Various Artists

Trojan Originals

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Trojan Originals is a three-disc box set of classic rocksteady tracks from the seemingly endless Trojan vaults. If you don't already have most of these recordings in your collection somewhere, then this is a must-have, because nearly every one of these 50 songs is a gem. Highlights (and they are frequent) include the Slickers' "Johnny Too Bad," Jimmy Cliff's gorgeous hymn "Many Rivers to Cross," Lord Creator's '50s-styled "Kingston Town," and one of Niney's greatest productions, "Blood and Fire." Also collected here are two fine songs by Leonard Dillon's Ethiopians ("Good Ambition," "Train to Skaville"), another pair of hits from the Pioneers ("Time Hard," "Long Shot Kick de Bucket"), and the beautiful "Rivers of Babylon" by the Melodians. Desmond Dekker's "007 (Shanty Town)," the original version of "The Tide Is High" by the Paragons, and the mento/ska classic "Carry Go Bring Come" by Justin Hinds & the Dominoes are also here, making this a wonderful introduction to a vital period in the development of reggae.

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