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OUT 18th June
This website celebrates the 50th anniversary of seminal album - The Trojan Story. Below you can read stories behind the tracks and using the Label Maker, re-design some of the most iconic artwork from Trojan subsidiary labels. Don’t forget to share your new creations with your friends and family using the hashtag


One of the most significant collections in Trojan’s immense catalogue, ‘The Trojan Story’ album dramatically changed the perception of Jamaican music among the general British public outside of the country’s Afro-Caribbean population.

Prior to its release in 1971 there had never been an attempt to present a comprehensive anthology of the island’s musical development, with vintage ska, rock steady and reggae widely regarded as obsolete and of precious little merit.

The treble disc set, which became an instant best-seller, had been the brainchild of Trojan’s label manager and Black Music fan, Rob Bell, who, assisted by Trojan stalwarts, Dandy, Webster Shrowder, Des Bryan and Joe Sinclair, produced arguably the most significant Jamaican music.

Now, 50 years on from its original release, this hugely influential album has been revisited by Bell, along with reggae musician, Rusty Zinn, who have succeeded in improving what was already an almost perfect collection.

Presented in the original eye catching artwork, the set is further enhanced by a highly illustrated booklet in which Bell and Zinn relate the stories behind the release, life at Trojan in the late Sixties and early Seventies, and the 50 tracks featured on the compilation.

Formats: 3x LP Bookpack // 3CD Boxset // Digital

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Other products are available from the official Trojan store.
Official Store


Recreate the cover using the iconic Trojan 7" labels, and download to share.

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Select an iconic label above to colour in and personalise.

Click your chosen colour and then click the section of the image you want to fill. repeat until image is coloured in.

Share your design to Facebook / Twitter or download and post to Instagram using the hashtag #trojanstory50

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Produced by Roy Robinson, 1962

Original UK release: Island, WI-010

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The Continentals offer a swinging little shuffle with duo harmonies. Who were The Continentals? Who knows? This is a superbly grooving example of pre-Jamaican ska in all its boogie shuffling glory. They had one more UK release in the UK in 1962 on Melodisc’s Chek label.

This was the first Island record I ever owned. Found it in a second-hand shop in Southampton in 1963. I had never heard of the Continentals and back then had never heard of Island either. I thought it might be an r&b record and figured it was worth sixpence to find out. When I got it home, I found it wasn’t r&b, nor rock & roll, but something else. A little weird, but rather appealing. Little did I know that a couple of years hence I was to be immersed in these kinds of sounds at the very same Island Records. The record was produced by Roy Robinson, whose biggest hit from the early 1960s was ‘We’ll Meet’ by Roy and Millie (WI-005), a record that also sold strongly in the UK’s Jamaican ex-pat community in those early days.

Notes written by Rob Bell (label manager of original album in 1971)



Produced by Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid, 1965

Original UK release: Island, WI-171

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Justin Hinds & the Dominoes’ musical output was vo- luminous during the ska and rock steady eras. Hinds hailed from the parish of Saint Ann’s and honed his singing skills in the bars and on the beaches of Ocho Rios prior to relocating to Kingston where, after failing to clinch a deal with Coxson Dodd, he joined Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle roster. Dennis Sinclair and Junior Dixon comprised the Dominoes, a moniker most likely inspired by Justin’s admiration for Fats Domino, rather than Billy Ward’s popular r&b vocal group of the same name.

Hinds was a devoted Rastafarian and his faith reflected greatly in his lyrical content that was permeated with Biblical content and parables. His unique singing style was definitely a countrified sort that he used to great effect while singing his words of wisdom. Justin and the Dominoes’ first, and biggest hit was the ska classic, ‘Carry Go Bring Come’ (Island, WI-154), which proved so popular that he revisited the number again in the rock steady and reggae eras. Never one to bask in the spotlight, Justin returned to the countryside after Duke Reid passed away in the mid-Seventies. He re-emerged with the Dominoes soon after, initially recording for Sonia Pottinger before working with producer Jack Ruby, who in 1976 released their crucial roots reggae LPs “Jezebel” and “Just In Time”, two years later. Thereafter, even though Justin continued to live a quiet and peaceful existence in the Ocho Rios area, he still found time to occasionally record more works and tour, sometimes with the legendary, albeit reformed, line-up of the Skatalites. Such pop music icons as Keith Richards sung his praises to the stars and included Justin in his “Wingless Angels” project.

