TROJAN SUNSHINE REGGAE BOX SET (TJETD185) - Since the dawn of mankind the human race has quite rightly regarded the sun as an object of special significance. From the ancient cultures through to the boom in naturism our nearest star has been and still is regularly worshipped. Scientists have identified its importance in the cycle of life while the rest of us appreciate the benefits of this essential source of Vitamin D. Naturally the sun has inspired singers and players of instruments to celebrate its significance and with the onset of another 'ozone depleted - globally warmed' summer, let's look at the original source of those 'more fyah' chants.

Well you can't get more fire than the sun!

Our collection opens with the Techniques who performed that famed appeal to a dockside tallyman, 'Day O (The Banana Boat Song)'. They covered the tune in true Jamaican style although it was Harry Belafonte's calypso version that led to its international notoriety.

The Techniques included artists such as Slim Smith, Junior Menz and Winston Riley in their line-up before they went their separate ways in 1966. When the group reformed, the line-up was hardly recognisable, as Slim had launched the Uniques and relished a popular solo career, while Junior Menz joined the Paragons, who performed our following track, the celebratory, 'Land Of Sun And Sea'. Incidentally Duke Reid, the producer of the Paragons hit also produced the group when they released the Jamaican chart topping 'On The Beach', a song revived by U Roy in 1970 and fittingly features on this compilation.

Byron Lee & The Dragonaires were widely regarded as the ultimate in band-by-the-pool entertainers, but while they are too often remembered for their lightweight covers of Jamaican standards, they clearly demonstrate a professional approach to the sunshine sound. Their version of 'Soul Limbo' will no doubt inspire memories of an English summer on the village green, evoking the sounds of willow against leather, while others will savour more recent events such as Brian Lara's record breaking innings. But let's get back to the band who are also featured on this set performing the aptly titled '(Musical) Scorcher' and the soca-styled 'Hot Hot Hot', a song originally recorded by Arrow, and always a sure-fire holiday hit.

George Gershwin's 'Summertime' from the film 'Porgy And Bess' has been covered by a number of Jamaican supas over the years and for your dancing pleasure we give it to you inna Jamaican and a UK stylee. Lloyd Clarke and BB Seaton represent Jamaica, while Domino Johnson gives it to us inna 'Londung' style, bus' it stars.

Lloyd Clarke's version is followed by two rare tracks, 'Summertime Rock' from the under-rated Progressions, while Dennis Walks joins the Pioneers for the sublime 'Miss Tourist'. Curiously when asked whether Dennis Walks had ever performed with the Pioneers, Jackie Robinson stated that the singer hadn't, but whatever the story the track is an undeniable scorcher! Which leads us nicely into the following three tracks - the aforementioned Byron Lee's 'Scorcher' alongside, 'Another Scorcher' and 'Hotter Scorcher', performed by the glorious Tennors and Stranger Cole's protégés, Sweet Confusion, respectively.

Next up is another production from Byron Lee's Dynamic Studio featuring the studio skills of young Carlton Lee, who brings out the best in Jamaica Duke & His Mento Singers for his interpretation of 'Jamaica Farewell'.

In 1969, Bob Andy released a hit version of 'The Games People Play', issued in the UK through Doctor Bird. On its flip was the uplifting 'The Sun Shines For Me', a self-composition that later enjoyed a revival when Gregory Isaacs recorded the song. Gregory appears later in the set in combination with Cool Sticky performing the standard, 'You Are My Sunshine'. Incidentally it was Cool Sticky who provided the intro to the Skatalites' 'Guns Of Navarone', although he is now better known as the percussionist Uziah Thompson.

'Porgy And Bess' was not the only movie to inspire a series of Reggae versions as demonstrated by the numerous covers of '(Theme From) A Summer Place'. Two versions appear on this set - the first by Lorraine 'Ranny Bop' Williams, with the once British-based Keith 'Honey Boy' Williams (no relation) performing the other on disc 3.

There are those who would argue that Jimmy Cliff's finest work was recorded with the late Leslie Kong and the pair worked together on our featured track 'Hello Sunshine', a recording sure to keep that debate alive. And just to add fuel to the fire we've included the Leslie Kong production of Ken Boothe's rendering of Mungo Jerry's 'In The Summertime', a song that also inspired Winston Groovy to record his version as Billy Jack.

