Jamaican superstar DJ and his UK peers

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Score 4

Product:

U-Roy – Various Artists

TROJAN BRITISH REGGAE BOX SET

Rating Star
BOTH TROJAN/SANCTUARY

As described in Tony Rounce’s entertaining notes, U-Roy’s 1970 Version Galore was, in reggae circles, “the Pet Sounds of its day”. Exemplifying the DJ subculture of toasting hysterically over contemporary hits, it’s still a fine work, rich in melody and now richer still in umpteen extras and a bonus disc of the un-toasted backings (including The Paragons’ 1967 “The Tide Is High”). Meantime, Trojan’s three-disc box set salutes the island’s ex-pats working in England from ’69 to ’72: merrily mischievous covers of everything from “Tears On My Pillow” to a skanked-up “Tchaikovsky Piano Concert No 1″.