yardie's reggae collection - books
The books presented here belong to my collection. There are no comments but only some brief descriptions of their content. In some cases I did a lot of research before buying them. In other cases I just found them somewhere in Jamaica with no premeditation. Many are truly regarded as classics. Irie Ites!
THE STORY OF JAMAICAN MUSIC
CHRIS SALEWICZ & ADRIAN BOOT
HARRY N. ABRAMS, INC., PUBLISHERS 2001
A complete history of Jamaican music from Mento to Modern Dancehall. An interesting read and huge picture. This is a great book, actually. Perfectly edited with very interesting and educational texts. The author, Salewicz, wrote the beautiful travelogue, history, memories book called "Rude Boy" (see below) and surely knows the matter very deeply. Boot provides exceptional pictures, shot over the years in JA. Hard cover, big format, a must have!
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO REGGAE
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO JAMAICAN MUSIC, FROM SKA THROUGH ROOTS TO RAGGA
STEVE BARROW & PETER DALTON
ROUGH GUIDES LTD. LONDON 2001
Crucial doesn't half describe it. A sort of "Bible" for every collector. Here you will find almost everything until the end of the 90s. Steve Barrow was the founder of "Blood & Fire" record label, that re-issued unmissable records. Steve is a Guru, his knowledge about Jamaican music is infinite. He wrote tons of sleeve notes for his own label and for others. As for the London taxi drivers, here it can be said that Barrow has The Knowledge. Actually I don't know very much about the co-author Peter. But surely if he is there, well, thare is a reason. As said, this book is the basis for every lover of Jamaican music. Unfortunately this was the last edition published. But do not feel that this is not something "updated". What you need to start discovering Jamaican music is here. Unmissable. A classic. A book that I continue to check over the years for crucial informations.
100 ESSENTIAL CD'S
STEVE BARROW & PETER DALTON
ROUGH GUIDES LTD. LONDON 1999
Everyone has his own 100's best Reggae records. These are Barrow & Dalton choices. Detailed reviews of 100 recordings plus some crucial info about the artists and the producers. Plus there is a second choice for every album which means that at the end you have 200 records to choose from. It helped me a lot to start my collection.
WHEN REGGAE WAS KING
PENGUIN BOOKS 2000
Reviewed as "A comprensive history of Jamaica's principal 20th century art form - Reggae." A 540 pages book full of history. A long reading to "overstand" what happened in Reggae and in Jamaican society too. For sure the author collected millions of informations to write it. Comprehensive, it's a must (again) to lear about Jamaican music. A classic.
THE STORY OF JAMAICAN MUSIC
KEVIN O'BRIEN CHANG & WAYNE CHEN
IAN RANDLE PUBLISHERS, KINGSTON, JAMAICA, 1998
The first book ever written by Jamaicans about the history of Jamaican music. Here all is seen through the Jamaican perspective. Unreplaceable for this reason. 250 pages from "Kumina to Mento, Ska to Rocksteady, Reggae to Dancehall, Roots to Ragga". Every period of the Jamaican music is described and expalined and it's followed by reviews of some seminal records from the time. Plus there are some interesting in-depth analysis on different issues. Intersting reading.
AN ORAL HISTORY OF REGGAE
DAVID KATZ BLOOMSBURY 2003
Conversations with the top artists, producers, engineers and people involved in the Reggae Music industry. Katz is no joke. He knows very well what he is talking about. A very deeply informed historian about the Jamaican music he delivers a wonderful text that is like a Ph.D. thesys. He went on the spot, researched and spoke personally with hundreds of people involved in the music. Katz lectures are amazing and enlighting. Again, this is a book I go back to when I write my comments on my collection. Unmissable.
REGGAE, RASTA, REVOLUTION
JAMAICAN MUSIC FROM SKA TO DUB
BOOKS WITH ATTITUDE 1997
Music, identity, politics, and religion. That kind of book to take a look to from time to time to find some new helpful informations.
THE RISE OF JAMAICAN DANCEHALL CULTURE
SOUL JAZZ PUBLISHING 2008
History of Dancehall. From the 70's to its golden 80's. A seminal investigation on one of the most enduring genre inside the Jamaican musical history. Great (and also huge) pictures.
