Various Artists - The Trojan Story (3xLP Vinyl)

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50 years following its original release, this hugely influential album has been revisited by Bell, along with reggae musician, Rusty Zinn, who have succeeded in improving what was already an almost perfect collection.

Presented in the original eye-catching artwork, the set is further enhanced by a highly illustrated 50-page booklet in which Bell relates the stories behind the release and the 50 tracks featured on the compilation.

Original 1971 sleeve note:
"The master tapes for many of the tracks have either deteriorated or been lost, resulting in several dubs from disc. We have endeavoured to clean up the surface noise wherever possible, but please excuse any slight noise remaining".


This triple album celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Trojan Story's original release in 1971. It was the first of its kind to attempt to trace the development of Jamaican popular music from its roots in shuffle/Rn'B through ska, rocksteady and reggae, to the dawn of the roots era. It is difficult to appreciate how difficult research must have been to compile this compilation, especially the sleeve notes, when little had been written about the history of the music, when label credits could be notoriously unreliable, and the dawn of the internet era was still decades away. Several tracks have been changed for this release, presumably owing to licensing issues, but they do not detract from the quality of the music and make it more attractive to those who have the original. The photos and sleeve notes are of a high quality and justify the price of the album.

The tracks are weighted towards the early years of indigenous Jamaican music, which is to be expected as reggae itself was barely 3 years old in 1971. The tracks are a mixture of better known tunes and those that were not so well known at the time. However, it avoids the major Trojan hits that spanned the years 1968-71, but that is to be commended. Ironically, many of the releases were not released on a Trojan label, as the company was not founded until 1967. Many are from its original parent label, Island, with most of the others being from the giants of the UK Jamaican scene in the early and mid-Sixties, such as Doctor Bird, Pyramid, Blue Beat, Ska Beat, Giant and Caltone. Nothing from Trojan's main competitor, Pama, though.

My only gripe is the sleeves for the records, which could have been designed more carefully, and there is a printed sheet that is attached to the back of the album case. I am not sure if removing it will cause it to lose value, but it is easy to unattach and place inside without leaving any marks.
Reviewed by: Pompey39

A1 Lord Tanamo– Invitation To Jamaica
A2 Derrick Morgan– Fat Man
A3 Jackie Edwards– Tell Me Darling
A4 Owen Gray– Running Around
A5 Jimmy Cliff– Miss Jamaica
A6 Derrick And Patsy– Housewife's Choice
A7 The Continentals– Give Me All Your Love
A8 Owen Gray– Darling Patricia
B1 Stranger Cole– Rough And Tough
B2 Kentrick Patrick– Man To Man
B3 Stranger & Ken– Uno - Dos - Tres
B4 Al T. Joe– Slow Boat
B5 Duke Reid's Group– Rude Boy
B6 Higgs & Wilson– Gone Is Yesterday
B7 Lord Tanamo– I'm In The Mood For Ska
B8 The Baba Brooks Band– Virginia Ska
B9 Justin Hinds & The Dominoes– Satan
C1 Baba Brooks & His Band– One Eyed Giant
C2 Joe White and Chuck– Every Night
C3 Baba Brooks & His Band– King Size
C4 The Astronauts– Syncopate
C5 Winston & George– Keep The Pressure On
C6 The Techniques– Oh Babe
C7 The Ethiopians– Train To Skaville
C8 Dandy Livingstone– Rudy, A Message To You
D1 Honey Boy Martin & The Voices– Dreader Than Dread
D2 The Three Tops– It's Raining
D3 The Ethiopians– The Whip
D4 Desmond Dekker & The Aces– Pretty Africa
D5 Alton Ellis & The Flames– Rock Steady
D6 Ewan & Jerry– Rock Steady Train
D7 Sugar Simone– King Without A Throne
D8 Phyllis Dillon– Perfidia
E1 Roy Shirley– Musical Train
E2 Derrick Morgan– Do The Beng Beng
E3 Lynn Taitt & The Jets– Way Of Life
E4 Tommy McCook & The Supersonics– Second Fiddle
E5 Lee 'Scratch' Perry– People Funny Boy
E6 The Tennors– I've Got To Get You Out Of My Mind
E7 The Maytals– Do The Reggay
E8 The Slickers– Nana
F1 Delano Stewart– Tell Me Baby
F2 The Reggae Boys– Mama Look Deh
F3 The Ethiopians– Hong Kong Flu
F4 The Maytals– Pressure Drop
F5 The Soul Mates– Them A Laugh And A Ki Ki
F6 The Melodians– Walking In The Rain
F7 Carl Dawkins– Satisfaction
F8 The Maytones– Black And White
F9 The Charmers– Rasta Never Fails

3LPs + 50 page booklet in a hardbacked book packaging.
The records are housed in the book, no seperate covers.