The first titles to be announced in the series:
The Skatalites and The Maytals, out 20th January
available on 2x colour vinyl, 2xcd & digital formats
Trojan Records have announced The Essential Artist Collection, a brand new series of artist-focused compilation albums showcasing some of the very best talents from the label’s esteemed roster. Championing their stellar catalogs, the series will highlight the most important ska and reggae tracks from the most influential artists and vocal/instrumental groups with each title available on double color vinyl, double CD, and digital formats.
First in the series to be announced are The Skatalites and The Maytals, both of which will be released on the 20th of January. Pre-order is available here.
As the sound of ska exploded upon Jamaica’s musical landscape in the early 60s, the driving dynamic sound was championed by a group frequently credited as the originators of ska and the greatest ensemble of musicians ever to have performed and recorded on the island – The Skatalites. Formed in 1964, the group comprised of legendary saxophonist Tommy McCook, trombonist Don Drummond, tenor saxman Roland Alphonso, drumming supremo Lloyd Knibb and keyboard prodigy Jackie Mittoo. The powerhouse instrumental combo dominated the island’s music industry for 18 glorious months, and this new collection includes the very best of their work including ska anthems such as One Eyed Giant, Alley Cat and Music is my Occupation – produced by famed Treasure Isle Records boss, Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid.
Led by the dynamic Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert, The Maytals are highly regarded as one of the greatest singing trios in the history of Jamaican music, scoring hit after hit on the island’s charts during an incredible career spanning six decades. The new collection brings together the very best of their work, including their rock steady and early recordings for Leslie Kong’s revered Beverley’s Records during the late Sixties and early Seventies; a period that spawned ground-breaking work such as 54 46 Was My Number, Monkey Man and Do the Reggay, to name but a few. It also includes numerous classics such as Sweet And Dandy, Pressure Drop and Night And Day, demonstrating just why the unforgettable music of The Maytals will continue to be loved for many years to come.
The Essential Artist Collection series will continue throughout 2023 with more legendary artists announced in due course.
About Trojan Records
Taking its name from the flatbed truck that revered producer Duke Reid used to transport his sound system around Jamaica, Trojan Records was instrumental in introducing the sound of the island to the world at large.
The iconic record label, established in 1968, has continually drawn upon its legendary roots to showcase the very best Jamaican music, bringing the likes of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Desmond Dekker, Marcia Griffiths, John Holt, Ken Boothe Toots & The Maytals and Jimmy Cliff to a mainstream audience.
Within its vaults lie many of the greatest and most popular Jamaican records of all time from ska and rock steady to roots and dub, comprising scores of major hits that have significantly influenced the sound of popular music and culture.
Trojan Records changed the British musical and cultural landscape, bringing a new sound and ethos to the world. Now part of the BMG family, the label continues to grow from strength to strength, building upon its profound legacy.