Various Artists

The Trojan Box Set: Calypso

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This might not all be classic calypso, by any means, with several tracks coming from the Supersonics (essentially the Skatalites in a slightly different incarnation, later in the '60s) and the focus decidedly more on Jamaica than calypso's real home of Trinidad. But there's some great stuff from Lord Kitchener and a little Lord Invader to spice things up, including one of his English pieces, "Teddy Boy Calypso," which advocates harsh treatment for juvenile delinquents. "Not Me" is a take on the classic calypso "Man Smart, Woman Smarter," but without the rough power of the original. Like most calypso, there are plenty of topical subjects, now long out of date, like "Undemocratic Rhodesia," illustrating the fact that calypso was very much a form of news and commentary on politics and social events. And while the Maytals and Derrick Harriott were never calypso figures, there's enough here to make it worthwhile. Even the non-calypso music has value, and an association of some kind, to the genre. If it's the real classic songs you're searching for, you won't really find many of them here. But if you have those and you're looking to expand your calypso collection, you could do a lot worse than explore this.

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