REGGAE & CARIBBEAN MUSIC
BACKBEAT BOOKS 2002
An account on the region's music with particular attention to Jamaica. Albums reviews and in interesting section on the top producers careers.
SOUNDSCAPES & SHATTERED SONGS IN JAMAICAN REGGAE
MICHAEL E. VEAL
WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY PRESS 2007
An outstanding research by Veal, associate professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University.
LIFE WITH BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS
W.W. NORTON & COMPANY 2003 Life of BMW through the words and pictures of the author. A selfish book with very nice pictures.
NO WOMAN, NO CRY
MY LIFE WITH BOB MARLEY
RITA MARLEY WITH HETTIE JONES
SIDGWICK & JACKSON 2004 Rita's point of view. Judge by yourself.
MARLEY AND ME
LMH PUBLISHING 1994
Don's point of view. Judge by yourself. An interesting book to understand Jamaican mentality.
TIMOTHY WHITE UNIVERSALE ECONOMICA FELTRINELLI 1983
Biography of Marley. Considered a starting point to approach the life of Marley.
AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE OF BOB MARLEY
SIMON & SCHUSTR 2006
Illustrated biography of Bob Marley. This book features rarely seen pictures and over twenty hands-on reproductions of various material. The book contains an audio CD too with the Neville Willoughby 1973 interview which was already released as "Bob Marley interviews..." and an interview about the 1979 "Survival" set. This interview is worth the price of the book.
THE BOOK OF EXODUS THE MAKING & MEANING OF BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS ALBUM OF THE CENTURY
AURUM 2006 Chronicles from Jamaica and London (UK) during the making of the top acclaimed "Exodus" album.
IL SOGNO DI BOB MARLEY
ALBERTO CASTELLI E MARIA CARLA GULLOTTA ARCANA 2005
Chronicles from Addis Ababa and Jamaica.
BRUCE W. TALAMON (Text by Roger Steffens - Foreword by Timothy White)
A photographic and textual meditation on the life of a legend.
THE UNTOLD STORY
HARPER COLLINS 2009
Bob Marley's story from the point of view of the great Salewicz. Unmissable!
I & I THE NATURAL MYSTICS
MARLEY, TOSH AND WAILER
JONATHAN CAPE LONDON 2011
The history of the legendary threesome.
PEOPLE FUNNY BOY
THE GENIUS OF LEE "SCRATCH" PERRY
OMIBUS PRESS 2006
The life of the most incredible producer, musical milestone and pure genius character Lee Perry.
MACMILLAN CARIBBEAN 2004
Originally published in 1954, this classic Jamaican fiction tells the adventures of an honest Rastaman caught up in the West Kingston ghetto. Mythic powers of a ghetto hero and bad men in a tale that stood the test of time.
PAYBACK PRESS 1997
An extremely funny novel about a small village in Jamaica. If you gathered around the real Jamaica you will recognize all the characters as real. Prepare yourself to laugh a lot.
THE HARDER THEY COME
MICHAEL THELWELL GROVE PRESS 1980
A novel about the exploits of the legendary jamaican folk hero Rhygin. Beautiful. A classic. Surely, along with Marlon James' "A Brief History Of Seven Killings", this deserves the title of Great Jamaican Novel
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS
ONE WORLD 2014
A novel that is filled with historical facts disguised as fiction. From 1976 to 1991 a lot things happen to the characters depicted in this "Great Jamaican Novel". Yes, exactly. There is the famous so called "Great American Novel", and now there is the Jamaican one. They have to be prouded about that. Along with Michael Thelwell's "The Harder They Come", it deserves to be considered as such. No spoilers here, of course. Let's just say that the attempt to kill "the Singer" (Bob Marley, of course, but never mentioned as such) will trigger a lot of bloody events. This is not an easy reading. Do not think that this is just a crime story book. Real characters have alternate names, some situations are fiction only because there is no real proof that the events or conversations really happened that way. But the heart of the matter is that the historical event depicted are absolutely real. A great reading. A book that will stand among the greatest works from Caribbean writers. PS: the book has been selected in 23 Best Books Of The Year 2014 lists. Among those the list includes: Wired, BBC Culture, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Publishers Weekly, Amazon, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal.
