New Publications

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Itations Of Jamaica and I Rastarfari - The Third Itation - Mihlawhdh Firistzaddi - Judah Anbesa

It only seems like yesterday that the First Itation book full of colourful photos, graphics and texts first appeared but that was around 1987! Now we have The Third Itation to marvel at. This one is the most musical out of the three. With a great selection of photos, lyrics and writings from a wide range of reggae artists. Including - Bob Andy, Ras Michael, Pablo Moses, Kiddus I, Aswad, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailers, Augustus Pablo, Israel Vibration, The Twinkle Brothers. The book is well over 200 pages - 5"x7.5" and is full of colour and good paper. A must for all reggae fans you can get it at Dub Vendors or contact Mihlawhdh @

ihihim@hotmail.com

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Treasure Isle Time - by Charlie Reggae - Published by Mad Dog

Discography/Guides on reggae labels are always most welcome. Collecting reggae music can be a lot of fun, but it can take up a lot of time, and if you are after a certain tune, you want to know where it is as quick as you can. Simple fact CD's stick around a lot longer than 7" . So if a track you want is on a CD somewhere this is the place to start looking. This book covers every CD that includes Treasure Isle music. Look up someone like Freddy McKay, and you will find 'If I Should Make It' and 'Love Is A Treasure' look up 'Love is A Treasure' in the title index and you find it released on half dozen Treasure Isle CD - take your pick. Also included in this 60 page book is a Treasure Isle Album Discography including small but very clear album covers together with a tracklisting. Its a great work. And with the help of reggae fans - it can updated and expanded very easily.

£7.00 UK inc P&P

£7.50 Europe inc P&P

£8.00 Worldwide inc P&P

Available from Reggae Retro, PO Box 8154, Birmingham, B11 3LA - UK

email rretro@clara.net

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Chris Prete's 'Lets Catch The Beat' reaches issues No.17. A massive 72 pages all for £2.00, this excellent edition features the final chapter on Lee Perry, a tribute to Prince Lincoln Thompson, plus a big interview with Dave Barker. And of course a hugh book and album review section. It's a major credit to the UK reggae scene - and needs the support of reggae fans everywhere, what with all the big changes at Trojan. LCTB - now covers a lot more than just Trojan releases - reflecting the vast interest in reggae great history. What cheers me though is that Chris himself is a big fan of what happening in reggae today - so with a little bit more support - don't be surprised if you see Glen Washington on the cover or even Egg Nog (well perhaps not Egg Nog) but you see the point I'm trying to make (I hope!).

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Bob Marley is still reggae music's best known artist. And yet his lyrics remain for the most part unknown. The big hits did not reflect the real reasoning that made him so popular in reggae music, long before his success in the international market.

Now with Bob Marley 'Songs Of Freedom' compiled by Harry Hawke a big reggae and Bob Marley fan and writer
we have a excellent selection of over 100 songs, each annotated with recording details and notes.

Take any page out of the 180 pages that contain songs and you will be amazed at that detail - that Bob Marley
put into these 3-4 minutes classics.

Just check out 'Babylon System' This is reggae music at its very best. No other form of music in the world would send out a message like that!

'I Know A Place' It's like the man knew something so bad that he want to say it, but he said it anyway. No wonder it took them so long to release the song.

Another more complex song is 'Screw Face' which really is a simple message - listen to the song then read this book to find out what it is!

This book is truly essential and excellent, the notes put every song into context which makes for even better understanding.
It also contains loads of great photos and
graphics.
UK Price is £12.95

www.omnibuspress.com

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Steve Milne goes forward again with the brand new edtion of Full Watts featuring a major interview with Willy Williams from Carter Van Pelt. Who also made the cover of Small Axe and who is making great music, you can't keep a good man down!

Also in this edition is Cedric Im Brooks interviewed by
Jim Dooley. Cedric's history is long and detailed, and what I think is the first published interview with the man he goes into it in fine style. A great read.

Alpheus is the new singing sensation at Studio One is the next big feature in this edition. Great to see some of the newer artists talking about their experiences with Mr Dodd and his label.

Dry and Heavy the Japanese dub band is also featured together with a stack of reviews - singles and albums.
Another great edition! Available from Dub Vendors or
check out
http://sites.netscape.net/fullwatts/homepage


BASS CULTURE (WHEN REGGAE WAS KING)

BY LLOYD BRADLEY

Viking (£12.99)

www.penguin.com

I really like the idea of describing the history of reggae as one continuous story. Unlike most books on the subject, which are made up of compilations of essays or reviews, Lloyd Bradley's 'Bass Culture' operates as one long engaging narration. The flow is only interrupted by several side trips to the U.K. (which are too long, and not all that interesting from a North American perspective), and the odd bit of social analysis.

