speaking of trojan, heres something illness provoking

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speaking of trojan, heres something illness provoking

Postby jb welda » Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:03 am

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4269714

how come no one notices blood and fire like this (in the usa anyhow)? my guess would be that b&f has better taste than to pander to the masses like this dreck from trojan does. but then, who sells the most? and i guess thats the point.

i really dont want to quote HL menchen here again.

one love
jah bill
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Postby Ash » Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:14 am

Well,all i can say is that i've bought about 65 cds since may and it least 30 are Trojan, they are putting out some good stuff at decent prices,i'm sorry, 13quid for a cd in these times is ridiculous,in my opinion, no cd should be over a tenner, and i dont give a toss what the cover is like or the booklet it contains,its whats between the plastic that counts.Auralax are on that trip,with the super jewelled cd case ****....
'Blessed is the Man who walketh not in the counsel of the Ungodly'
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Postby sylford » Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:29 am

The reviewer Tom Terrell is very hip. It should be noted he wasn't totally glowing in his review. "Where is the Leroy Smart?", he asked.
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Postby Donovan » Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:18 am

As a long-time roots fan I must admit I am really coming around on the Trojan label. I always seemed to avoid their stuff because I thought of them as "lesser than" B&F, Pressure Sounds or Heartbeat. I now see the error of my ways. They have been releasing really cool and enjoyable music. I've learned that it can't be Roots & Culture 24/7. It's a whole new side of reggae that I am exploring for the first time. Stuff like Barry Biggs, Nicky Thomas, Bruce Ruffin, Winston Groovy. Plus, as Ash said they offer good bargains like their box sets, "Best Of" series, and 2CD classic series. The 2CD Alton Ellis set from last year was a beauty. Single full price CD's are a complete rip-off.
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Postby David » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:28 am

Trojan is doing its stuff better than before, but really, I dont buy too much off their stuff, there`s so much ****, there might be months without anything, even though they release 8 products or so a month. For example, some of their 10" are great, but why should I buy an Ethiopians 10" if I already have all the tunes (as everybody else)......then I rather go for something else....

and by the way, I prefer paying a bit more for BAF or PS, knowing they will release stuff in the future, that I like and that I would be getting if there are the good old indies.
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Postby Ringo » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:41 am

I prefer B+F and Pressure Sounds, but it shouldn't be a surprise that Trojan get loads of publicity. Theirs is a name which non-reggae people know, with a definite brand image, they've been around a long time, they issued a huge amount of records in the 60's and 70's, and they still have a large commercial presence with big backing. They've even got a couple of dodgy types promoting them as a sound system in London, I hear.
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Postby Moses » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:33 am

Ringo wrote:They've even got a couple of dodgy types promoting them as a sound system in London, I hear.


Hehehe.

I buy almost all Motion, B&F, PS etc. because of the quality of releases and to support such great companies.

But Trojan releases great, great stuff too and I see no need to deny myself great 2-CD releases like the Keith Hudson, Rico, LSP Dub triptych, Dancehall '69, Rarities box set, Owen Gray, Stranger Cole, Altone Ellis etc. etc. Great sleevenotes, cool label images, care and attention etc. etc.
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Postby tim p » Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:27 am

Indeed Ringo indeed. Though it's not purely for the love you'll understand.

I think the huge difference between Trojan and companies like B&F is that Trojan is a purely commercial venture. Much like Virgin and Island were in the 70's compared to the smaller more independent labels of the day.

It would be naive to think that such a business is going to sink tons of money into loss making projects especially when they paid something in the region of £15 million for that business. Therefore there will always be re-re-reissues of the Perry catalogue, of the same old top ten hits from 1970 and of dodgy concept compilations that appeal to the average punter in the street because this stuff makes more economic sense than the obscure titles that we all love.

In their own much more limited and more "quality" way B&F done the same when issuing Darker Than Blue etc. - stuff with more commercial appeal that generates the income that is needed to pay the bills and therefore issue the stuff with limited appeal.

Similarly though I expect Trojan to act legally and to abide by licencing requirements at all times, to be demanding that they pay producers/artists or who ever for stuff that they already legally own - however ancient the contracts - is more wishfull thinking than anything else. I can't say I'm 100% happy about it but whoever owns the catalogue is going to do that because there is money to be made - no sane business large or small is going to throw away £15 million because of some moral concerns about (apparently) perfectly legal 25 year old contracts.
(out of interest Mike Turner was lobbying on behalf of Ken Parker following Trojans release of a comp a year or so ago - can Mike or anyone confirm if anything was forthcoming as a result?)