BB: Tunes like ‘Rub Up Push Up’, ‘Over The River’ and ‘Save A Bread’ were timeless in their lyricism and wit, and Justin’s records often remained in demand for years after their initial release. One of his early big hits, ‘Rub Up, Push Up’ was issued as being by the Charms, and on his eagerly awaited and much publicised “Jezebel” LP, on which his name was misspelt ‘Hines’. As they say, the devil is in the details.

Notes written by Rusty Zinn and Rob Bell (label manager of original album in 1971).



Produced by Blondel Calnek aka Ken Lack, 1967

Original UK release: Caltone, Tone-103

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With ‘Dreader Than Dread’ we are well and truly in the rock steady age, as Honeyboy Martin delivers a spoken word presentation in the style of Prince Buster’s court room-themed classic, ‘Judge Dread’. Honeyboy was, and is still, one Errol Martin, and not to be confused with the great Keith Williams aka Honey Boy, who enjoyed many early romantic pre-lovers rock hits in the UK throughout the Seventies.

Errol enjoyed stints as vocalist in one of Lynn Taitt’s pre-Jets combos, the Comets as well as with Hugh Hendricks & the Buccaneers, but here he fronts Tom- my McCook & the Supersonics, featuring Taitt, who is heard with his signature muted bass note executions that quickly become a key ingredient in rock steady music and beyond. One wonders whatever became of Errol as he seemed to be vastly under-recorded, with only a smattering of releases bearing his name, and precious little written about his life or musical career.



Produced by Lloyd Charmers, 1971

Original UK release: Green Door, GD-4000

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The Charmers on this track are none other than the great Ken Boothe, one of the top echelon Jamaican singers of all time, and the song’s producer, Lloyd Charmers, who soon after would release Ken’s seminal reggae cover of Bread’s ‘Everything I Own’. ‘Rasta Never Fails’ is a very upbeat and joyous af- fair with a hymn-like quality, and is the kind of song that could easily be envisioned as being performed the likes of Count Ossie and his cohorts at a Nyahbinghi groun- dation gathering. During the middle instrumental break, the listener will hear Lloyd expound, “Praise the Lord!’ Boothe straddles the Christian and Rastafarian faiths and while he has never grown dreadlocks, has always considered himself a ‘heartical’ Rasta, as his grand- mother was a Rasta from the beginning of its movement in Jamaica, when it was led by Leonard Howell.

BB: This was also the final song on the original edition and chosen because Rastafarianism was increasingly becoming the subject of songs, conversation and cul- ture in 1971, the time I was putting the set together. Of course, it had been a vibrant part of Jamaican culture for many years, but by the Seventies, the folks - often white and European - that were following and exploring Jamaican music were becoming increasingly aware of it, and of course, over the course of the decade, Rasta- farianism had a huge influence on roots reggae.



Produced by Karl ‘JJ’ Johnson, 1969

Original UK release: Doctor Bird, DB-1185

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This really is a unique sounding track from the Ethiopians under the direction of Sir J.J. A terrific horn section line is heard coming in and out through the arrangement with a slicing chop sound on the rhythm guitar over a pulsating bassline and the standard offbeat ska piano, along with pluck guitar and drums. It has a relentless and driving quality with Leonard Dillon and his Ethiopians singing beautifully about a miserable subject. Makes one wonder if Dillon were still here, would he be singing about the Covid-19 virus with his typically joyous approach?

BB: We had to make a few substitutions for this edi- tion of “The Trojan Story”, so given the year in which this is being compiled - 2020 - ‘Hong Kong Flu’ was a no brainer. Compared to Covid-19, the Hong Kong flu turned out to be not quite so bad, but there were still around an estimated one million deaths worldwide. A vaccine was found within four months and it did not affect economic activity all that much, but it was feared by the population at large, as the Ethiopians attest.

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