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The Rough Guide to Reggae (Rough Guide Music Guides)

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The Rough Guide to Reggae is the only book of its kind available. The first two editions of the Rough Guide to Reggae were the top-selling books on the subject, and widely acclaimed by the music press and fans alike. Illustrated throughout with over 400 pictures, many of them exclusive photos, the book also features exclusive interviews with reggaeas top stars, and reviews The Rough Guide to Reggae is the only book of its kind available. The first two editions of the Rough Guide to Reggae were the top-selling books on the subject, and widely acclaimed by the music press and fans alike. Illustrated throughout with over 400 pictures, many of them exclusive photos, the book also features exclusive interviews with reggaeas top stars, and reviews over 500 albums. 2003 and 2004 have been the most successful years for reggae music on a global scale since the heyday of Bob Marley, with singers such as Sean Paul and Wayne Wonder regularly topping the UK and US pop charts. The new third edition of Rough Guide to Reggae is fully updated to cover this latest wave of Jamaican musicians, while not stinting on newly discovered recordings and reissues of classic albums of the past.


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The Rough Guide to Reggae is the only book of its kind available. The first two editions of the Rough Guide to Reggae were the top-selling books on the subject, and widely acclaimed by the music press and fans alike. Illustrated throughout with over 400 pictures, many of them exclusive photos, the book also features exclusive interviews with reggaeas top stars, and reviews The Rough Guide to Reggae is the only book of its kind available. The first two editions of the Rough Guide to Reggae were the top-selling books on the subject, and widely acclaimed by the music press and fans alike. Illustrated throughout with over 400 pictures, many of them exclusive photos, the book also features exclusive interviews with reggaeas top stars, and reviews over 500 albums. 2003 and 2004 have been the most successful years for reggae music on a global scale since the heyday of Bob Marley, with singers such as Sean Paul and Wayne Wonder regularly topping the UK and US pop charts. The new third edition of Rough Guide to Reggae is fully updated to cover this latest wave of Jamaican musicians, while not stinting on newly discovered recordings and reissues of classic albums of the past.

30 review for The Rough Guide to Reggae (Rough Guide Music Guides)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Well-written and very wide-ranging in addressing reggae and its many offshoots/related genres, this guide nonetheless isn't very reader friendly in many ways and doesn't go deep enough into the catalogues of individual artists. Yes, that's its objective: to chronicle the history, highlight the top (and obscure) artists, to put the music in perspective and chart how these musical roots are connected. Good job there. But because the book is organized by type of music, labels, producers and whateve Well-written and very wide-ranging in addressing reggae and its many offshoots/related genres, this guide nonetheless isn't very reader friendly in many ways and doesn't go deep enough into the catalogues of individual artists. Yes, that's its objective: to chronicle the history, highlight the top (and obscure) artists, to put the music in perspective and chart how these musical roots are connected. Good job there. But because the book is organized by type of music, labels, producers and whatever else strikes the Rough Guide folks' fancy as being worthy of its own section, it can be devilish work to, say, find all the references to a specific artist — they're simply not in one place. Albums by one artist will be reviewed in several different places if he happens to be associated with a particular producer or label. Also, there a few odd omissions of artists clearly worthy of inclusion. And, except for the giants of the music (Bob Marley, of course, towers over reggae, rightly or wrongly), only a handful of albums are discussed by most artists. So very high marks for the wide and deep net; red marks for accessibility. Quite valuable then (3.5 stars to be specific), sometimes frustrating.

  2. 5 out of 5

    M-----l

    I completely lost interest during the long ragga chapter (starting on page 271), but the earlier part of the book covering mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, etc. was so informative and helpful that I'm giving the book a full 5 stars. I completely lost interest during the long ragga chapter (starting on page 271), but the earlier part of the book covering mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, etc. was so informative and helpful that I'm giving the book a full 5 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    jake