Just as the debate concerning Jimmy goes on, there is another school of thought that Bob Marley's greatest works were recorded with Lee Perry and 'Sun Is Shining' is a perfect example of their accomplishments together. Lee Perry is also, often credited with launching Dave Barker's career and following the singer/DJ's international success with Ansel Collins, he was reunited with the producer in London, resulting in 'Sunshine Rock'. Dave's work with Winston Riley, which had produced the chart topping 'Double Barrel' also resulted in array of superb tracks, including a sublime version of the Temptations' favourite, 'It's Summer'.

Tommy Cowan is best know for the Talent Corporation and his role as MC although he also recorded as part of the Jamaicans, a group that in 1967 won the Jamaican Song Festival with 'Baba Boom', and continued to record sporadic hits until the early seventies. Among the last of these was 'Sunshine Love'. produced by Cowan for Byron Lee's Dynamic Sounds in 1972.

Another group to benefit from the Dynamic production stable were the Melodians who following Leslie Kong's demise in 1971 recorded their silent partner Renford Cogle's composition, 'Bless The Sun' produced by Warwick Lynn.

Daniel Boone's pop hit, 'Beautiful Sunday' is covered by Teddy Magnus in a Reggae style before making way for the master of 'do over', John Holt. John's first contribution is his previously unissued 'Good Morning Sun', recorded back in 1975, while his version of Harry Belafonte's 'Island In The Sun' from three years later demonstrates why his '1000 Volts' series was never out of print.

The In Crowd, led by Phil Callender is noted for the fact that Cleveland Browne, of Steely & Clevie fame cut his musical teeth in the band. The group is best remembered for their summer anthems, 'We Play Reggae' and 'Back A Yard' that are still greeted by 'nuff lighter' on the revival circuit.

Lord Tanamo is well-known for the hit 'I'm In The Mood For Ska', which enjoyed a revival when it was chosen as the theme to a Paxo stuffing TV commercial. His subsequent revival led to him being labelled as a 'Ska father', however, one listen to 'A Dash Of Sunshine' from the late seventies shows he could hold his own in the Rockers arena. Following on from Lord Tanamo are two other Reggae veterans, namely the noted drummer Lloyd 'Tin Legs' Adams and David Isaacs who also adapted to the newer sound with ease. Lloyd performs 'Reggae In The Sun', while David revisits his version of the Stevie Wonder hit from the late sixties, 'A Place In The Sun'.

One time vocalist with Black Uhuru, Don Carlos enjoyed a successful solo career with a series of hits including 'Mr Sun' that demonstrates his winsome lyrics.

By the mid-eighties, a number of new producers emerged on the Reggae scene, including Phil Mathias and Bertram Douglas, both of whom could produce hot Ragga rhythms alongside some of the sweetest sounds. On this set their respective productions of Rudy's 'Sunshine Reggae' and Earl 'Sixteen' Daley's 'Sunshine', to coin a phrase, 'almost always makes me high'.

Our solar celebration continues with the UK contingency. And who better to open the proceedings than the man who was there when the Trojan label we know and love was launched. The man Robert 'Dandy Livingstone' Thompson should need no introduction even though he performed as the Jivers with Brother Dan All Stars when he invited us to go 'Down On The Beach'.

The Pyramids aka Symarip captured the imagination of the new skinhead audience and 'Holidays By The Sea' perfectly encapsulates the era, along with saucy postcards and 'kiss me quick' hats. The group return later on in this compilation and demonstrate their versatility when they perform 'Mosquito Bite' a sort of patois styled parody complete with monkey, goat and bull frog noises.

Dandy returns alongside Owen Gray for an extraordinary version of the Rascals' 'Groovin'' that has, like the aforementioned movie favourites, been covered over the years by numerous Reggae artists, quite possibly inspired by the duo's archetypal interpretation of the song.

Laurel Aitken is another skinhead favourite, sometimes referred to as the Godfather of Ska. His recent Sanctuary released 'Live At Club Ska' (TJACD 150) proved that while he is in his seventies his career is far from over. On this set he produced the Pama Dice favourite, 'Sin, Sun And Sex' that later inspired certain tourists to describe their perfect holiday as the three 'esses'; Sun Sea and Sex.

From the bawdy exploits of adolescent discoveries we adopt a more relaxed mood with Selwyn Baptiste's steel pan version of Bobby Bloom's 'Montego Bay', the rhythm of which was first laid down by Freddie Notes & The Rudies for their UK pop chart hit version.

