Capp' Anderson) pathed the way for other deejays to follow suit. The first to do so with any sustained success was U Roy (b. Ewart Beckford). Inspired by the style of Count Matchuki, U Roy had began toasting for Doctor Dickie's Dynamic system in the early sixties, prior to working for Sir George and Sir Coxsone's Downbeat. In 1969 he joined King Tubby's Hi-Fi, where his talents came to the attention of leading Kingston producer, Arthur 'Duke' Reid. The deejay was subsequently brought to the producer's Bond Street studio where he toasted over the rhythm tracks of two of Reid's old Rocksteady hits. Upon release, the resulting recordings of "Wake the Town" and "Rule the Nation" became huge hits on the island, sparking an explosion of deejay releases over the ensuing months.

Eager to capitalise on the popularity of the style, producers wasted little time seeking out deejays to record, and of these, none were more successful than Dennis 'Alcapone' Smith. From 1970 until his move to the U.K. in 1973, Alcapone's output was prolific, cutting material for every producer of note on the island and rivalling U Roy in terms of popularity.

Others to make an impression during this period included David 'Scotty' Scott, Dave Barker and Lloyd Young, all of whom had first made their mark in Jamaica as vocalists. U Roy, however, continued to lead the way throughout the early seenties, maintaining his popularity with a succession of local hits for an array of producers.

Following Alcapone's departure from Jamaica's shores, one of the main challenges to U Roy's dominance as the island's leading deejay came from I Roy. Having first made his mark with a number of systems in Spanish Town, the deejay (real name Roy Reid) recorded a handful of sides for local producer, Barry Mudie and while these early recordings reflected a strong influence of U Roy and Alcapone, he rapidly developed a style uniquely his own. A razor sharp wit, allied to a keen sense of observation empowered I Roy to take the art of toasting to a new level and would have certainly claimed U Roy's throne had it not been for the recordings of Big Youth. Born Manley Buchanan, Big Youth served his musical apprentiship with the Lord Tippertone system, prior to making his recording debut in 1972 and like I Roy, his recordings frequently conveyed a clear, often profound message, often drawing inspiration from the Bible.

As the seventies progressed, a cultural awareness engulfed much of Jamaican society and this was clearly reflected in releases by deejay recordings, which became increasingly sagacious in their tone. Jive talking or nonsense verse were no longer enough to carry a record and the style of toasting made popular by the likes of King Stitt, U Roy and Dennis Alcapone became confined to history. This collection however, celebrates those early efforts from the late sixties and early seventies, when even the likes of I Roy and Big Youth felt no great compulsion to always make a serious statement. What these recordings may lack in the way of any meaningful comment, they more than make up for in their sense of fun. In the immortal words of King Stitt - hot it from the top, to the very last drop!




Screaming Target
Big Youth
Festival Wise
Yamaha Skank
DJ's Choice
Winston Williams
Hot Bomb
I .Roy & The Jumpers
King Of Kings
Dennis Alcapone
I Got To Get Away
Dave Barker
Pride And Joy Rock
Big Youth
Love Is A Treasure
The Tide Is High
U. Roy
Riddle I This
Blackman Time
I. Roy
Herbsman (Shuffle)
King Stitt & Andy Cap
Blake Boy
S90 Skank
Big Youth
Place Called Africa
Winston Prince
U. Roy

Clean Race
Spanish Amigo
Dennis Alcapone
Buck And The Preacher
I Roy
Hot Stick Version
Phillip Samuels
Be Careful
Big Youth
True True
U. Roy
Vigerton 2
King Stitt
Cow Town Skank
I. Roy
Teach The Children
Dennis Alcapone
Red Gold And Green
I. Roy
Draw Your Brakes
Jack Of My Trade
Sir Lord Comic
Moving Version
Big Youth
Give Me Power Version
King Iwah
Flashing My Whip
U. Roy
Fire Corner
King Stitt
Ripe Cherry
Dennis Alcapone

Cat Campbell
Shock And Shake
Charlie Ace
To The Fields
I Worry
Tripe Girl
I. Roy
Dreamland Version
Big Youth
The Great Woggie
Dennis Alcapone
Love I Tender
U. Roy
High Explosion
Lloyd Young
Wet Version
Dave Barker
Children Children
The Right Song
The Killer
Big Youth
Ten Commandments
Prince Heron
D.J.'s Choice
Dennis Alcapone
Dr. Phibbs
I. Roy

Time - 48:08

Time - 51:20

Time - 45:16

All material Copyright Trojan Records