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Label Hall of Fame

TrojanText by Harry Hawks

The most successful of the many London based reggae labels releasing Jamaican music scoring nearly thirty crossover hits in the U.K. National Charts between 1969 and 1976. The company would then go on to dominate the ‘revival’ reissue market in the new Millennium.
Date Added: Mar 25, 2010, Date Updated: Mar 31, 2010 Copyright (C) 2019 Dub Store Sound Inc.
1968 ~
Place of Establishment
UK
Founder:
Lee Gopthal
Related Artist(s)
Lee Perry
Upsetters
Cimarons
Desmond Dekker
Bruce Ruffin
Nicky Thomas
Dave & Ansel Collins
Jimmy Cliff
John Holt
Ken Boothe
Judge Dread
Mikey Dread
Black Uhuru
Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths
I Roy
Related Label(s)
Island
Treasure Isle
Techniques
Jackpot
Moodisc
Randys
High Note
Upsetter
Attack
Harry J
Although Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label could always be relied on for top musical quality it is ironic that it was one of his lesser known subsidiary labels that gave its name to a U.K. based musical empire.

Unlike his competitors, whose output was invariably issued on a variety of different labels, Duke Reid The Trojan realised the importance of having a few readily recognisable names. One of the first sound system owners to start producing, rather than reproducing, music his initial mento recordings were released on the Trojan and Hi-Lite 78rpm labels and his later rhythm & blues and ska outings appeared on Duke Reid's, Dutchess and Treasure Isle. During the remainder of the sixties Treasure Isle dominated although a handful of his productions appeared on the Soul Shot, Supersonics, Sure Shot & Trojan labels... a name he had acquired because the truck that he used to transport his sound system was manufactured by the Trojan company in England.

In 1962 Chris Blackwell had started releasing the music of Jamaican producers on Island Records in the U.K. and, the following year, he began to license Duke Reid productions. Records such as Justin Hinds' 'Carry Go Bring Come' proved particularly successful and in 1967 Island began to release the Duke's productions on the Treasure Isle and Trojan labels. Towards the end of the decade Island Records changed its allegiance to British based 'progressive' rock music and its Jamaican catalogue was transferred to a new company, jointly owned by Island and Beat & Commercial, called Trojan Records.

The Trojan name would become synonymous with reggae in the first half of the seventies as they became the London based label of choice for every Jamaican producer of importance in the ensuing musical explosion: Amalgamated (& Pressure Beat) for Joe Gibbs, Big for Rupie Edwards, Clandisc for Clancy Eccles,Duke Reid (& Treasure Isle), Dynamicfor Byron Lee, Gayfeet (& High Note) for Sonia Pottinger, GG's for Alvin Ranglin, Harry J for Harry Johnson, Jackpot for Bunny Striker Lee, Moodisc for Harry Mudie, Randys for Vincent Chin(Vincent 'Randy' Chin), Summit for Leslie Kong, Techniques for Winston Riley, Upsetter for Lee Perry and a plethora of labels that included Big Shot, Green Door, Song Bird and Trojan covering the work of independent artists and producers such as Derrick Harriott, Keith Hudson & Bob Marley.

Jimmy Cliff's 'Wonderful World, Beautiful People', The Harry J All Stars' 'Liquidator', The Pioneers' 'Long Shot Kick De Bucket' and The Upsetters' 'Return Of Django', all Trojan releases, broke through into the U.K. National Charts in the autumn of 1969. Jamaican music now had to be taken seriously as a commercial proposition and Trojan rose to the challenge to dominate and control a hitherto unimagined market. Their long playing "Tighten Up" series, where an entire album's worth of certified hits could be purchased for the price of two singles, was vitally important in the next crossover stage of Jamaican music. Reggae was here to stay and it was largely through its initial burst of popularity in the U.K. that it would finally become accepted worldwide. Paul McCartney, no less, referred to rock steady and reggae as "Tighten Up music".

