June 17, 2012, at 6:20 pm

Eight Pieces Of Ska

Out now on Trojan an eight single box set showcasing some great ska sides from Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Studio.

A few months back Trojan/Universal signed a deal with the controllers of the Duke Reid catalogue, the first output of this deal was the release of the superb Live It Up by Hopeton Lewis on 7″. Now we get this box set titled Treasure Isle: Pieces Of Eight.

Lester Stirling – So Long

The set comprises a series of rare and in demand ska cuts on eight 7″ singles, they all come on reproduction Treasure Isle labels (the Jamaican type) except one which is on Dutchess, these are a little too clean and neat to look at all authentic but they’re still in keeping with the music. The box comes complete with a sleeve notes insert written by Record Collector editor Ian McCann and a plastic record middle (the singles have large centres so I guess they were worried that some buyers might not have one).

The Zodiacs – Renegade

  • Renegade – The Zodiacs with The Baba Brooks Band?/ Duck Soup – The Baba Brooks Band
  • The Last Time – The Sensations with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics?/ Portrait To Don – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics
  • Samphey Man – The Rio Grandes/ Special Event – The Baba Brooks Band
  • Don’t Trouble People – Alton Ellis & The Flames with The Baba Brooks Band?/ Alcatraz – The Baba Brooks Band
  • I Found My Love – The Sensations with The Baba Brooks Band/ Western Flyer – Baba Brooks Band
  • So Long – Lester Sterling with The Baba Brooks Band?/ After A Storm – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes with The Baba Brooks Band
  • What You Gonna Do – The Techniques with The Baba Brooks Band?/ Tribute To Don – Roland Alphonso with The Baba Brooks Band
  • Teach The Youth – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes?/ Windfall – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

Alton Ellis – Don’t Trouble People

It’s really nice to see that as well as issuing CD’s that cater for the more broader market Trojan under Universal continue to put together quality release for the more serious reggae fan and for those who still favour vinyl. It’s hard to fault the music collected here; all of the tunes are classics in their own right from ’65 ska blasters to ’66 sides where you can detect the music slowing down at the very advent of rocksteady.

Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – Portrait To Don

The quality of the tunes on this box is consistently very high, the four samples included will hopefully show that. To pick a favourite is far from easy but Lester Stirling’s So Long is a storming instrumental piece in the Far East style and is as good a ska tune as your likely to hear.

The only real complaint is the hefty price tag of £50, though if you consider that works out at £6.25 per 7″ it’s a little less painful. While Trojan continue to put together releases of this standard their reputation as the premier label for 60’s Jamaican music is more than assured.

4 comments to Eight Pieces Of Ska

  • i’ll be upgrading my scratchy versions for this box though still..thanks for the nod.

  • Ogonkov

    Most of this tracks were re-issued before on colored Jamaican sevens. What was the reason of packing box-set with already re-issued sides? It’s a bit disappointed about this release.

    P. S. Same to Lucky Seven, i have 2 copies of “Way of Life” now, one from box set and another on Japan reissue on “Flame”, wtf, only 3 years since last re-issue, damn.

  • admin

    I think those colored vinyl issues were bootlegs Ogonkov. It wouldn’t be the first time that a bootleg has stopped a legit issue coming out but thankfully not on this occasion.

    • Ogonkov

      Well, i don’t know much about it. I will contact via e-mail printed on labels, and got answer, that they have license for re-issue this sides.

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