TROJAN LOVERS BOX SET (TRBCD005) - Before Rastafarianism and social awareness became prevailing themes in Jamaican music, the main preoccupation among Jamaican songwriters was far more fundamental  - namely, love. The late sixties and early seventies witnessed an explosion of soulful and romantic recordings and this set highlights 50 such songs by some of the biggest names in Jamaican music...

The late, great DELROY WILSON who opens the collection, made his recording debut while still in his early teens before becoming one of the island's leading male vocalists with a series of local hits. Among these were his 1968 remake of The Tams' "IT HURTS" and "LIVING IN THE FOOTSTEPS", cut for Bunny Lee in 1973. Sadly, Wilson's career later went into decline and in 1995 the singer passed away, aged 46.

MARCIA GRIFFITHS also made her breakthrough in the sixties and towards the end of the decade cut her superb rendition of Jackie DeShannon's pop hit "PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART". Shortly after the release of the song, she teamed up with BOB ANDY to record the internationally successful "Young, Gifted & Black", and the following year, the pair notched up a second UK chart hit with "Pied Piper". Andy recorded his version of Al Green's "ONE WOMAN" around the same time as the latter, while "HONEY CHILD", from a couple of years later illustrates why he is considered one of Jamaica's finest songwriters. Like her former partner, Griffiths - whose stunning interpretation of Roberta Flack's "THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW HIS FACE" is also featured on this collection - has remained one of the most respected figures in Reggae music, both as a solo artist and one third of The I Threes.

The immensely talented JACKIE EDWARDS who is widely acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of contemporary Jamaican music was one of the island's first major recording stars. In the early sixties he moved to London, but early the following decade, he returned to his roots, cutting a number of fine Reggae sides, including a version of The Cookies' 1958 R&B hit "IN PARADISE" and a remake of one of his earliest hits "YOUR EYES ARE DREAMING". Tragically. Edwards passed away in 1992, following a heart attack.

KEN BOOTHE and DENNIS BROWN are two more giants of the Reggae scene who have been making hits for decades. Five years after cutting "WHY BABY WHY" and "NOW I KNOW", Boothe tasted international success with "Everything I Own" and "Crying Over You", while Brown's 1972 renderings "LIPS OF WINE" and The Rays' Doo Wop classic "SILHOUETTES" were recorded while he was still a relative newcomer to the music scene.

Both DAVE BARKER and PAT KELLY have performed with The Techniques during their illustrious singing careers, albeit at different times. Barker, who is best know for his exuberant outbursts on "Double Barrel" and "Monkey Spanner" was one of the most talented singers to first make his mark in the late sixties as "LONELY MAN" from 1970 confirms. Kelly's superb performances on his re-workings of the Shep & The Limelights "DADDY'S HOME" and Curtis Mayfield's "SOULFUL LOVE" illustrate why he is considered one of the finest singers Jamaica has produced.

Another pair of individuals who influence on Jamaican music has been considerable are DERRICK HARRIOTT and ALTON ELLIS. Harriott, who is equally adept at performing, writing and producing, recorded his superb interpretations of The Chi-Lites' Soul classic, "HAVE YOU SEEN HER", and The Temptations' 1965 hit, "SINCE I LOST MY BABY" in the early seventies. Ellis' "I'LL BE WAITING" from 1970 was one of the biggest hits of his illustrious career.

Frequently cited as godfather of Lovers Rock, GREGORY ISAACS has probably notched up more Reggae hits than any other Jamaican artist, with one of his very first successes being his original 1972 version of "All I Have Is Love" His namesake, DAVID ISAACS although not as successful, recorded numerous excellent sides throughout the sixties and seventies, particularly  for Lee "Scratch" Perry, who in 1969 produced the singer's fine interpretation of Ben E King's "UNTIL I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE".

Two of the most underrated talents in Jamaican music are JOE WHITE and LARRY MARSHALL, both of whom began their singing careers in the early sixties. White cut his magnificent version of The Impressions' "I'M SO PROUD" for Charlie Ross in '68 and remained active as both vocalist and instrumentalist in Jamaica before moving to the UK the following decade. Marshall's re-working of "PLEASE STAY" (the original of which had launched his career) dates from the preceding year and features Alvin Leslie on harmonies. Six months later, Larry & Alvin cut what is considered to be the first true Reggae Recording "Nanny Goat".

