Friday, August 12, 2011

Best of the Trojan Box Sets: Playlist for Aug. 12, 2011

Tonight we celebrate the reggae classics reissued in Trojan Records' epic series of box sets. So far, Trojan has released 70 collections of 50 songs apiece (that's 3,500 songs, folks!) in the last 13 years. The box sets have appeared under a variety of classification schemes -- some by genre, some by sub-label, some by audience (Skinhead reggae, for the love of Jah!), some by decade.

Except for the Trojan Seventies Box Set, which should be recalled and pulped, each of the 30 or so Trojan boxes with which I'm familiar is an interesting compilation that includes a number of excellent and unique tracks.

For me the bestest of all the boxes are the original Trojan box sets, Trojan Story (1980) and Trojan Story Vol. 2 (1982). I bought these records back then, and have listened to them more or less continuously (turntable & stereo technology allowing) ever since. They have taught me much of what I know about Jamaican music.
The Trojan Story "Triple Album Boxed Set" is actually a re-issue of a 1972 compilation. Trojan has been in the habit of re-issuing its re-issues for a long time now.

King Stitt: Fire Corner -- Trojan D.J. Box Set (Trojan 1998)
Alton Ellis: What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) -- Trojan Motor City Reggae Box Set (Trojan 2006)
Joe Higgs: The World Is Upside Down -- Trojan Bob Marley & Friends Box Set (Trojan 2002)
Lloyd & Carey: Down Side Up -- Trojan Producer Series Box Set (Trojan 1999)
Brother Dan All Stars: Eastern Organ -- Trojan Singles Box Set (Trojan 1999)
Derrick Morgan: Fat Man -- Trojan Singles Box Set (Trojan 1999)
Desmond Dekker: Fu Man Chu -- Trojan Reggae Brothers Box Set (Trojan 2003)
Cornell Campbell: Music Keep On Playing -- Trojan Carnival Box Set (Trojan 2003)
The Upsetters: Cloak & Dagger -- Trojan Creole Reggae Box Set (Trojan 2004)
The Aggrovators: Do You Dub -- Trojan Dub Box Set (Trojan 1998)
Toots & The Maytals: Bam Bam -- Trojan Calypso Box Set (Trojan 2002)
Count Lasher & Williams with Lyn Taitt & The Baba Brooks Band: Bam Bam -- Trojan Calypso Box Set (Trojan 2002)
Winston & George: Keep The Pressure On (Alternate Version) -- Trojan Rocksteady Rarities Box Set (Trojan 2005)
Keith Hudson: Melody Maker -- Trojan Rare Groove Box Set (Trojan 1999)
Bongo Herman, Bingy Bunny & Bongo Les: Salaam (Peace) -- Trojan Nyahbinghi Box Set (Trojan 2003)
Lee "Scratch" Perry: Soul Food -- Trojan Bob Marley & Friends Box Set (Trojan 2002)
Freddie McGregor: Jah Can Count On I -- Trojan Rockers Box Set (Trojan 2006)
The Pioneers: Mama Look -- The Trojan Story Vol. 1 (Trojan 1980)
Niney & The Soul Syndicate: Here I Come Dub -- Trojan Dub Box Set Vol. 2 (Trojan 2000)
The Kingstonians: Singer Man -- Trojan Originals Box Set (Trojan 2003)
Lloyd Parks: Everybody Needs Love -- Trojan Carnival Box Set (Trojan 2003)
The Spanishtonians: Suffer Me Not -- Trojan Reggae Rarities Box Set (Trojan 2004)
New Town Sound Ltd.: I & I Are The Chosen One -- Trojan Roots Box Set (Trojan 2003)
Owen Gray: Mash It (Parts 1 & 2) -- Trojan Jamaican R&B Box Set (Trojan 2002)
Derrick Morgan & Hortense Ellis: I Am Gone -- Trojan Club Reggae Box Set (Trojan 2000)
The Melodians: I Will Get Along Without You -- Trojan Rocksteady Box Set (Trojan 1998)
Derrick Harriott: Eighteen With A Bullet -- Trojan Seventies Box Set (Trojan 2004)
The Classics: Civilization -- Trojan Producer Series Box Set (Trojan 1999)
Dennis Brown: No More Will I Roam -- Trojan Producer Series Box Set (Trojan 1999)
The Viceroys: My Mission Is Impossible -- The Trojan Story Vol. 2 (Trojan 1982)

The Viceroys perform My Mission Is Impossible "inna de yard". Enjoy!
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upwards through the night.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Ladder of St Augustine."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin,

    I'm the publicist for Trojan Records UK, can i grab your email so i can drop you a press release with info about current releases?