AKASHIC BOOKS 2012
An anthology of all new stories from a series of authors about the capital of Jamaica, Kingston. The list of the authors includes: Marlon James (see his unmissable "A Brief History Of Seven Killings"), Kwame Dawes, Patricia Powell, Chris Abani, Colin Channer, Marcia Douglas, Leone Ross, Kei Miller, Christopher John Farley, Ian Thomson (see his non-fiction and unmissable "The Dead Yard - Tales Of Modern Jamaica") and Thomas Glave. Very intersting read.
JAMAICA ME DEAD
ST. MARTIN'S MINOTAUR 2005
A crime story set in and around an exotic and edonistic resort. As the mistery evolves, Jamaican characters evolve as well before reaching a burning conclusion. A summer reading, maybe. But a very well written novel set in Jamaica.
DI TAXI RIDE - AND OTHER STORIES
JAMAICA TREASURES 2010
A collection of twelve short stories excusively Jamaican. Amazing. A lot of laughs guaranteed!
THE BOOK OF JAMAICA
HARPER PERENNIAL 1980
A novel indeed, but actually filled with historic facts about the Maroons and their relationship with the Jamaican society. A story that digs deeply in the consciousness of the island. The flavour of rural Jamaica can be felt through every page.
NEGRIL - REGGAE, RIOTS & ROMANCE
ROBERTA RAIGH PRYOR
ONE-ONE COCO 2011
This very good novel set in the Negril area is written by a founding member of the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society. The american author is a Negril resident since decades and knows very well what she writes about. Highly enjoyable.
SOCIAL & POLITICS______________________________________________________________________________________________________
THE DEAD YARD
TALES OF MODERN JAMAICA
FABER AND FEBER 2009
This contemporary field research tries to understand the actual social situation of that beautiful and tough place called Jamaica. Controversial but at the same time unmissable. Do not read it before your first visit to Jamaica. You could get the wrong impression or worst: get scared. Explore Ja, and you will find marvellous people and places.
BORN FI' DEAD
LAURIE GUNST CANONGATE 1995
A frightening journey through the "yardie" gangsters underworld between Jamaica and the USA.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN JAMAICA
VICTOR GALLONCZ 2000 Travelogue, history, memories of the author about his jamaican experiences. Salewicz knows what he is talking about.
COL. C. L. G. HARRIS PUBLISHING DESIGN INC. 2004
The life of Col. C.L.G. Harris, Chief of the Windward Maroons. A book about a pure hearted man. Someone can breathe JA through these pages. Brilliant.
CARIBBEAN CULTURAL IDENTITY
THE CASE OF JAMAICA - AN ESSAY IN CULTURAL DYNAMICS
REX M. NETTLEFORD
IAN RANDLE PUBLISHERS 2003
Unmissable essay on Jamaican cultural identity and its dynamics.
INNA DI DANCEHALL
POPULAR CULTURE AND THE POLITICS OF IDENTITY IN JAMAICA
DONNA P. HOPE
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES PRESS 2006
Hope explores the sociopolitical meanings of Jamaica's Dancehall culture. Unmissable if you are interested in understanding Jamaica's contemporary culture.
THE STORY OF THE JAMAICAN PEOPLE
PHILIP SHERLOCK & HAZEL BENNETT
IAN RANDLE PUBLISHERS, KINGSTON, JAMAICA, 1998
History of Jamaica written from the Jamaican perspective.
A SHORT HISTORY OF SLAVERY
History of slavery. Focused particularly on the British involvement. If you are white, this book will make you feel ashamed. If you are black you know how it was, read it and then go for Marcus Garvey teachings. If you haven't done it yet.
A HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA
HAROLD G. MARCUS UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS, BERKELEY, U.S.A., 2002
(Updated edition) History of Ethiopia, the oldest African nation.
no stars for obvious reasons
THE KEBRA NAGAST
SIXTH CENTURY C.E. ST. MARTIN PRESS
A mystic loop voyage between Ethiopia and Israel.
