Record of the Day: Various Artists, "Trojan Soulful Reggae"

Record of the Day: Various Artists, “Trojan Soulful Reggae”

Various Artists
Trojan Soulful Reggae (3 CD Trojan TRBCD 021)

One of the historic labels within Jamaican music, Trojan Records began its activity in 1967 thanks to
Chris Blackwell, guru of Island Records, who decided to dedicate the first releases of the new brand to the recordings of producer Arthur «Duke» Reid, one of the revolutionaries of the reggae/dub style together with Lee «Scratch» Perry and Clement «Coxsone» Dodd.

Compared to Island, Trojan was oriented towards record releases that were decidedly more aimed at dance floors and the so-called Sound Systems, which led by expert DJs managed to catalyze thousands of Jamaican and English kids in discos and open-air parties, with performances that often they lasted for an entire night without interruption. Warm, engaging music but sometimes made in a hurry and thrown onto the market to satisfy demand, which makes the vast Trojan catalog very variable in terms of quality.

The label has changed hands many times over the years; currently the owner is Sanctuary Records, which in recent years has begun a long series of box set reissues of many jewels present in the Trojan catalogue, dividing them into different stylistic categories. Dozens of box sets inspired by the most diverse styles have already been released, from dancehall to reggae, from rocksteady to ragga, from dub to ska, all chosen with great care, alternating famous artists with illustrious unknowns who
have never crossed the border of the Jamaican record market, authentic gems for collectors but also for simple enthusiasts of music that is worth dancing to and is very pleasant to listen to, carefully remastered in these new editions.

Very attentive to fashion, Trojan listened to the success of soul music in the 60s and 70s by creating reggae versions
of great hits from Motown (but also from Stax) collected in this Soulful Box Set, which at a bargain price gives you excellent versions of “You Keep Me Hangin' On”, “Tears of a Clown”, “I Second That Emotion”, “Living for the City”, “Let's Get It On” and many other hits linked to names such as Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Temptations, on this occasion performed by not very well-known but excellent artists such as Barry Biggs, Pat Rhoden, Lloyd Charmers, Zap Pow and Boris Gardner.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.