TROJAN CLUB REGGAE BOX SET (TRBCD020) - During the sixties, the bulk of sales in Jamaican music were centred on vinyl singles. Albums were not produced in large numbers, and were not easily marketed. One reason for this was the high cost to a promoter of putting an album together, and of manufacturing it. In turn, this led to a retail price that was prohibitive. However, once Jamaican music had grabbed a toe hold in the UK, Trojan Records decided that they could just as easily market albums, and came up with a successful sales strategy. Hot singles in the ethnic market, that had already peaked in terms of sales, were then compiled onto budget priced albums. It was a popular idea, resulting in phenomenal sales for certain titles, and encouraging the company to release further volumes. The most famous Trojan collection was Tighten Up, which eventually ran to ten volumes. The first eight were sampled on another box set in this current series (see TRBCD 018). Next in terms of popularity, was the Club Reggae series, sampled here.

The Club Reggae concept was not new however, as there had already been Club Soul, Club Ska and Club Rock Steady collections issued on Island. Although it should be mentioned that the latter two were subsequently re-pressed by Trojan. The first Club Reggae album (TBL 159) was issued early in 1971. It featured some of the biggest selling singles from the previous twelve months, including the UK No. 1 Double Barrel by Dave & Ansel Collins. The second volume (TBL 164) joined it later the same year, with Volume 3 (TBL 178) seeing release in 1972. All three volumes are sampled on this first disc, which includes Hopeton Lewis's Boom Shacka Lacka. Although not credited at the time, the Chosen Few provide backing vocals. Also amended from the original is Lizzie's track, originally credited to the Fabulous Five, who provided the vocal cut. Likewise, Riot features Johnny "Dizzy" Moore.

The first part of this second disc presents a selection from Club Reggae Volume 4 (TBL 188), issued in the latter part of 1972. We start off with the entire A side of the album - on tracks 1 to 6. Louie Louie by The Maytals is the earlier of two versions of the song. It was recut later in extended form for the group's Funky Kingston album (see CDTRL 201), for the second take. DJ duo Lloyd Young and Carey Johnson, toast over Hands And Feet by the Maytones for Scorpion. And Time Hard is a rare lead outing for Pioneers member George Dekker, said to be Desmond Dekker's half-brother. But perhaps the most notable cut is Star Trek, named after the TV series, which features a Moog Synthesizer as lead instrument. It was this track, created in the UK by Trojan's Bush team, that started the whole synthesizer craze in Reggae. And in case anyone was wondering who was actually playing the synthesizer, it was Ken Elliott. Tracks 7 to 9 inclusive, are from the B side of the album, and includes U-Roy Junior's toast over Ken Parker's I Just Wanna Be Love.

The remaining tracks on this disc are taken from Club Reggae Volume 5 (TBL 205), released in the summer of 1973. Red Herring may well familiar, and you'd be right. The original rhythm track was recorded in Jamaica, and used for Ken Boothe's Freedom Street. It was then over dubbed in the UK, by the same team that created the aforementioned Star Trek, and featured on the album of the same name. Although Zap Pow's Lottery Spin was a novelty record at the time, it's probably far more relevant today! The rest of the tracks made up the entire B side of Club Reggae Volume 5, which went to No. 1 in the Reggae Albums chart that August. However, despite notching up significant sales figures, the budget priced albums were excluded from the UK national charts.

Towards the end of 1973, Trojan decided not to continue with the TBL series, and so the final collection appeared in the fully priced TRLS series as Club Reggae (TRLS 97 in 1974. Like the last two Tighten Up volumes, the company compensated for the price hike by including twenty tracks. Again, this found favour with record buyers, and Club Reggae got to No. 2 in the Reggae Album chart. As some tracks already appear elsewhere, the best sixteen cuts have been chosen to feature on this final disc. It opens with several cover versions, the first being from Marcia Griffiths, formerly one half of the duo Bob & Marcia, who went on to become a member of the I-Three's. She remains as one of Jamaica's leading ladies, and is currently enjoying an extended run of hit's for Donovan Germaine's Penthouse Label.

Lloyd Charmers features on two tracks. His first is a vocal cover of the Smokey Robinson number Sweet Harmony, which was a huge hit on the club scene. His second is a mainly piano led version of Let's Get It On, a tune he originally produced as a vocal by Ken Boothe. The latter raids the Sam Cooke songbook for his take on Darling You Send Me. Skin, Flesh & Bones, led by Lloyd Parks, were one of the most in-demand session bands at the time. When not backing Lloyd, they worked with a number of other top vocalists. They feature here on two tracks, with Bammie Fe Fish being a version of Al Brown's Reggae cover to Here I Am Baby (originally done by Soul singer Al Green). Although all the tracks in this selection were big sellers at the time, without doubt the heaviest track must be Johnny Clarke's roots anthem None Shall Escape The judgement, originally issued in the UK on Trojan's Explosion subsidery label. If you enjoyed this box set, then we hope you will investigate the others in this series.

Chris Pete (Let's Catch The Beat)




Holly Holy
Fabulous Flames
Take A Letter Maria
The Law
Andy Capp
Groovy Situation
Derrick Harriott
I Need Your Sweet Inspirations
Boom Shacka Lacka
Hopeton Lewis & The Chosen Few
Cherry Oh Baby
Eric Donaldson
To The Fields
Sweet Jamaica
Clancy Eccles
Little Boy Blue
Verne And Son
I Love Jamaica
Neville Willoughby
Those Good Good Old Days
Jimmy Cliff
Mother And Child Reunion
Merry Up
God Sons
Come Back And Stay Version
Soul Syndicate
Just A Dream
Slim Smith

Louie Louie
Toots & The Maytals
Lloyd & Carey
Ebony Eyes
Chosen Few
I'll Be True To You
Tito Simon
Time Hard
George Dekker
Star Trek
Sharper Than A Razor
U. Roy Jnr
Don't Stop
Danny Ray
Watch That Little Girl
Nicky Thomas
Red Herring
Lottery Spin
Zap Pow
Build It Up
Tito Simon
Reggae Makossa
Brent Dowe
Ton Up Kids
Dave And Ansel Collins
Images Of You
Nicky Thomas
Check Out Yourself
Cherrie Baby

When Will I See You Again
Marcia Griffiths
Sweet Harmony
Lloyd Charmers
Darling You Send Me
Ken Boothe
I Am Gone
Derrick Morgan & Hortence
Kung Fu Fighting
Solitary Man
Skin Flesh & Bones
Best Time Of My Life
Pat Kelly
Rock Your Baby
Let's Get It On Version
Lloyd Charmers
Changing Partners
Barbara Jones
Irie Festival
Turner McCormack
Bammie Fe Fish
Skin, Flesh & Bones
Come Lay Some Loving On Me
Jenny Taylor
Some Guys Have All The Luck
Derrick Harriott
This Monday Morning Feeling
Tito Simon
Enter Into His Gates With Praise
Johnny Clarke

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