KING JAMES VERSION
The mystic loop voyage in Israel.
THE ETHIOPIAN TEWAHEDO CHURCH AN INTEGRALLY AFRICAN CHURCH
ARCHBISHOP YESEHAQ DIOCESE OF THE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURC IN THE WESTERN EMISPHERE 200?
The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church poin of view.
THE PHILOSOPHY & THE OPINIONS OF MARCUS GARVEY
OR, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS
MARCUS GARVEY COMPILED BY AMY JACQUES GARVEY
THE MAJORITY PRESS 1923 - 1925
Marcus Mosiah Garvey speeches and thoughts. The starting point for a new vision. Founder of the "Universal Negro Improvement Association - U.N.I.A." and advocate of universal black repatriation. Regarded as The Prophet by Rastafarians M.M. Garvey is a National Hero for jamaicans, Rastafarians or not. The Black conscience starts here. Give thanks.
THE RASTAFARIANS OF JAMAICA
A very deep account of the Rastafarians. Pure and clear approach to Rastafari. Written with the will to learn.
ROOTS AND IDEOLOGY
BARRY CHEVANNES SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY PRESS 1994
A sweeping deep look into the origins and practices of Rastafari. Professor Alston "Barry" Chevannes is a top rated resercher at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, JA. He has made signal contribution as an authority on Rastafarianism throughout his publications. Read, learn, think and go check on field by yourself.
LEONARD E. BARRETT BEACON PRESS 1997
The classic work on the history and the beliefs of the Rastafarians. This stands at the Chevannes book level.
THE EARTH MOST STRANGEST MAN: THE RASTAFARIAN
MORTIMO PLANNO PRIVATE EDITION 1969 NEVER OFFICIALLY PUBLISHED
Rastafari through the eyes of one of the greatest elders. Planno was one of the founding members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica. He was a founding member of the Rastafari Movement Association, which held the Ethiopian World Federation Charter 37, and was a driving force behind the first Universal Grounation of Rastafari in Back-O-Wall (now Tivoli Gardens, Kingston) in 1958.
THE FIRST RASTA LEONARD HOWELL AND THE RISE OF RASTAFARIANISM
HELENE LEE CHICAGO REVIEW PRESS 1999
Life and thoughts of the founding father of the Rastafarians. Explicit thoughts.
V.A. CARIBBEAN QUARTERLY - MONOGRAPH 1985
UUNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES PRESS, KINGSTON, JA
Accounts, analyses, critiques on the Rastafari movement. A high level enquire from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.
REPORT ON THE RASTAFARI MOVEMENT IN KINGSTON JAMAICA
M. G. SMITH, ROY AUGIER AND REX NETTLEFORD
INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH - UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF THE WEST INDIES 1960
In 1960 a group of Rastafarians led by the late Mortimo Planno urged the institutions to seriously face the emergence of Rastafari. Smith, Augier and Nettleford's research is the starting point for any serious discussion on Rastafari.
CHANTING DOWN BABYLON THE RASTAFARI READER
NATHANIEL SAMUEL MURRELL, WILLIAM DAVID SPENCER AND ADRIAN ANTHONY MCFARLANE
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY PRESS - 1998
An anthology of essays that explore Rastafari religion, culture and politics in JA. The list of twenty one contributors includes Rex Nettleford and Barry Chevannes. Plus an interview with Leonard Barrett. This survey is a seminal read along with "The Rastafarians" and "Rastafari - Roots and Ideology".
RASTAFARI - FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS
ONE DROP BOOKS NEW YORK 1999
A pretentious book. Filled with inaccuracies and errors. Seems like a cut and paste work.The fact that there is no bibliography and notes speaks for itself.
FROM BABYLON TO RASTAFARI - ORIGIN AMD HISTORY OF THE RASTAFARIAN MOVEMENT
DOUGLAS R. A. MACK
RESEARCH ASSOCIATES SCHOOL TIMES PUBLICATIONS 1999
Seminal read. Under Premier Norman Manley government, the author was part of the delegation that in April 1961 flew to Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone to discuss repatriation. The mission was repeated in 1963. A must.
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