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Cherry Pop

Title - 'The Trojan Albums Collection' [2CD]
Artist - Prince Far I

For those not in the know, by the time Michael Williams aka the late Prince Far I (sadly, he was murdered the September 15th, 1983) became established as a recording artist in the mid-Seventies, he was in fact already a veteran of the Jamaican music scene, having begun deejaying early the previous decade.

His deep, slow and deliberate delivery, allied to his consistently hard-hitting commentaries proved popular with reggae fans around the world, most notably in the UK, where his work strongly resonated with the punk generation.

In 1979, Far I signed with Trojan Records, cutting a quartet of vocal albums for the company over a four-year period, but in September 1983, soon after the release of his “Musical History” LP, he was senselessly murdered while visiting a friend in Portmore, Jamaica.

This brand new 2CD set entitled The Trojan Albums Collection (releasing May 15th, 2020 via Cherry Red Records UK) brings together the entirety of the influential DJ’s vocal recordings for Trojan, which is today widely regarded to be his finest work.

CD 1: From Sin
1. 'Free from Sin'
2. 'When Jah Ready You Got to Move'
3. 'Call on I in Trouble'
4. 'Don't Deal with Folly'
5. 'Light of Fire'
6. 'Reggae Music'
7. 'Go Home on the Morning Train'
8. 'Siren'
9. 'I and I Are the Chosen One'

CD 1: Jamaican Heroes
10. 'Deck of Life'
11. 'The Vision'
12. 'Natty Champion'
13. 'Read a Chapter'
14. 'Golden Throne'
15. 'Jamaican Heroes'
16. 'Prison Discipline'
17. 'Musical History'
18. 'Jah Will Provide'
19. 'David' [Bonus Track]

Featuring three of the original albums that are now making their CD debut, one of the most iconic and influential Jamaican artists of all time kicks things off with the Free Of Sin (1979) album, and in particular, the natty dread of the title track backed by the one-two hipsway of 'When Jah Ready You Got to Move' and 'Call on I in Trouble.'

Produced by Prince Far I and engineered by Sylvan Morris and Errol Brown, next up is the drum-led 'Don't Deal with Folly' which is followed by the rhythmic beauty of both 'Light of Fire' and 'Reggae Music.'

This particular album then rounds out with the dutiful 'Go Home on the Morning Train' (recorded for "the King"), 'Siren,' and then comes to a close on the storytelling of 'I and I Are the Chosen One.'

Next up on the first disc is the Jamaican Heroes (1980) album, which opens with the reverberating 'Deck of Life' and backs that up seamlessly with both the measured vibe of 'The Vision,' and the natty dread, boxing-inspired 'Natty Champion.'

'Read a Chapter' is then followed by the slo-mo fuzz of 'Golden Throne,' the upbeat effervescence of the title track, and then comes one of my own personal favorites, the foot-tappin' reggae elegance of 'Prison Discipline.'

This tremendously melodic and highly empowered album (whose featured musicians included Roots Radics and The Flying Lizards) then rounds out with the uptempo 'Musical History,' the low-slung 'Jah Will Provide,' and closes on a bonus track that Prince Far I actually himself calls 'Dub Do Africa,' but on this new CD is entitled 'David.'

CD 2: Voice Of Thunder
1. 'Ten Commandments'
2. 'Tribute to Bob Marley'
3. 'Hold the Fort'
4. 'Every Time I Hear the Word'
5. 'Head of the Buccaneer'
6. 'Shall Not Dwell in Wickedness'
7. 'Give I Strength'
8. 'Kingdom of God'
9. 'Coming in from the Rock'
10. 'Skinhead'

CD 2: Musical History
11. 'Everytime I Talk About Jah'
12. 'Prince Far I Come Again'
13. 'Tell Them About Jah Love'
14. 'More We Are Together'
15. 'At the Cross'
16. 'Working for My Saviour'
17. 'I Don't Know Why I Love Jah So'
18. 'What You Gonna Do on Judgement Day'
19. 'Take Heed Frontline'

The second disc opens with his brilliant Voice Of Thunder (1981) album, and notably the biblical reggae of 'Ten Commandments' which is smoothly backed by both the magnificent 'Tribute to Bob Marley' and then the melodic twinkling of 'Hold the Fort.'

Next up is the atmospheric 'Every Time I Hear the Word,' the rhymical hipsway of 'Head of the Buccaneer' and the dancefloor track 'Shall Not Dwell in Wickedness,' with another stand out being the horn-inspired 'Give I Strength' following.

This album then rounds out with reverberation of 'Kingdom of God,' the guitar-led 'Coming in from the Rock,' and closes on the majestically lo-fi 'Skinhead.'

The second album on the second disc (which was also released the year of his death) is Musical History (1983), which opens with the bounce-an-sway of both 'Everytime I Talk About Jah' and 'Prince Far I Come Again,' the storytelling of 'Tell Them About Jah Love,' and then the low brow reggae of both 'More We Are Together' and 'At the Cross.'

Then we get another passionate track in the form of the earnest 'Working for My Saviour,' more Prince Far I storytelling within 'I Don't Know Why I Love Jah So,' with the album rounding out on the gentle bounce of 'What You Gonna Do on Judgement Day,' and then coming to a close on the sermon known as 'Take Heed Frontline.'

Official 2CD Purchase Link