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“The most thorough attempt yet to tell [reggae’s] who story. Although the author, the British music journalist Lloyd Bradley, wasn’t around to witness at first hand most of the developments he describes, he has spent six years talking at length to many of the people who made them happenand his whole life, by the sound of it, loving every last detail of the music and memorizing its gloriously rich and expressive slang. . . . He is as attentive to the island’s shifting social and political scene as he is to the gradual evolution of the music.”The Sunday Times (London)
This Is Reggae Music
The Story of Jamaica's Music
978-0-8021-3828-6 • $17.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2001
Jamaica is a small country in the Caribbean, 146 miles wide and populated by less than 3 million people. Nevertheless, it exerts a powerful hold on international popular music. From Prince Buster to Burning Spear, Lee “Scratch” Perry to Yellowman, Bob Marley to Shabba Ranks, reggae music is one of the most dynamic and powerful musical forms of the twentieth century. And, as Lloyd Bradley shows in his deft, definitive, and always entertaining book, it is and always has been the people’s music. Born in the sound systems of the Kingston slums, reggae was the first music poor Jamaicans could call their own, and as it spread across the globe it always remained fluid, challenging, and distinctly Jamaican. Based on six years of research, original interviews with most of reggae’s key figures, and a lifelong enthusiasm for one of the most remarkable of the world’s musics, This Is Reggae Music is an indispensable achievement.