11.2.06

Label Of The Week #2: Trojan

Last time around, Leaf was celebrating it's tenth anniversary: in a couple of years' time, Trojan will be 40. That's a not inconsiderable achievement for a specialist label like Trojan, but they seem to go from strength to strength, and a record collection without at least a couple of Trojan releases is sorely incomplete.
The Trojan name was around since the early sixties, taken from the founder, Duke Reid's sound system - fairly impressively carted around Jamaica on seven-ton trucks. I have visions of walls of speakers with this little man in the middle, and I like the idea of that. The label itself (as exists today) was launched in 1968 as a subsidiary of Island specialising solely in Jamaican music. That places it right about the time that rocksteady, itself a development of the more upbeat ska, was mutating into the more soulful reggae. Not only that, but that was about the time the ex-pat and post-Windrush generation that had colonised parts of the post-war UK were making the island sound popular in a significant way - only a year after it's formation, Trojan's first chart entry (well, number 46) came with Tony Tribe's 'Red Red Wine' - yes, it's a cover of a Neil Diamond song, but who doesn't love Neil Diamond. Of course, it's probably more famous these days sung in a whiney Brummie accent as UB40's version - I have Trojan liner notes which describe that version as 'limp', a satisfyingly judgemental dismissal of the kind which appeals particularly to the sort of person who's going to write a blog about music.

The label went on to have more commercial success via the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Desmond Dekker, and Toots & The Maytals, a veritable who's who of Jamaican music. As their website is happy to admit, in many ways it wasn't the Jamaican community that was keeping them afloat, but the younger white generation for whom bubblegum pop, psychedelia, blues-rock, all this was irrelevant. The direct, honest and potent music coming out of Jamaica was far more important, said far much more in the spheres of romance, of politics, of spirituality, than any of the middle-class, self-indulgent nonsense of the time did. Little wonder that the Clash and the Ruts (among many more) appropriated the sound in punk's first wave, and that at the early 80's height of Thatcher-inspired disaffectation, 2-Tone became maybe the most racially-mixed genre to date, with all the power to pass on a message that reggae had had ten years earlier. It's still going as well - in the 80's US punks like Operation Ivy and NoFX took the music on board, and in one form or the other it's rarely been out of the UK charts. Take a look in the humiliating cesspool of media fixation, Celebrity Big Brother, the newest idol is the singer of the Ordinary Boys, whose sound is taken wholesale from 2-Tone, and includes a cover of the Brumbeats' 'Rudi's In Love' - you know you're on a fairly substantial ska base with a song about someone called Rudi.

These days, Trojan have a series of what are possibly the best compilations out there - with such a high-quality catalogue, they've got literally the pick of the absolute finest Jamaican music out there and as such these cheap sets are just excellent.
Just to whet your whistle:
Eric Donaldson - Cherry Oh Baby
Cornel Campbell - I Will Never Let You

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

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You should take his advice Simone ;) Live The Dream

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Anonymous said...

The personal development industry has never been bigger! It consists of a myriad of authors basically telling us how to improve our lives. We are constantly being told self help and self improvement has never been easier. New techniques, gadgets and potions adorn the shelves of new age shops and the 1 billion dollar industry, that is personal development, offers many different approaches to help better our lives. They offer ways to increase our bounty and ultimately alter our own reality. A great example of this is how to develop a Prosperity Consciousness. But does this state really exist and if it does will it bring the effortless unlimited wealth promised?
A lot has been written about prosperity and how to attain it. We have been told by many religious traditions and every personal development guru that the Universersal Source (God, Spirit, Cosmic Mind or whatever label you chose to give it) is boundless wealth. We are also told that abundance, wealth and prosperity are our birthright! Why then are so many people ill, broke, frustrated and unfulfilled? Can a person really develop a prosperity consciousness and effortlessly attract wealth? Well as with everything in life there is only one way to find out. Test it for yourself!
Before we can attain and then test the effectiveness of having a prosperity consciousness we need to understand some basic truths. Let's start by explaining three fundamentals of personal development namely; 1. The Universal Source is all wealth, abundance and prosperity; 2. Prosperity is our birthright; 3. You get more of what you focus on.
1. Why are we told that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth? - Because the Universal Source is the consciousness of the Universe - a universe that is still expanding. It is the driving force behind physical reality. It created everything you see, hear, touch and smell as well as all that we are unaware of (microwaves, radiation, air etc.). It has been stated in religious and metaphysical traditions that this intelligence is not only the Source of everything but that it is also the substance of it! It creates the Universe from itself! It is omnipresent (everywhere present). That means that the entire seen and unseen aspects of the universe are a part of this Universal Source. Science reaffirms this theory as it states that nothing is solid and everything is just one mass of pure energy that vibrates at different frequencies and gives the illusion of separateness.
So we can now claim that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth, abundance and prosperity with some belief. For if this Source is the very substance of everything then it is all the wealth, abundance and prosperity that exists at this very moment!
Ok so far? Now lets look at the second point - prosperity is our birthright.
2. If this Universal Intelligence is the source and substance of all things then there can be only one intelligence in the Universe. Jesus said to his disciples "know ye not that you are the temple of the living God?" Buddha attained enlightenment and "oneness". The list of these religious teachings are too numerous to mention but their message remains the same - God (Universal Substance) resides within and around us. It's very substance makes up our physical body and the world around us - "For in him we live, move and have our being" Acts17:28. Therefore, if this Universal Source is at the very core of our being and is the substance from which we take physical form then it stands to reason that we are connected to everyone else and in fact everything else around us - we are a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the universe. Just as your hand or foot is a part of your body, so every grain of sand, blade of grass, wisp of wind, bar of gold and brick that is laid in a mansion is part of you. The unlimited wealth of the universe is yours for the claiming. It is already yours, always has been and always will be. It is a part of you.
Ok let's go the third point - you get more of what you focus on.
3. "It never rains but it pours", is a saying I have used myself in the past. Have you ever wondered why such a statement appears to be true? Well metaphysics and religion tell us that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" or as Job cried out to God "For that which I greatly feared has come upon me". What we focus our conscious attention on increases! Don't believe me? Test it for yourself! If you can muster up the strength to do it then think in negative terms for a week. Judge everything that happens to you in negative terms and think only of a negative outcome and watch what happens in your world!!! This is a relatively easy experiment as we are conditioned to think negatively by the world. A word of warning though - once you prove that your focus determines your reality stop thinking negative thoughts as best you can.
I will not go into the 'hows' of why our focus has such a profound influence on our lives (that would be the subject of a book or perhaps a future article) just prove to yourself that it does. A clue can be found in the teachings of Jesus when he said "The Kingdom of heaven is within".
So now we have the three principles of the prosperity consciousness explained let's put it to work. The attainment of a prosperity consciousness is relatively simple - just think on the first two principles until you fully understand them and integrate them into your consciousness. As you focus on them you will discover that your feelings of lack disappear and you begin to feel a connection with everything around you. It is really just an attitude shift - nothing metaphysical or mystical about it at all. You begin to consciously realize that everything is a part of you. Your focus changes from poverty to wealth.
If it helps make a list of affirmations that correspond to the two principles outlined e.g. "God is the Source and substance of everything", "I am at one with everyone and everything around me", "I am a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the Universe" etc. Don't just rhyme them off in a parrot like manner, think on them and realize the scientific or spiritual truths behind them.
Will it work? Well I can say now that if you follow the above instructions a real change will happen in you. You will start to see the beauty of the world and the unlimited resources that are available within and around you. Will you attain wealth, abundance and prosperity? Test it for yourself! personal development

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