After cutting material for the ubiquitous  Coxsone Dodd, AL BROWN joined Skin, Flesh & Bones, who in 1973 backed him on his popular version of Al Green's "HERE I AM BABY", a recording which proved hugely influential in the creation of Bunny Lee's popular "flying cymbal" sound. Prior to this development, Lee produced some of his biggest hits of the early seventies, including singles by two of the most distinctive tenor singers in Reggae; HORACE ANDY and CORNELL CAMPBELL. Both joined the producers rosta of artists around 1972, with their respective versions of "RIDING FOR A FALL" (originally recorded by The Tams) and "NEVER FOUND A GIRL" cut shortly thereafter.

The careers of SHARON FORRESTER and SUSAN CADOGAN followed uncannily similar paths, with both singers exploding onto the Reggae scene, before fading almost as quickly. Forrester's rendering of Valerie Simpson's "SILLY WASN'T I" was one of the biggest Reggae hits of 1973 and the following year, Cadogan found success with a number of noteworthy singles for Lee Perry - including a fine interpretation of "FEVER" and her hit version of Millie Jackson's "Hurt So Good". The respective decisions by both to relocate to the UK ultimately led to a decline in their fortunes and although Cadogan enjoyed two further minor hits, further major success have since proved elusive.

A far more enduring figure was PHYLLIS DILLON, who throughout the sixties was arguably the most popular female vocalist in Jamaica, with a string of hit singles for Duke Reid, among which was her Rocksteady rendering of The Shirelles' "A THING OF THE PAST". Around 1968, she emigrated to America and although she returned periodically  to Jamaica to record further material with Reid, finally gave up recording in the early seventies. Two other performers to leave Jamaica for America, while still at the height of their careers were Keith Rowe - who with Tex Dixon formed the extremely partnership of KEITH & TEX - and GLEN ADAMS. The duo of Keith & Tex enjoyed considerable success throughout the latter part of the sixties with a series of hit singles (including "TONIGHT") for Derrick Harriott, while Adams, who cut "RICH IN LOVE" in 1969, is perhaps best remembered as keyboard player with The Hippy Boys, aka The Upsetters.

Long before achieving international success with "OK Fred" in 1979, ERROL DUNKLY was an established star in his native Jamaica, having made his recording debut while still a youth in the mid-sixties. His extremely popular version of "DARLING OOH" was cut for Sonia Pottinger around 1972. Another veteran of the Reggae scene is BUSTY BROWN, who was at his most prolific throughout the late sixties and early seventies. Shortly after recording his excellent version of The Independents' R&B hit, "JUST AS LONG AS YOU NEED ME" for Lloyd Charmers, he joined The Chosen Few.

The Rocksteady era witnessed an explosion of vocal groups, many of whom feature on this collection. Among the most successful were THE MELODIANS, formed by Tony Brevett, Brent Dowe and Tony McNaughton in the mid-sixties. The trio enjoyed a run of hits throughout the remainder of the decade, including "YOU DON'T NEED ME", cut in '67 for Duke Reid, and their self-produced "RING OF GOLD" from the following year. Arguably the most popular singing group from this time were THE PARAGONS, featuring JOHN HOLT, Tyrone Evans and Howard Barrett. Between 1966 and 1968 they notched up an impressive number of hits, including their excellent version of The Four Tops' "LEFT WITH A BROKEN HEART". In 1969, Holt embarked on a successful solo career, which was bolstered by his incredibly popular collaborations with producer, Tony Ashfield. Among their finest joint efforts was his remake of The Paragons' hit "MEMORIES BY THE SCORE" and a rendering of the Gamble/Huff composition, "YOU WILL NEVER FIND ANOTHER LOVE LIKE MINE".

THE HEPTONES are one of Jamaica's most enduring vocal trios, having remained active for over thirty years in the business. Formed by Leroy Sibbles, Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn, the group have worked with almost every Kingston-based producer of note, including Joe Gibbs, who in 1971 produced their version of the Ruby & The Romantics' "OUR DAY WILL COME" and Geoffrey Chung, for whom they "LET ME HOLD YOUR HAND" two years later.

Another of Jamaica's most popular vopcal groups during the Rocksteady era were THE GAYLADS, who featured Harris BB SEATON, Winston DELANO STEWART and Maurice Roberts. In the late sixties, Stewart took time out of the group to record a number of fine solo efforts for Sonia Pottinger, the most popular of which was "STAY A LITTLE BIT LONGER" - a song recently revived by UB40 on their "Labour Of Love III" album. Back with The Gaylads, he enjoyed further success with a number of singles, including the 1971 hit, "MY JAMAICAN GIRL". Shortly after the release of the single, Seaton left to persue a solo career with his superb interpretation of The Persuaders' "THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE" among his first efforts away from the group.