    Jamaica's incredibly prolific musical output is a phenomenon totally out of proportion to the island's small size, its 2 million strong population and modest wealth. Equally significant is the huge influence of reggae music on everything from punk to hip hop to today's dj culture. So if you're looking for a reggae primer that really explains what it's all about, this is the book to get. Authors Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton possess an unrivalled knowledge of Jamaica's rich musical heritage and if Jamaica's incredibly prolific musical output is a phenomenon totally out of proportion to the island's small size, its 2 million strong population and modest wealth. Equally significant is the huge influence of reggae music on everything from punk to hip hop to today's dj culture. So if you're looking for a reggae primer that really explains what it's all about, this is the book to get. Authors Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton possess an unrivalled knowledge of Jamaica's rich musical heritage and if you've ever bought any of the superbly remastered and repackaged reissue cds from Barrow's Blood & Fire label, you'll find the same care, attention to detail and love of the music in the pages of the Rough Guide. The book chronicles the entire history of Jamaican music chapter by chapter, from the earliest beginnings to the sounds being made today; explaining when, how and why each new style developed, who made it happen and the background of continuing social change in Jamaica itself, which has always played a part in shaping the music. There are also excellent accounts of the evolution of reggae in the UK, the USA and Africa. In each chapter the main text is supplemented by profiles of the major singers, groups, djs, musicians, producers, engineers, studios and promoters who came to the fore in that particular era, which often include interviews with the artists themselves. The accompanying discographies are well researched and can reliably be used to add to your record collection. There are over a thousand featured albums in the book, each of which is concisely reviewed, and although there's no rating system as such, the most important releases are highlighted as being essential for a particular artist or style. Such ratings are inevitably subjective, but if you follow these recommendations you won't go far wrong. The Rough Guide is also well illustrated throughout with photographs and album artwork, and overall it's as comprehensive and accurate as it can be while remaining reasonably concise. I don't generally spend much time wading through books about music because theory (ie reading about it) is invariably much less enjoyable and informative than practice (ie listening to it), but I've found this one to be consistently useful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joe Lunday

    Comprehensive, critical, and thoroughly informative. The guide is organized as a loose history of styles and artists, about midway between a narrative history and a survey. The worst I can say about it is that this edition, presumably the last, is now nearly 15 years old, so many of the discs recommended are out of print. I deliberately slowed down the pace with which I read this so that I had time to absorb some of the albums I was compelled to buy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Phil Overeem

    A terrific guide that's a bit better than rough. At first, you might consider it tough going; it's arranged both chronologically and by style, so, for example, you'll need to visit multiple sections to cover all of Lee Perry. But it is very smart, very exacting, and...very fun. Plus: what other guide to reggae is even out there? A terrific guide that's a bit better than rough. At first, you might consider it tough going; it's arranged both chronologically and by style, so, for example, you'll need to visit multiple sections to cover all of Lee Perry. But it is very smart, very exacting, and...very fun. Plus: what other guide to reggae is even out there?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tech XXIII

    Dry And Heavy here's a couple of gents who know their stuff, and i can't imagine much has been left out of this comprehensive history of reggae/jamaican music! this was the edition i wanted to get hold of, as it would have been a harder book to compile then (21 years ago) than it would be today, given the vast amount of reggae music currently 'in print'. it was an interest to see what was available at this time. anyhoo, running chronologically, the book covers the phases of mento, ska, rocksteady Dry And Heavy here's a couple of gents who know their stuff, and i can't imagine much has been left out of this comprehensive history of reggae/jamaican music! this was the edition i wanted to get hold of, as it would have been a harder book to compile then (21 years ago) than it would be today, given the vast amount of reggae music currently 'in print'. it was an interest to see what was available at this time. anyhoo, running chronologically, the book covers the phases of mento, ska, rocksteady, roots, dub and deejay, (and beyond, but after around 1985, my personal interest in the genre kinda peters out) and those who featured at the forefront of events. time is also given to those who played small (and often forgotten) parts in the history - for me the most entertaining parts of the book are the extended quotes from some of the exponents. whilst rich in information, the delivery is a little dry and flat which shaves a smidgeon off the top, but in comparison, doesn't grind as much as the repetition of script on overview appearing again in album reviews, often on the same page - however, considering the wealth of knowledge inside and the writer's well known involvement with reggae music, this is an essential book of reference, which should be kept near at hand to those with more than a passing interest in jamaican music.........or to those who wish to commence on such a journey (that will empty their pockets rapidly!).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julio Marchena Medina

    Un “must” para todo amante del reggae con ganas de saber más sobre los orígenes de uno de los ritmos más espirituales, sensuales y alegres del planeta.