Over the next five years |labelTrojan||| released thousands of records in London. They had the new market for the music covered adding strings to 'sweeten' the sound of Jamaican recordings at London's Chalk Farm studios; records including Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths's 'Young, Gifted & Black' and Bruce Ruffin's 'Rain' continued to storm the upper reaches of the U.K. charts. Trojan also began to release their own U.K. productions. Robert 'Dandy Livingstone' Thompson persuaded The Pioneers' to record 'Let Your Yeah Be Yeah' in London with string arrangements and had his own hits with 'Reggae In Your Jeggae' but the most commercially successful of Trojan's own productions were with former doorman Alex Hughes. Recording as Judge Dread he enjoyed a string of crossover hits on Big Shot (with no radio play as 'Big Six', 'Big Seven' and 'Big Eight' were all banned by the B.B.C.) intoning innuendo ridden nursery rhymes over Jamaican rhythm tracks. They never forgot where they were coming from either and countless deep roots records of the calibre of Bob Andy's 'You Don't Know', Keith Hudson's 'Melody Maker' and Bob Marley & The Wailers' 'Trenchtown Rock' came out through Trojan. They had licensed 'Soul Rebels' from Lee Perry in 1970: although it was the first Bob Marley & The Wailers' album to be released in the U.K. it proved to be too ahead of its time and was not a big seller. After Bob Marley's international breakthrough with 'Catch A Fire' the album was re-packaged and re-promoted in 1974 as 'Rasta Revolution' alongside the 1973 compilation 'African Herbsman' and Trojannow began to discover that they were sitting on a veritable treasure trove of Jamaican musical history.

Marcel Rodd, owner of Saga Records, purchased the Trojan catalogue in 1975. Although the company continued to release important records, including Big Youth's 'Natty Cultural Dread' and 'Hit The Road Jack' albums and Sugar Minott's 'Ghetto-Ology', Trojan was no longer the first stop after landing at Heathrow airport for visiting Jamaican producers. As the decade drew to a close they began to release intelligent, knowledgeable collections compiled from their back catalogue by Dave Hendley and Chris Lane that included the astounding and outstanding 'Rebel Music', 'The Upsetter Collection' and 'The Best Of Beverleys'. By looking backwards to move forward these releases established a new pattern that would take Trojan into the twenty first century.

In 1985 Sharesense Ltd. purchased Trojan from Marcel Rodd and two years later Steve Barrow began compiling a series of thoughtful, thematic albums and box sets for the company including 'Studio Kinda Cloudy', 'Jumping With Mr. Lee' and Dennis Alcapone's superb 'My Voice Is Insured For Half A Million Dollars'. In 2001 Trojan was sold again, this time to Sanctuary Records, and under the informed and inspired guidance of Laurence Cane-Honeysett they began a re-release programme that covered the entire spectrum of Jamaican music. Employing various expert compilers, artists and authors Trojan's numerous releases from this exciting period which included two further updates of 'Rebel Music', their complete 'Box Set' series and culminating in 'Reggae Pressure', were near faultless.

Sanctuary were taken over by Universal Records in 2007 and Trojan have only released a handful of compilations in the ensuing period but, judging by their previous track record, it can only be a matter of time before the fireworks start again.
Mar 25, 2010 (Mar 31, 2010 Update) Text by Harry Hawks
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Hit Titles
Cornell Campbell - Natty Dread: Anthology (2CD)
CD Cornell Campbell - Natty Dread: Anthology (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥2780 (US$25.33)
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Dave & Ansel Collins - Double Barrel: Best Of (25 Tracks)
CD Dave & Ansel Collins - Double Barrel: Best Of (25 Tracks) Trojan UK
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Desmond Dekker - This Is Desmond Dekker
CD Desmond Dekker - This Is Desmond Dekker Trojan UK
  
