Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music

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Temple University Press, 1998 - Music - 246 pages
3 Reviews
Bob Marley's recordings, some twenty years after his death, still enjoy enormous international popularity. For popular music fans in most of the world, reggae looms so large as to be Jamaica's only music and Marley its consummate musician. In this book, Jamaicans Kevin Chang and Wayne Chen, offer a history of reggae, accounting for its rise and devolution.Jamaican music can be roughly divided into four eras, each with a distinctive beat-ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall. Ska dates from about 1960 to mid-1966 and rocksteady from 1966 to 1968, while from 1969 to 1983 reggae was the popular beat. The reggae era had two phases, early reggae up to 1974 and roots reggae up to 1983. Since 1983 dancehall has been the prevalent sound.The authors describe each stage in the development of the music, identifying the most popular songs and artists, highlighting the significant social, political, and economic issues as they affected the musical scene. While they write from a Jamaican perspective, the intended audience is any person, local or foreign, interested in an intelligent discussion of reggae music and Jamaica. Featuring some four hundred illustrations that range from album covers and posters to rare photos, Reggae Routes profiles the innumerable artists, producers, and recordings that secured an international audience for Jamaican music.

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I recommended this book to the Librarian in the School where I work. I borrowed it and read it for the first time in Summer 2008.
I have since bought my own copy and I have read it seven times since
. It is extremely well put together, and it covers a vast range of Jamaican Music from Mento to present day Dancehall.
Without wanting to sound boastful, this book caters for Afficionados like myself.I lived and worked in Jamaica in the early 70's and the music was very vibrant and peaceful, unfortunately the peace in Jamaica is no longer like it was, but the music has gotten better and better over the years.
This review is about the book, not the Country, I find it hard to seperate the two of them.Thanks for a great book.
Pat Maguire aka tapertaled.

Review: Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music

User Review  - Kenny LORD - Goodreads

A brilliant book by Brian and Wayne, that takes you on a delightful journey of Jamaica's Reggae music, with a marvel of research and documentation. This book presents the reader with truly artistic ... Read full review


The Heartbeat of a People
Sound System Days and Nights
Rasta and Oh Carolina
Get Ready for Rocksteady
The Harder They Come and Bob Marley
Inna the Dancehall
Count Matchukie and King Stitt
Riddim Wild
The Sounds
Notes and References
List of Sources

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About the author (1998)

Chang holds an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Chen holds a degree in law from the University of the West Inidies.

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