Danny Ray's Cave Productions are currently carrying the swing, but many of his new-found followers are possibly not aware of his outstanding career. While most people remember his hit, 'Playboy' and the fact that the Clash covered 'Revolution Rock', Danny and his group, the Falcons were one of the first Reggae bands to sign with a major label. While MCA released 'The Scorpion', Trojan preceded the release with Count Prince Miller's unique production of 'Sunshine', recorded back in 1970.

In 1971, Dandy continued to produce a series of hits under various guises including our sunny delights, 'Sunshine Girl', 'Under The Boardwalk' with the Down To Earth and in his DJ role of Boy Friday on the unequivocal 'Sunshine Rock'.

Carl Douglas recently appeared at number six in an independence, celebratory Top 40 that measured the number of weeks on the UK chart by Jamaican acts. He achieved his placing through the song, 'Kung Fu Fighting', although not counted was his joint release, 'Patches' with the Rudies and 'Dancing In The Sun', which for contractual reasons was originally released accredited to Daniel In The Lion's Den.

Meanwhile, the Rudies evolved into Greyhound and famously scored with a plea for unity in the song 'Black And White', while the flip-side featured a number tailor-made for the Jamaican Tourist Board, 'Sand In Your Shoes'. Although the line 'Let's take a plane to JA, where the people are carefree and gay' might disappoint some visitors!

Pat Rhoden made a name for himself covering Stevie Wonder hits, such as 'Living For The City' and 'Boogie On Reggae Woman', but when it came to our nearest star his yearning in 'I Wish I Was Sitting In The Sun' proved that he was clearly hotter than July.

Our final homage to the sun comes with 'Seaside (Mystic Mirror)', which is another idiosyncratic example of the eccentric yet brilliant Lee 'Scratch' Perry. The Upsetter's contribution is eight minutes of pure Perry and closes this compilation with a wow factor of fifty - still blazing tracks.

Many of today's 'bun dem' lyrics tell us fire is for the purification, and who can question that when we hit you with these Burning sounds.

Don't forget the sunscreen!

Stephen Nye




Day O (The Banana Boat Song)
The Techniques
Land Of Sun And Sea
The Paragons
Soul Limbo
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Lloyd Clarke
Summertime Rock
The Progressions
Miss Tourist
Dennis Walks & The Pioneers
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Another Scorcher
The Tennors
Hotter Scorcher
Sweet Confusion
Jamaica Farewell
Jamaica Duke
The Sun Shines For Me
Bob Andy
Theme From A Summer Place
Ranny Williams & The Hippy Boys
Hello Sunshine
Jimmy Cliff
In The Summertime
Ken Boothe
Sun Is Shining
Bob Marley & The Wailers
On The Beach
U Roy

It's Summer
Dave Barker
You Are My Sunshine
Gregory Isaacs & Cool Sticky
Sunshine Love
The Jamaicans
Bless The Sunshine
The Melodians
Sunshine Rock
Dave Barker
B.B. Seaton
Beautiful Sunday
Teddy Magnus
Good Morning Sun
John Holt
We Play Reggae
In Crowd
A Dash Of Sunshine
Lord Tanamo
Island In The Sun
John Holt
Reggae In The Sun
Lloyd Adams
A Place In The Sun
David Isaacs
Mr Sun
Don Carlos
Hot, Hot, Hot
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Sunshine Reggae
Earl Sixteen

Down On The Beach
The Jivers
Holidays By The Sea
Owen Gray & Dandy
Sin, Sun And Sex
Pama Dice
In The Summertime
Winston Groovy
Mo' Bay
Selwyn Baptiste
Danny Ray & The Falcons
Mosquito Bite
The Pyramids
Sunshade Rock
Boy Friday
Dancing In The Sun
Daniel In The Lion's Den & Carl Douglas
Under The Boardwalk
Dandy & Down To Earth
Domino Johnson
I Wish I Was Sitting In The Sun
Pat Rhoden
Sunshine Girl
Dandy Livingstone
I've Got Sand In My Shoes
(Theme From A) Summer Place
Honey Boy
Seaside (Mystic Mirror)
Lee 'Scratch' Perry

Time - 41:46

Time - 61:20

Time - 54:50

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