¥2480 (US$22.59)
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Dillinger - Cocaine In My Brain: The Anthology (2CD)
CD Dillinger - Cocaine In My Brain: The Anthology (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Harry J, His Friends - Return Of The Liquidator (2CD)
CD Harry J, His Friends - Return Of The Liquidator (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥1890 (US$17.22)
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Hippy Boys - Reggae With The Hippy Boys
CD Hippy Boys - Reggae With The Hippy Boys Trojan UK
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
Justin Hinds - Ska Uprising
CD Justin Hinds - Ska Uprising Trojan UK
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
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Keith Hudson - Entering The Dragon: Trojan Fan Club
CD Keith Hudson - Entering The Dragon: Trojan Fan Club Trojan UK
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
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Pioneers - Best Of Pioneers: Longshot Kick De Bucket
CD Pioneers - Best Of Pioneers: Longshot Kick De Bucket Trojan UK
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Tommy McCook - Down On Bond Street
CD Tommy McCook - Down On Bond Street Trojan UK
¥1680 (US$15.31)
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Alpha Boys School - Music In Education
CD Alpha Boys School - Music In Education Trojan UK
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Desmond Dekker - King Of Ska
CD Desmond Dekker - King Of Ska Trojan UK
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Lynn Taitt, Jets - Hold Me Tight: Anthology 1965-1973 (2CD)
CD Lynn Taitt, Jets - Hold Me Tight: Anthology 1965-1973 (2CD) Trojan US
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
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Derrick Harriott - Rock Steady Party
CD Derrick Harriott - Rock Steady Party Trojan UK
¥2180 (US$19.86)
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Clancy Eccles - Fatty Fatty 1967-1977 (Various Artist)
CD Clancy Eccles - Fatty Fatty 1967-1977 (Various Artist) Trojan UK
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Gaylads - Over The Rainbow's End 1968-1971
CD Gaylads - Over The Rainbow's End 1968-1971 Trojan UK
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Joe Gibbs, Various - Reggae Train 1968-1971
CD Joe Gibbs, Various - Reggae Train 1968-1971 Trojan UK
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Bruce Ruffin - Mad About You: Anthology (2CD)
CD Bruce Ruffin - Mad About You: Anthology (2CD) Trojan UK
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Dennis Alcapone - My Voice Is Insured For Half A Million Dollars
CD Dennis Alcapone - My Voice Is Insured For Half A Million Dollars Trojan UK
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Keith Hudson - Studio Kinda Cloudy (Various Artists)
CD Keith Hudson - Studio Kinda Cloudy (Various Artists) Trojan UK
¥1680 (US$15.31)
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Scotty - Unbelievable Sounds (1970-1973)
CD Scotty - Unbelievable Sounds (1970-1973) Trojan UK
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Dennis Alcapone - Guns Don't Argue: The Anthology (2CD)
CD Dennis Alcapone - Guns Don't Argue: The Anthology (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥2680 (US$24.42)
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Dennis Brown - Super Reggae & Soul Hits
CD Dennis Brown - Super Reggae & Soul Hits Trojan UK
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
BUY
Rupie Edwards - Ire Feelings: Chapter & Version (Various Artists)
CD Rupie Edwards - Ire Feelings: Chapter & Version (Various Artists) Trojan UK
¥1680 (US$15.31)
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Judge Dread - Big Seven Best Of 1972-1975
CD Judge Dread - Big Seven Best Of 1972-1975 Trojan UK
  
¥2480 ¥1680 (US$15.31)
BUY
Dennis Brown - Money In My Pocket: The Definitive Collection (2CD)
CD Dennis Brown - Money In My Pocket: The Definitive Collection (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥2980 (US$27.15)
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Big Youth - Screaming Target
CD Big Youth - Screaming Target Trojan UK
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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I Roy - Presenting I Roy + Hell And Sorrow (1973)
CD I Roy - Presenting I Roy + Hell And Sorrow (1973) Trojan UK
  
¥1680 (US$15.31)
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Ken Boothe - Everything I Own: The Best Of Ken Boothe (24 Tracks)
CD Ken Boothe - Everything I Own: The Best Of Ken Boothe (24 Tracks) Trojan UK
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Chosen Few - In Miami (13 Bonus Tracks By King Sporty & Friends)
CD Chosen Few - In Miami (13 Bonus Tracks By King Sporty & Friends) Trojan UK
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
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Horace Andy - Natty Dread A Weh She Want (8 Bonus Tracks)
CD Horace Andy - Natty Dread A Weh She Want (8 Bonus Tracks) Trojan UK
  
¥2480 (US$22.59)
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Desmond Dekker - King Of Ska
LP Desmond Dekker - King Of Ska Trojan UK
  
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Bunny Lee - Jumping With Mr Lee 1967-1968 (ジャケットダメージ)
LP Bunny Lee - Jumping With Mr Lee 1967-1968 (ジャケットダメージ) Trojan UK
¥3280 (US$29.88)
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Harry J, His Friends - Return Of The Liquidator (2LP)
LP Harry J, His Friends - Return Of The Liquidator (2LP) Trojan UK
¥2780 (US$25.33)
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Joe Gibbs, Various - Reggae Train 1968-1971 (ジャケットダメージ)
LP Joe Gibbs, Various - Reggae Train 1968-1971 (ジャケットダメージ) Trojan UK
  
¥3280 ¥2980 (US$27.15)
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Dennis Alcapone - My Voice Is Insured For Half A Million Dollars
LP Dennis Alcapone - My Voice Is Insured For Half A Million Dollars Trojan UK
¥1880 (US$17.13)
Add To Want List
Keith Hudson - Studio Kinda Cloudy (Various Artists)
LP Keith Hudson - Studio Kinda Cloudy (Various Artists) Trojan UK
  
