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The Rough Guide to Reggae 3 (Rough Guide Music Guides) (Rough Guide Reference) Paperback – September 27, 2004


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Paperback, September 27, 2004
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Product Details

  • Series: Rough Guide Reference
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 3 edition (September 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843533294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843533290
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Finally, a comprehensive guide covering the entire span of Jamaican music, from the 1950s mento and R&B through dub, dancehall and ragga. Along with interviews of crucial reggae personalities (Bunny Lee, King Jammy, and Coxsone Dodd, for example) and profiles of major careers (like Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, and of course, Bob Marley), Barrow and Dalton provide the irreplaceable service of reviewing and recommending more than 1,000 CD and vinyl selections. The writers clearly love their topic and are exceedingly knowledgeable about it. The resulting guide is a combination of fascinating historical tidbits, scholarly attention to musical detail, and a definitive treatment of reggae's genre, artists, albums, and songs. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is an inexpensive yet near-comprehensive way to educate oneself about reggae music. Incorporating the same let's-cut-to-the-chase style that has characterized the Rough Guide travel books, as well as other music guides on rock, opera, and classical music, this guide to the hugely popular Jamaican music is profusely illustrated and well indexed. The authors have been involved in reggae for over 20 years and are able to survey the genre's many aspects succinctly. They consider such subgenre categories as mento, ska, rude-boy music, and rocksteady and devote chapters to African reggae, reggae in Britain, and reggae in America. Most important is the direction that the guide gives to the best CD or vinyl sources of reggae. Great photos and album covers (all in black and white) liberally pepper the text. If a library feels compelled to stock only one title on reggae, one would be hard pressed to beat the price or content of this book.?David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch. Lib., Boston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 18 customer reviews
So if you're looking for a reggae primer that really explains what it's all about, this is the book to get.
kaysixone
It has been accused of being relatively stale and slow but if you're interested in the subject matter that shouldn't matter, right.
Brandon Burke
Novices and experts alike cannot afford to be without this invaluable Reggae guide and indispensible reference book.
Dub Tafari

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By kaysixone on July 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Jamaica's incredibly prolific musical output (more than one hundred thousand different records over the last fifty years) 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 rave and 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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Achis on August 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
I can't imagine that I'd actually ever sit down to read this book, from beginning to end, I mean, now that would be boring, like watching grass grow, or reading a math text book from beginning to end. However, that being said, I don't think that this book was meant to be read in that way. It is a buyer's guide, and strictly as a buyer's guide, it is very good. Like another reviewer here, this book has cost me some serious dough indirectly, searching for, finding and purchasing some of the classics in this book has ran me over 2 thousand dollars. I lie the format where they give a brief accounting of the type of music for the chapter, then break it down by the artists and their best albums. It even has a dub section which is very extensive, and the best of its kind about this oft-forgotten type of music. It brought back memories, of my father playing tunes by Fred Locks, Tappa Zukie, Augustus Pablo, Yabby You and the Congos when I was younger, (I'm only 21) and I was able to purchase alot of those albums for my own collection. And my father owns the book, he's 47 years old, owns approximately 60% of the material in the book, and he's been listening to the music for approximately 47 years, and he loves it. In my opinion, if you just approach this one as what it is, a buyer's guide, then it'll work for you. I also like the way it handles Bob Marley and the Wailers, it gives a very in depth summary, but it doesn't over-do it, as many books on reggae does. And it also goes in depth on Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer as well. It covers very in depthly the current era of reggae as well, with the dancehall, and conscious vibes well touched upon. Overall, I say if you are a collector of reggae music, especially a newer collector, then this book will work for you, it does all of the research for you, gives you 100% of the labels, so you can go directly to the source, and get the material you want. Very very good!
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Rough Guide to Reggae is a good resource for starting a reggae CD collection. But it's not a very good read. Interested reggae fans should probably buy it. But if you really want to know what Jamaican music is all about, Reggae Routes - The Story of Jamaican Music is the real deal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book very much. If you have this, "Reggae Bloodlines" and "Catch a Fire," you have quite a comprehensive overview of the reggae phenomenon. "Reggae: The Rough Guide" is an indispensable World Music book, along with such must-have volumes as "The Brazilian Sound" and "World Music: The Rough Guide."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Irons on January 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a quick and easy read on the history of Reggae, this probably isn't the place to start. If you're looking for a reference work to help you flesh out your reggae collection, this is the book for you. Steve Barrow might well be the most knowledgeable person writing about Reggae today.
Since buying this book I've personally dropped a couple a grand on Reggae CDs, mainly on recommendations in this book or the Virgin Reggae guide. Overall, I'd say about 90%+ were worth my money. In this respect, the book has been invaluable to me. If you're a true fan of Reggae, it will be invaluable to you too.
Some of the criticisms leveled by other reviewers on this site are a result of unfair or misguided expectations. They are apparently disappointed that the book isn't an easy read, or an oral history of some sort. I think the best way to approach this book is to start with a particular style of Reggae that you're interested in (i.e., Roots, Ska, etc.) and dig in. Get some on the recommended CDs, and enjoy! Then move on to another chapter if you are so inclined.
One last plug for the author: Steve Barrow is the co-owner of Blood & Fire, currently Reggae's best reissue label. Buy everything you can get your hands with the B & F logo! - the stuff is worth its weight in ganja.
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