I can't stand the boxsets, with a few exceptions they strike me as cheap, nasty and no way to be presenting such great music. If you look on the Trojan website forum you'll see I'm very much in the minority on this. Apparently people very much like the pile it high sell 'em cheap philosophy that clearly runs counter to B&F's way of doing things. Maybe that's another reason that Trojan are still pumping stuff out every month whilst B&F can't afford to licence anything.
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Postby Jackie Pablo » Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:52 pm

Trojan are a major label and over the past year or two have been paying some attention to the same market as the one Blood & Fire had well covered - that is the real reggae market (as opposed to the pick 'n' mix one).

They have managed to do this with a certain amount of credibility by employing some of the most knowledgeable people associated with the music and giving them a bit of a free hand in the operation.

This group of people have worked on and of for Blood & Fire, Trojan, Pressure Sounds, Island, Motion, Maximum Pressure, Soul Jazz (& maybe even Jet Star). They know the score musically and from the way I see it they are like the artists in Jamaica who label hop as much as they can to earn a living, and good luck to them. Without the guidance from these individuals companies like Trojan would be eternally stuck with a bad or unhip image. That is now obviously changing. It is a shame that their marketing approach is squeezing B&F to the extent that has been explained elsewhere on this board.

The Blood & Fire board dominates the reggae forums without any real competition from Trojan and will always be the hippest of the two labels to be associated with. To me this confirms a certain grass roots support for B&F and what they have done for themselves and the music, and all on a lesser budget. I hope B&F continue on into the future with as much success as possible. I personally would love to see more limited edition vinyl releases on all formats and let the main releases (CD) appear whenever finances allow.

Would another big seller from 'Simply Red' make any difference to the way things are going? Either way, a big thanks is due to the Blood & Fire crew for the recent insights into the difficulties.

Good luck guys over the coming year, I hope all things work out OK.
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Postby Jackie Pablo » Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:02 pm

I've just read the other thread 'Dear B&F Crew' and am surprised to hear that B&F made a mistake by deciding to stop the vinyl output as the vinyl market is the one on the up, and the CD market is on the down.

Who would have believed it?
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Postby nickbug » Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:18 pm

As vinyl is now back on the up and presumably more pressing plants(?) wouldn't it mean that it would now be cheaper for B&F press up stuff compared to what they were paying a few years back?
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Postby jb welda » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:59 pm

this is going to sound rather nasty no matter how i put it so i guess i should just be blunt. be aware, though, that i say it with respect to the parties involved:

in response to:

>13quid for a cd in these times is ridiculous,in my opinion, no cd should
>be over a tenner, and i dont give a toss what the cover is like or the
>booklet it contains

that pretty well defines the saying "knows the cost of everything but the value of nothing".

i know i sort of slagged off trojan in my initial post but i didnt mean to issue a blanket condemnation. as i mention elsewhere i have a love/hate relationship with them, my point was that they manage to get (seemingly) unsolicited publicity for their releases based on their willingness to release and rerelease what some would consider "pop" music in the guise of reggae. its too bad b&f cant manage the same for the more esoteric stuff they release.

anyway im surprised to see mention of trojan on NPR seeing as how reggae is such a nonstarter in the states (though i sense that is changing, and this very article is some indication of that).

maybe b&f needs to try to heighten awareness of their label in the usa by going after more stuff like this?

one love
jah bill
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Postby Donovan » Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:55 am

jb welda wrote:i know i sort of slagged off trojan in my initial post but i didnt mean to issue a blanket condemnation. as i mention elsewhere i have a love/hate relationship with them, my point was that they manage to get (seemingly) unsolicited publicity for their releases based on their willingness to release and rerelease what some would consider "pop" music in the guise of reggae.


Well, not to get into semantics, but what is reggae if not pop music? It is the popular music of Jamaica which is intended for the entertainment of the everday man and woman. Sure, some performers specialize in overt social messages but it's all wrapped into the entertainment factor. Music outside the Jamaican mainstream would be (I guess) mento, nyabhingi, jazz, country & western. I don't understand people badmouthing performers they view as "soft" or "pop" (not that I'm saying you are doing this JB). If one was to meet an older Jamican gentleman listening to John Holt or Pat Kelly and you smugly told him "That's not roots. It's too soft for me" you'd be written off as crazy. That's what is good about Trojan. They are keeping the entertainment factor alive in reggae. What other label is going to give that Jamaican gentlemen his Pat Kelly fix if not Trojan. B&F won't because it falls outside their mission. Okay VP did a Pat Kelly collection a few years back but you get my point. :)
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Postby Donovan » Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:13 am

I mentioned "the entertainment factor" twice in my post. I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes we in the reggae community take ourselves too seriously. It can't be 'burn dung babylon' all the time. One has to take time once in awhile for a nice Pat Kelly or Phyllis Dillon love song! Right? And that is where Trojan steps up to the plate when other more "serious" labels wouldn't bother.
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