Formed around 1966 by Keith SLIM SMITH, Lloyd Charmers and Jimmy Riley, THE UNIQUES enjoyed a series of popular singles for Bunny Lee before cutting a number of self-produced titles, including their version of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles' "YOU'LL LOSE A PRECIOUS LOVE". Early in '69, the trio disbanded, with Smith swiftly becoming one of the island's favourite solo artists, but shortly after recording "TURNING POINT" (aka "WHERE DO I TURN") for Bunny Lee in 1972, the singer died under mysterious circumstances.

Although neither are known for their romantic material, both THE ETHIOPIANS and TOOTS & THE MAYTALS have not been adverse to the occasional romantic interlude, as demonstrated by their respective versions of "SAD NEWS" and "IT MUST BE TRUE LOVE". Both groups were formed in sixties, with The Ethiopians comprising of Leonard Dillon, Stephen Taylor and Aston Morris, and The Maytals featuring Frederick "Toots" Hibbard, Jerry McCarthy and Henry Gordon.

Formed by Trevor Shield, Hal Lewinson and Leon Brown, THE BELTONES enjoyed a run of local hits in the late sixties, most notably "NO MORE HEARTACHES", recorded for Harry Johnson in 1968. The Trio later recorded a series of excellent singles for Coxsone Dodd and later enjoyed success as The Fantelles. Another popular singing group of the era were THE SILVERTONES, who in the seventies cut a number of fine sides for Lee Perry, including their version of Ben E King's "THAT'S WHEN IT HURTS".

Unlike the other groups featured on this set, both THE FAB FIVE INC, and THE INNER CIRCLE were self-contained groups formed in the early seventies. Their respective versions of The Osmonds' "LOVE ME FOR A REASON" and The Stylistics' "YOU MAKE ME FEEL BRAND NEW" were recorded around 1974, some years before The Inner Circle became one of the world's leading Reggae acts.

DISC 1

DISC 2

DISC 3

Living In The Footsteps
Delroy Wilson
Put A Little Love In Your Heart
Marcia Griffiths
In Paradise
Jackie Edwards
Why Baby Why
Ken Boothe
Lips Of Wine
Dennis Brown
Stay A Little Bit Longer
Delano Stewart
Ring Of Gold
The Melodians
Memories By The Score
John Holt
Our Day Will Come
The Heptones
Lonely Man
Dave Barker
Have You Seen Her
Derrick Harriott
Daddy's Home
Pat Kelly & The Uniques
Sad News
The Ethiopians
I'll Be Waiting
Alton Ellis
Thin Line Between Love And Hate
B.B. Seaton
All I Have Is Love
Gregory Isaacs
Love Me For A Reason
The Fab Five Inc.

Turning Point (Where Do I Turn)
Slim Smith
Til I Can't Take It Anymore
David Isaacs
My Jamaican Girl
The Gaylads
I'm So Proud
Joe Smith
Silly Wasn't I
Sharon Forrester
Please Stay
Larry Marshall
Here I Am Baby
Al Brown
Riding For A Fall
Horace Andy
It Must Be True Love
Toots & The Maytals
No More Heartache
The Beltones
Thats When It Hurts
The Silvertones
Tonight
Keith And Tex
One Woman
Bob Andy
Never Found A Girl
Cornell Campbell
Left With A Broken Heart
The Paragons
Fever
Susan Cadogan

Your Eyes Are Dreaming
Jackie Edwards
Silhouette
Dennis Brown
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Marcia Griffiths
Now I Know
Ken Boothe
You Don't Need Me
The Melodians
It Hurts
Delroy Wilson
You Make Me Feel Brand New
Inner Circle
Rich In Love
Glen Adams
Darling Ooh
Errol Dunkley
Let Me Hold Your Hand
The Heptones
Soulful Love
Pat Kelly
You Will Never Find Another Love Like Mine
John Holt
Since I Lost My Baby
Derrick Harriott
Things Of The Past
Phyllis Dillon
Honey Child
Bob Andy
You'll Lose A Precious Love
The Uniques
Just As Long As You Need Me
Busty Brown

Time - 51:36

Time - 49:11

Time - 52:03

All material Copyright Trojan Records