¥2980 (US$27.15)
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Scotty - Unbelievable Sounds
LP Scotty - Unbelievable Sounds Trojan UK
¥2180 (US$19.86)
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Niney The Observer - Blood & Fire 1971-1972
LP Niney The Observer - Blood & Fire 1971-1972 Trojan UK
  
¥2980 (US$27.15)
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Rupie Edwards - Ire Feelings: Chapter & Version (Various Artists)
LP Rupie Edwards - Ire Feelings: Chapter & Version (Various Artists) Trojan UK
¥2880 (US$26.24)
Add To Want List
Dennis Brown - Super Reggae & Soul Hits (Derrick Harriott Productions)
LP Dennis Brown - Super Reggae & Soul Hits (Derrick Harriott Productions) Trojan UK
  
¥2480 (US$22.59)
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Big Youth - Screaming Target
LP Big Youth - Screaming Target Trojan UK
¥2080 (US$18.95)
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Ken Boothe - Everything I Own
LP Ken Boothe - Everything I Own Trojan UK
  
¥3580 (US$32.61)
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Upsetters - Return Of Django
7" Upsetters - Return Of Django Upsetter/Trojan UK
¥780 (US$7.11)
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Recent Arrivals
Various - Rudeboy: The Story Of Trojan Records (2LP)
LP Various - Rudeboy: The Story Of Trojan Records (2LP) Trojan EU
  
¥5180 (US$47.19)
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Best selling CD(s)
Hippy Boys - Reggae With The Hippy Boys
CD Hippy Boys - Reggae With The Hippy Boys Trojan UK
  
¥2180 (US$19.86)
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Various - Trojan Sound System
CD Various - Trojan Sound System Trojan UK
  
¥1820 ¥899 (US$8.19)
BUY
Sly & Robbie - Riddim: Best Of Sly & Robbie In Dub 1978-1985 (2CD)
CD Sly & Robbie - Riddim: Best Of Sly & Robbie In Dub 1978-1985 (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
BUY
Various - Reggae Girl (2CD)
CD Various - Reggae Girl (2CD) Trojan UK
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
BUY
Wayne Wonder - Inna Bashment Style: The Roots Of An Urban Warrior
CD Wayne Wonder - Inna Bashment Style: The Roots Of An Urban Warrior Trojan UK
  
¥2180 ¥1380 (US$12.57)
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Best selling LP(s)
Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths - Young Gifted & Black
LP Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths - Young Gifted & Black Trojan UK
  
¥4480 (US$40.81)
BUY
Paragons - On The Beach
LP Paragons - On The Beach Trojan UK
  
¥4480 (US$40.81)
BUY
Various - Tighten Up Volume 1
LP Various - Tighten Up Volume 1 Trojan UK
  
¥4780 (US$43.55)
BUY
Various - Duke Reid Golden Hits
LP Various - Duke Reid Golden Hits Trojan UK
  
¥4480 (US$40.81)
BUY
Various - Trojan Records Reggae Volume 1
LP Various - Trojan Records Reggae Volume 1 Trojan UK
  
¥3280 (US$29.88)
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Best selling 10/12"(s)
Lee Perry - Judgement In A Babylon
12" Lee Perry - Judgement In A Babylon Trojan UK/Upsetter
  
¥2800 ¥1980 (US$18.04)
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Beres Hammond - Look Fi Mi Gal; Look Fi Mi Gal Dub
10" Beres Hammond - Look Fi Mi Gal; Look Fi Mi Gal Dub Trojan UK/Tappa
  
¥1680 ¥899 (US$8.19)
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Best selling 7"(s)
Oliver St. Patrick, Diamonds - Tulips From Heaven (Colored Vinyl)
7" Oliver St. Patrick, Diamonds - Tulips From Heaven (Colored Vinyl) Trojan
  
¥1380 (US$12.57)
BUY
Various - Spirit Of '69 (7" x 8 Box Set)
7" Various - Spirit Of '69 (7" x 8 Box Set) Trojan UK
¥11800 (US$107.50)
BUY
Various - Monkey Bussiness (7" X 10 Box Set)
7" Various - Monkey Bussiness (7" X 10 Box Set) Trojan UK
  
¥13800 (US$125.72)
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>>more
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