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Trojan Records, already an iconic name in the music industry - famous for pioneering Ska and Reggae (among other things) launched a clothing range in 2014 in collaboration with Lambretta Clothing. 2016 saw them branch out as a clothing label in their own right, and the collection doesn't disappoint. As you would expect from a Mod and Ska record label range, all your mod favourites are here - men's mod-inspired shirts, cycling tops and Harrington jackets are combined with the iconic look and 2-tone iconography of Trojan Records.
The story of Trojan Records started in 1968 when British-based Jamaican music company, Island Records, launched a label to promote the work of popular ska and rock DJ Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid. Named 'Trojan' as this was the title Reid had acquired in his early music business career; sadly the company folded after a matter of months. It looked as though the end may have been in sight for Trojan until the creation of a new Jamaican music company which also launched in 1968. The merging of Island Records and distrubutor, B&C created 'Trojan Records' who were fast issuing singles on a variety of different labels.
Trojan Records went from strength to strength during its first year of business, this was correlated with the rise of the working class, youth subculture, Skinheads, who towards to end of the 60s embraced the Jamaican culture as its own. The fast developing demographic influenced the explosin in sales of 'Red Red Wine' which was the companies first mainstream hit by Tony Tribe. Artists such as The Upsetters, The Pioneers and Desmond Dekker also owe their success to Trojan Records by helping them step onto the higher reaches of mainstream listings.
In the spring of 1971, Dave & Ansel Collins’ ‘Double Barrel’ gave Trojan its first UK number one whilst many further entries followed, the record label also highlighted music by artists largely unknown outside Jamaica, many of which were due to become major international recording stars among these were Bob Marley & the Wailers.
Trojan Records success was continued over the following year or so however in 1975 the company hit financial struggles and acquired Marcel Rodd as the new owner. Rodd was very inexperienced with Jamaican music which proved costly, this was despite signing deals with many up-and-coming producers.
Another stroke of luck hit Trojan Records as the 70s came to an end, the 'Ska Revival' caused a substantial upturn in its fortunes. Bands such as Madness and The Specials renewed interest in Ska and the company was thriving once more! Unfortunately their luck was to run out a second time and interest was lost in the mid-1980s. Colin Newman was next to purchase the label and under his charge Trojan’s focus became its back catalogue, with various specialists employed to ensure it maintained its position as the world’s leading vintage Reggae record company.
Trojan Records story took its last twist in the Summer of 2007 when Universal Music Group took over the company. This meant that Trojan and Island, the imprint of Jamaican music, were brought back together under one roof after 39 years. Universal maintained the company for the following 7 years, providing many acclaimed collections and reviving the much-missed Trojan Appreciation Society, before selling to BMG, a subsidiary of one of Europe’s biggest media companies, Bertelsmann.
In 2014 they launched a clothing brand which features polo's, cycling tops, harringtons, track tops, shirts and also parka's. The history is clearly portrayed in the pieces, with influences from the 60s and Mod style as well as skinhead.