This Is Reggae Music: The Story of Jamaica’s Music

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Jamaica is a small country in the Caribbean, 146 miles wide and populated by fewer than three million people. Then again, it has exerted a more powerful hold on international popular music than any nation but even so England and The us. From Prince Buster to Burning Spear, Lee “Scratch” Perry to Yellowman, Bob Marley to Shabba Ranks, reggae music is without doubt one of the most dynamic and powerful musical forms of the twentieth century. And, as Lloyd Bradley shows in his deft, definitive, and at all times entertaining book, it’s and at all times has been the people’s music. Born in the sound systems of the Kingston slums, reggae used to be the first music poor Jamaicans could call their own, and as it spread all the way through the world, it at all times remained fluid, challenging, and distinctly Jamaican. In accordance with six years of research — original interviews with most of reggae’s key producers, musicians, and international players — and a lifelong enthusiasm for one of the crucial remarkable of the world’s musics, This Is Reggae Music is the definitive history of reggae.

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