Various Artists

Trojan Story, Vol. 2

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The Trojan Story, Vol. 2 picked up where its predecessor left off, continuing a somewhat disjointed but enjoyable vault raid on the Trojan archives. Starting with Scotty, late of the Chosen Few and the Federals, it carries us through the broken beat rhythm of the Ethiopians' "The Selah" and into Delroy Wilson's autobiographical "Better Must Come" (which found its way into the Island's politics in 1971), and Little Roy's infectiously catchy "Hard Fighter." Niney the Observer's "Blood & Fire" is an ominous revolutionary tract set memorably to music, while "Africa Is Paradise," by the Conscious Minds, is a breathtakingly beautiful paean to Rastafarianism. The collection moves from treasure to treasure, showcasing the work of rival singers U-Roy ("Earthquake") and El Paso ("Mosquito"), Winston Scotland of the Chosen Few, and the extraordinarily youthful Dennis Brown (when he was but 16-years-old) showcase "What About the Half?" backed by the Soul Syndicate. The Syndicate turns up again on "Riot," ex-Skatalite Dizzy Johnny Moore's trumpet carrying the piece. Perhaps the biggest surprise here is the Heptones' rendition of "Our Day Will Come," which puts a delightful and totally unexpected spin on the pop/rock classic.

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