The essential artist collection: trojan releases brand new series of artist compilation albums, kicking off with the maytals and the skatalites.

Trudging home through a bleak frozen January, I arrive to find a parcel on the doorstep. It’s fought its way through postal strikes and economic decline to lighten up my day. These two records bring a ray of reggae sunshine to the dystopian future, that is, life in England in 2023, just like a Trojan Record should.

I open The Skatalites record first. Levering the gatefold sleeve I’m hit with an injection of colour; greens, oranges and blues. The artwork takes me on a jourmey back to 1964, when The Skatalites embarked on a brief but mighty two year stint. Their musical mission having a seismic effect on the direction of Jamaica’s music from there on out.

Sliding the vinyl carefully out of its sleeve I find a clear heavyweight with the iconic orange and yellow Trojan centrepiece. Side A is jumping with balmy and bright melodies from the nine-piece group who originated from the jazz scene. Fully instrumental, it makes a great atmospheric accompaniment to lifes lackluster. Now I know how it felt when TV turned to colour.

Together They Invented A Real And Authentic New Sound Credited As The First Truly Indigenous Jamaican Music… A Completely Unique And Original Form (Called) Ska”

Harry Hawke – Notes For Guns Of Navarone

“Stick It Up Misteeeeer!” Hollers the great Toots, opening The Maytals record. The pink and yellow gatefold sleeve holds two bright yellow records. Now iconic, the band failed their initial audition with Chinese Jamaican producer Leslie Kong who didn’t take to their country gospel music. As with anything before its time, the band’s music was eventually accepted and they formed a firm bond with Leslie who recorded and produced their records at his studio, Channel One.

The record continues with classic after classic. The sound of ’54-46 Was My Number’ is followed by ‘Night and Day’ displaying a perfect pairing of band and studio working in harmony. ‘Bim Today – Bam Tomorrow’ is a special arrangement of a band at the height of creative expression topped by Toots most expressive vocal performance.

This release sets the bar very high for a welcome new series of Trojan artist compilations. I very much look forward to seeing who’s next. In the mean time, these records will be on rotation in my home through spring!

The Skatalites

Essential Artist Collection (Clear Transparent Vinyl) + Exclusive Trojan Art Cards Pack



During the early 1960’s, the sound of ska exploded upon Jamaica’s musical landscape, with the driving dynamic sound championed by arguably the greatest ensemble of musicians ever to have performed and recorded on the island.

Fronted by legendary saxophonist Tommy McCook, the Skatalites also comprised a veritable who’s who of Kingston-based performers, their number including trombonist Don Drummond, tenor saxman Roland Alphonso, drumming supremo Lloyd Knibb and keyboard prodigy Jackie Mittoo.

Following their creation in the summer of ’64, this powerhouse instrumental combo dominated the island’s music industry for 18 glorious months, the very best of their work produced by famed Treasure Isle Records boss, Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid.

The best of their output for the celebrated producer is showcased on the ‘Essential Artist Collection’, which sees issue on both as a 2LP vinyl set and a double CD collection, both of which provide the best introduction yet to the music of the incredible, multi-talented and hugely influential Skatalites.

The Skatalites

Essential Artist Collection 2CD + Exclusive Trojan Art Cards Pack


CD 1
1. Music Is) My Occupation (Ring of Fire) Don Drummond, Tommy McCook & The Skatalites
2. Alley Cat Ska – Tommy McCook & The Baba Brooks Band
3. Cool Smoke – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
4. Garden of Love – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
5. Twelve Minutes to Go – Tommy McCook
6. Girls Town Ska – The Baba Brooks Band
7. Stampede – Don Drummond, Baba Brooks & The Skatalites
8. Vitamin A – The Baba Brooks Band
9. Teenage Ska – The Baba Brooks Band
10. Melody Jamboree – Don Drummond & Baba Brooks
11. Boat Ride – Baba Brooks & The Skatalites
12. Around the World – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
13. Watermelon Man – The Baba Brooks Orchestra
14. River Bank, Pt.1 (Bank to Bank) – Baba Brooks & His Band
15. Guns Fever – Baba Brooks & His Band
16. Ska Virginia (Virginia Ska) – The Baba Brooks Band
17. Duck Soup – Cuttings with Baba Brooks & His Band
18. Donkey City, Pt.1 – The Baba Brooks Band
19. Latin Goes Ska – Lester Sterling & The Skatalites
20. Alipang – Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond & The Skatalites
21. Lucky Seven – Don Drummond & The Tommy McCook Band
22. Musical Store Room – Frank Anderson & Roland Alphonso
23. Musical Communion – The Baba Brooks Orchestra
24. Sandy Gully – Roland Alphonso & The Skatalites
25. Doctor Dekker – Don Drummond & The Baba Brooks Band

CD 2
1. Nuclear Weapon – Roland Alphonso & The Baba Brooks Band
2. Corner Stone (A Trip to Mars) – Roland Alphonso & The Skatalites
3. Knockout Punch (Cotton Tree) – Baba Brooks & Don Drummond
4. Don De Lion – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
5. Rocket Ship – Tommy McCook & The Skatalites
6. Feeling Fine – Roland Alphonso & The Skatalites
7. Mesopotamia – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
8. Donkey City, Pt.2 – The Baba Brooks Band
9. Independence Ska (El Pussycat) – Lyn Taitt & The Baba Brooks Band
10. The Rude Boy – Roland Alphonso & Duke Reid’s Group
11. Jelly Bean – The Baba Brooks Band
12. Skalarama (The Magnificent Seven Theme) – Lyn Taitt & The Comets
13. River Bank, Pt.2 – Baba Brooks & His Band
14. Country Town – Baba Brooks
15. One Eyed Giant – Baba Brooks & His Band
16. Twilight Zone (Instrumental) – The Baba Brooks Band
17. Catch a Fire – Baba Brooks & His Band
18. Spider – Don Drummond
19. Eastern Standard Time – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
20. Thoroughfare (Treasure Isle) – Don Drummond & The Skatalites
21. Silver Dollar – Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso & The Skatalites
22. Street Corner – The Skatalites
23. University Goes Ska – Don Drummond
24. J.F.K.’s Memory – Don Drummond & Tommy McCook
25. Good News – The Skatalites

Way Out Radio – A Brief History

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Led by music journalist, writer and drummer Paula Frost, the brand has gone from strength to strength over the years. We hosted a successful radio show on Kane FM for five years and undertook a world tour in 2017-18 meeting fans and bands across the globe and DJing live.

We look to the future with excitement and joy for music will never die! Keep dancing.