The Rough Guide to Reggae 100 Essential CDs (Rough Guide 100 Esntl CD Guide)

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9781858285672: The Rough Guide to Reggae 100 Essential CDs (Rough Guide 100 Esntl CD Guide)
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Lists and describes one hundred of the best reggae compact discs, from Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Songs of Freedom" to the Skatalites' "Foundation Ska"

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Introduction

The Rough Guide to Essential Reggae CDs is in some ways a micro-history of the music, a book that ranges from ska and rocksteady to ragga and digital rhythms through celebrating 100 of the best all-time albums. In our selections, we've followed other books in this series by picking (on the whole) just one CD for each artist, though we've had to break the rules for a few key figures - Duke Reid, The Skatalites, Lee Perry, Delroy Wilson, Yabby You - whose careers and albums take in several phases of the music. And reggae being what it is - a singles-driven and producer-driven market - we've opted for a good number of compilations.

Reggae aficionados might be surprised to see a few crucial names missing from our lists. A number of these will be down to taste, but there are some great artists and producers, sadly, who just don't have decent available recordings on CD. Justin Hinds is one such figure: his beautiful Treasure Isle recordings are unavailable at the time of writing because of a legal issue over publishing. Prince Buster currently has nothing from his vast catalogue available, except the excellent (but difficult to find) Japanese issue, King of Ska. We made an exception by including this. In general we have tried to select CDs that, in theory at least, are available in chain store reggae sections worldwide. Certainly they will be readily available at competitive prices through specialists like VP, Dub Vendor, Greensleeves Mail Order, or Ernie, as well as through many outlets on the Internet.

All the CDs selected in this book are, to the best of our knowledge, legally produced discs on bonafide labels. As will be seen, the Heartbeat label has over a quarter of the selections, principally due to their stewardship of the important Studio One catalogue; elsewhere, independents continue to lead in the re-issue and contemporary fields. The choices of CDs on the Blood & Fire label - associated with co-author Steve Barrow - was made by Peter Dalton, to avoid partiality; though for the record Steve did put his case for the Congos.

As fans of Jamaican music for the last thirty years, we found selecting just 100 essential reggae albums, to reflect this crucial and innovative music in all its phases, a real challenge. We hope that you enjoy our efforts, even if you don't always agree, and that this book will expand the collections and musical enjoyment of newcomers and long-time aficionados alike.

Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton

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Steve Barrow; Peter Dalton
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