This Is Reggae Music: Golden Era 1960-1975 Box set, Original recording remastered
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I hate to denigrate Trojan, one of the most important original reggae labels, but it changed hands between numerous independent and major record companies so many times by now that its identity is meaningless, it is just a vast catalogue of tracks from reggae's crucial period, early sixties to late seventies, and its current owner - giant BMG, with its Sanctuary imprint - is just milking it.
I mean, it is great that they revived and expanded most of Trojan's original albums as well as the original compilations - like the "Tighten Up" series - but they flooded the market with SO MANY variously themed compilations as well as mini (3CD) box sets that it renders "This Is Reggae Music" totally obsolete. (Cross-referencing is great, but how many times can you include "007" and "Preassure Drop" and "Blood and Fire" and "Marcus Garvey" and "Rivers of Babylon" and... Even the cover photo has been incredibly abused over time... Major lack of imagination. Or is it simply... Greed..?)
Even if you're not that serious about reggae, but own a few compilations covering the mentioned period(s) it is most likely you'd already have 80% of the tracks on this box set. Obscurities and rarities included here are simply not worth it, even for those obsessive-compulsive collectors, myself included.
However, the music deserves nothing less than five stars so, if you ARE one of those rare birds just starting on with reggae, by all means - snatch it!! And look for excellent Island/Mango Records box set titled "Tougher Than Tough - The Story Of Jamaican Music" which is a more comprehensive look at the genre, both in selection and presentation.
Sure, Bob Marley is on board. But if you don't know Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker or Toots & the Maytals, to name just a few of the other greats herein, you don't know reggae.
Total tracks: 90 (all previously released).
Nice touch: Ska and other styles of Jamaican music get their due, too.
The perfect gift for: Marley mavens who want the bigger picture.
There are some songs that I had heard before, but mostly this is an introduction for me. As an intro, it's great, because there is some that is easy to get along with, some that challenges a little and a few things that just fall flat. One thing is for sure - if you like Elvis Costello (which I do), you will love this box set, since he lifted so many of his riffs from these songs.
This is the kind of compilation that serves as a good jumping off point for exploring different artists within a genre. In particular, check out Tony Tribe's "Red, Red Wine" (it makes me want to beat the snot out of UB40 for doing such a lame cover), "S90 Skank", and "Bongo Man" as well as the classics such as "Pressure Drop", "Trenchtown Rock", "Many Rivers to Cross" and "Brand New Second Hand". If you don't like any of these songs, you won't like the album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Folks look at the lettering! This is an Unauthorized Illegal Chinese Counterfeit that is being sold on AMAzon. Read morePublished on January 21, 2013 by ChillyWiIlly
I play this collection often when I'm having people over to the pool, it creates a nice mental and musical environment. Read morePublished on August 4, 2009 by chris roberts
I did not enjoy this collection as much as I thought I would. Many of the songs might be important for "historical value" but were lousy music. Read morePublished on April 6, 2007 by Andrew
After Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and maybe 3 or 4 others who have managed to get on the radio, most folks I come across aren't aware of the myriad of performers in this field, or how... Read morePublished on January 12, 2007 by R. H. Hogan
Next to Tougher than Tough, this is one of the best reggae box sets out there. I hope they come out with a second volume of 1976-1980, that would be sweet!Published on May 4, 2005 by KT