  8. 4 out of 5

    mr.fantasy

    I picked up this guide near when it came out 2001 and at a time nearer to the infancy of the internet, before the wealth of information regarding "roots reggae" arrived online. Regardless of the Ska to Ragga survey, this guide appropriately centers on the gist and pinnacle of the definitive era of reggae, the latter half of the 1970s. Interestingly the cover image, and seller to novices, is the picture of icon Bob Marley. The good thing that this guide will do for the reader concerning finding t I picked up this guide near when it came out 2001 and at a time nearer to the infancy of the internet, before the wealth of information regarding "roots reggae" arrived online. Regardless of the Ska to Ragga survey, this guide appropriately centers on the gist and pinnacle of the definitive era of reggae, the latter half of the 1970s. Interestingly the cover image, and seller to novices, is the picture of icon Bob Marley. The good thing that this guide will do for the reader concerning finding the music is that it will outline the basics of an essential roots reggae library, which in reality hugely transcends just the roots music of Marley and the Wailers, who were central popular figures from Ska through the Roots era. I believe, if memory serves correct, that it also points out to the reader, how the music was served at the time and where to find it today on disc; the differentiation between the real Jamaician, Marley-and-gang music releases versus Island Records Rock-ified White Bread releases, which is important, etc. And I'm sure it explains in fair detail many ska, roots artists, singers, dub artists collectively, enough to "guide" you to a very respectable music collection inclusive and weighted appropriately towards the vast array of amazing and truly central roots artists, particularly roots-Jamaican from the period. I am pretty sure that it goes so far, through "exploring" summary/highlight discographies, to provide or nod to some proper sociological and spiritual contexts for the music. And perhaps the guide does explain through its chronological survey the significance of Jamaican music circa 1974-1983, after which time musical themes popularly shifted far away from the roots musical message. I have explored this era comprehensively so I am hoping the above is true---must have been a reason I grabbed an additional copy back then as a loaner. To get to the point: Good guide for anyone interested in a real understanding, overview and seeking a breadth of authentic roots reggae discographies. A guide that cannot get really get dated due to this finite classic period. Also, it does lightly touch on the UK scene that sprung as well (of which I know another guide might be needed, including for myself). I have not explored the expanded or later additions of this guide that hopefully might showcase latter era 1988-contemporary roots artists, of which I have found but only deep, deep, deep into the underground and sporadically as Babylon pretty much controls the web now! I would hope that such further guides would not be polluted with undesirable connections to otherwise non-roots musical forms that have nothing really to do with this musical form presented here. Vital guide. Recommended to grab one used on the cheap at least. I have two, one for I and one for I. Note: for supplementary free coverage online, to aid your exploration after absorbing this great 2nd edition guide, "a comprehensive and searchable database of Jamaican Roots Reggae Albums from 1970 to 1985." see the roots-archive.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elyssa

    This is not really a book to read cover-to-cover, but I did spend a couple hours looking through it and might buy the next edition. The book is an overview of reggae music from its mento/ska beginnings to present day incarnations. I was most interested in learning more about some of my favorite artists. I also identified many CDs to add to my collection from my preferred genre of Rasta/roots/conscious reggae. I was happy to read about a new generation of roots artists, which gives me hope for fu This is not really a book to read cover-to-cover, but I did spend a couple hours looking through it and might buy the next edition. The book is an overview of reggae music from its mento/ska beginnings to present day incarnations. I was most interested in learning more about some of my favorite artists. I also identified many CDs to add to my collection from my preferred genre of Rasta/roots/conscious reggae. I was happy to read about a new generation of roots artists, which gives me hope for future CDs and concerts. This is a great resource for hardcore reggae fans and a great way to expand your knowledge and tastes beyond the commonly known musicians of this genre.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Crunkyteen

    The Rough Guide to Reggae is one reference book I keep coming back to time and again. Bought the First edition back in the late '90s. It's a shame this isn't in print. Absolutely essential for any fan of the music. Hundreds of recommendations. Will help keep you rocking for decades. There really isn't anything else like it. The Rough Guide to Reggae is one reference book I keep coming back to time and again. Bought the First edition back in the late '90s. It's a shame this isn't in print. Absolutely essential for any fan of the music. Hundreds of recommendations. Will help keep you rocking for decades. There really isn't anything else like it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JoHnny Haddo

    if you only read one book on reggae..this is your baby,,Steve Barrow is the most inform man in the world, when it's comes to reggae, from mento, to ska, to rockers, to dance-hall and beyond, it's all there..excellent! if you only read one book on reggae..this is your baby,,Steve Barrow is the most inform man in the world, when it's comes to reggae, from mento, to ska, to rockers, to dance-hall and beyond, it's all there..excellent!

  12. 4 out of 5

    David

    There's more to reggae than "Bob" There's more to reggae than "Bob"

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jason Tyus

    Superb reference work on all facets of reggae, an essential purchase for all true fans of the music.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Etienne Stekelenburg

    Prachtig boek voor als je iets zoekt over reggae, ska, dancehall of Jamaicaanse muziekgeschiedenis. Een boek om binnen handbereik te hebben wanneer je een reggaeplaatje op zet.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joel Santos

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sokel

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bruno Natal Ribeiro

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lee J

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

  22. 5 out of 5

    mike caputo

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  26. 4 out of 5

    João Gonçalves

  27. 5 out of 5

    Apie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Grant Goddard

  29. 4 out of 5

    kevin cockerell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ulf

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