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With Trojan Records turning 50 in 2018, it seemed a good time to cast an eye back over the label’s history. An employee of the company since the early 90s and author of previous Trojan tome Young, Gifted and Black, Laurence Cane-Honeysett has put together this lavish coffee-table book. Through articles, photographs and sleeve art, he tells the tale of the label which has arguably done more than any other to bring Jamaican music to the world.
Founded in 1968, as part of a deal with Island Records, Trojan's mission was to bring Jamaican music to the world. Over the subsequent half a century it has done just that, releasing many of the defining albums of ska, rocksteady, dub and reggae from artists including The Upsetters, Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, The Maytals, Dennis Brown, John Holt, Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Bob Marley and the Wailers, as well as the hugely popular Tighten Up! compilations. The Story of Trojan Records is the definitive history of the label and a landmark publication for reggae enthusiasts.
‘Trojan started in 1968, the same year that Enoch Powell made his Rivers of Blood speech. And while the politicians were playing on the fears of the old folk, much as they’re doing now, it was the music of Trojan that united people – the youth, black, and white – in the playgrounds, on the street and on the dance floor. So it really was a tool for social change’