While I enjoyed the book, it was with some of this cultural dissection that I had trouble. Some of Bradley's vague social generalizations leave me completely puzzled. I'm not quite sure I know what he means by 'Jamaican snobbery' or 'white people's values'. As well, it is a little dangerous to make too many connections between reggae lyrics and the economy - while there have been some fluctuations, things have never really been that prosperous for most people in Jamaica. It is important to point out that there is not always a direct connection between 'how bad things are', and what is getting written about in reggae lyrics.

I also have some difficulty with some of the musical assessments. If Bradley thinks Lee Perry was the 70's 'one true genius', I'm not sure why such a huge portion of the book deals with that decade. I also find it odd that when discussing reggae's refusal to evolve, he states that both 'Dangerous Dub' and 'Raiders of the Lost Dub', "could have been cut at any time during the six or 7 years leading up to their 1981 releases." If he truly thinks this, it proves he is not always listening very carefully.

On the plus side, this book offers a ton of information, which will be especially beneficial for people just discovering reggae. While the text only really goes up to the late 70's, it still offers countless interesting observations about the flow of reggae trends up until that point. Plus, he is great at offering multiple songs, as well as quotes from the relevant musicians, to back up his stories and opinions.

The best part of the book, and perhaps the biggest surprise, are Bradley's keen remarks about the decline of 'roots' reggae. Just when you think he is going to call the 70's the 'golden years' and leave it at that, he comes through with some valuable points. When describing now Rasta themes had become generic and stale in the late 70's, the author offers: "the House of Dread might as well be the House of Pancakes as a significant number of artists started to perceive lyrical righteousness merely as what you had to do to get a deal."

Bradley then goes on to offer suggestions about why reggae changed, and how it had become exhausted in its current form. Although he is skeptical about the rise of dancehall (both the use of technology, and its shift to more local concerns), he also sees that changes were, if not completely desirable, inevitable.

The subtitle of this book is 'When Reggae was King'. While it is questionable whether reggae has ever been on top, Bradley does produce some interesting and relevant comments, in a format that is both readable and enjoyable. To its credit, the book is much more than the mere nostalgia exercise the subtitle might lead you to believe.

By Jim Dooley

 

 

 

 

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Small Axe No: 2-4 is now available from all good reggae record shops and book shops. Featuring the Ambelique story by Jim Dooley. This is the first major interview this very talented singer has given. If you ever wondered who Ramone the Mexican was wonder no more! Also included are the usual bumper selection of albums and sound tape reviews together with a listing for all the dance hall web sites.

 

Price information can be obtained from the outlets -

a full list is towards the end of this site.

 

The latest edition of Reggae Nucleus in now out. Spring 2000 features a massive tribute to women, including interviews with Judy Mowatt (front cover)Slyvia Tella, Chachi Tedesse, and a tribute to Dhaima Matthews, who recorded 'A True' with Dennis Brown. Also in this edition is are interviews with Wayne Wonder and The Rhythm Doctors - a great new band into late sixties reggae and dub. Plus news and reviews.

www.reggaesource.com/reggaenucleus/

The Bob Marley edition of the Beat always provides some interesting information. In this edition put together by founding editior Roger Steffens they have gone for a round up of some interviews with some of the music's singers and players. The topic of course is Bob Marley. Tony Chin, Luciano, LKJ, Glen DaCosta, Kwame Heshimu, Monty Alexander. Also of interest is Vivien Goldman and Neville Garrick. You also get pages of album reviews. Including Reggae Update from Chuck Foster

Getthebeat@aol.com

 

Deep Down With Dennis Brown by Penny Reel

100 pp. Drake Bros £16.99

Penny Reel is one of the UK's reggae foundation writers. His work in the seventies and eighties was and still is a tremendous inspiration. His interviews and articles in publications like Echoes, NME, Sounds and Small Axe gave the readers real insight into a music that was and still is misunderstood. This book on the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown was part of a bigger project that would be and hopefully will be an history of reggae music in this country. That book will be magnificent if this incredible work is anything to go by. Full of colour - this massive book A4 in size is a must for anyone with a true love of reggae music and who wants to know why Dennis Brown is one of the music's greatest stars. Check out the Boom Shaka Lacka website for ordering info.

http://freespace.virgin.net/russell.bell-brown/bslp1htm

 

People Funny Boy - The Genius Of Lee 'Scratch' Perry by David Katz

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538 pp Payback Press £14.99

One day in 1988 I got a package of interviews from someone called Dave Katz. Not long after that the same person was telling me that he was going to write a book on Lee Perry. A nice idea, but knowing that Scratch was not really into doing interviews, the only suggestion I could offer this little American youth was to talk to everyone he could in the reggae business about the man known has the Upsetter. Twelve years later here it is. A true monster of a book. Yes the book is about Lee Perry, but from the little I've seen of it so far, it also contains plenty of information that will be of great interest to anyone who loves reggae music.

http://www.canongate.co.uk/

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