This summer sees the release of six volumes of Reggae Chartbusters.
Initially launched by Trojan in late 1969, the Reggae Chartbusters’ album series swiftly became one of the best-selling lines in the company’s catalogue. Following the simple, but effective formula of highlighting a dozen of the biggest reggae hits of the preceding months, the LPs provided a showcase for both Trojan and the new style from Jamaica.
Released annually, each of the albums topped the reggae album charts, even out-selling the much vaunted Tighten Up collections, although surprisingly the series only ran for three years before being brought to a sudden stop in 1972.
Now, some 40 years since the release of the first Reggae Chartbusters LP, the seminal line has been revived, the original trio of releases augmented by another three volumes, each of which highlights the most popular reggae sounds from a specific period.
Volume One brings together a selection of favourites from the late 1960s with subsequent collections tracing reggae’s development, covering all styles from Skinhead Reggae through to Roots, Dub and Lovers Rock.
Included amongst the 120 classic tracks, which make up these 6 CDs, are over 40 major UK chart hits, with every major reggae artist of the 1960s and 70s featured along the way. Also included are a number of one-hit wonders, such as Horace Faith, the Hot Shots and Blue Haze all of whom enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight.
Never previously available on CD, each collection faithfully retains the style of their respective period, with booklets jam-packed with relevant ephemera and fascinating commentaries written by original Trojan employee Rob Bell, recalling the early history and recordings that established it as the world’s greatest reggae label.