Published: Eye Books (July 2018)

ISBN: 9781785630781

The Story of Trojan Records

Laurence Cane-Honeysett


The definitive history as the iconic label turns 50

‘A beautiful book’ – Robert Elms

‘The weaving of the social history of Britain into the story makes this a fascinating book’ – Cerys Matthews

The official story of Trojan Records, one of the greatest reggae record labels of all time.

Trojan was founded in 1968, as part of a deal with Island Records, its mission to bring Jamaican music to the world. Over the subsequent half-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.

Written by journalist Laurence Cane-Honeysett, who has worked with Trojan Records across three decades, this is the definitive history of one of the most enduring labels in popular music. It contains hundreds of photographs, record sleeves, labels and archive material, much of it not seen for many years.





‘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’ 

Don Letts


‘A beautiful book’

Robert Elms, BBC Radio London

‘It’s got lots of photographs, and reminiscences from tons of artists, but also a lot of history – the weaving of the social history of Britain into the story makes this a fascinating book’

Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6 Music

‘The wide-ranging, sometimes bonkers, always exciting story of a record label that played a huge part in announcing a black presence in Britain, and in doing so changed the nation forever’

The Guardian

‘A timely reminder of the music that sparked a cross-cultural revolution’

Daily Mirror

‘Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary reggae label, this big, beautiful artefact combines artist biographies and interviews with wonderful evocative images, plus records sleeves, labels, ads and other archive material’

Uncut – Top 10 books of 2018

‘In all, this profusely illustrated coffee-table book is a marvellous tribute to the Trojan label, authored by somebody who has a real passion for the music and knows his stuff inside out’

Rhythm & Blues magazine

‘Written with passion and so much love by someone who has worked with Trojan for over two decades, this is a must-have for music lovers’

Books In My Hallway

‘Rather than try to do a summary, I advise everyone to purchase the book. You will be in possession of a piece of history’

Coral Consciouslee


Channel 4 celebrates half a century of Trojan with a five-minute film featuring Laurence Cane-Honeysett.

Trojan marches on at 50: the Jamaica Observer celebrates the publication of the book and talks to Laurence Cane-Honeysett.

DJ and musician Don Letts discusses Trojan's cultural and social legacy on London Live.

The Independent looks at the history of Trojan.

A news story about The Story of Trojan Records in The Wire.


Laurence Cane-Honeysett

A former illustrator, musician and journalist, Laurence Cane-Honeysett joined Trojan Records at the start of the 1990s, since which time he has worked for the legendary reggae record company in almost every capacity, from archivist and official historian to label manager.

During this time, he has assisted in the making of numerous TV and radio reggae documentaries, written definitive articles on some of Jamaican music’s greatest stars and penned essays for over 500 music collections, while compiling around twice that number.

Now, more than a quarter of a century after he started working for the company, Laurence provides a fascinating account of its musical greatest talents and those behind the scenes who helped make Trojan Records the world’s greatest – and most iconic – Jamaican music label.

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