Reggae Books

Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King by Lloyd Bradley
Bass Culture

This book is the first major account of the history of reggae music – from ska to rock-steady to dub and then to reggae itself, a local music which conquered the world. There are many extraordinary stories about characters like Prince Buster, King Tubby and Bob Marley. But this is more than a book of music history: it relates the story of reggae to the whole history of Jamaica, from colonial island to troubled independence, and Jamaicans, from Kingston to London. FIND OUT MORE

Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture by Beth Lesser.

Dancehall history – from its roots to its heights. Living in Jamaica in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Beth Lesser photographed and documented a cultural explosion as producers, singers, DJs and soundmen made a living out of the slums of Kingston. In the early 1980s, as Jamaica was in the throes of political and gang violence, Beth Lesser ventured where few others dared and this book is a never-before-seen record of the exciting, dangerous and vibrant world of Dancehall. FIND OUT MORE

People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry by David Katz.
People Funny Boy

Arguably the most influential force in Jamaican music, Lee Perry brought Bob Marley to international stardom and has since collaborated with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, The Clash and The Beastie Boys. The book delves behind the myth of Perry to give a fuller examination of his life and work through extensive interviews with family members, fellow artists, friends, lovers, enemies, as well as the man himself to present a complex portrait of a unique soul driven by unseen spiritual forces. FIND OUT MORE

This is Reggae Music: The Story of Jamaica’s Music by Lloyd Bradley.
this is reggae music

A definitive history of Reggae music, from Ska all the way to Dancehall. With flair, skill, passion and stamina, Lloyd Bradley traces Jamaican music’s odyssey through the years. FIND OUT MORE

Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae by Michael E. Veal.

When Jamaican recording engineers Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock, Errol Thompson, and Lee “Scratch” Perry began crafting “dub” music in the early 1970s, they were initiating a musical revolution that continues to have worldwide influence. Michael Veal examines dub’s social significance in Jamaican culture. He further explores the “dub revolution” that has crossed musical and cultural boundaries for over thirty years, influencing a wide variety of musical genres around the globe. FIND OUT MORE

The Reggae Scrapbook by Roger Steffens.
reggae scrapbook

A survey of the history and meaning of reggae music in Jamaica and elsewhere profiles the leading musicians and offers vintage photographs and reproductions of flyers, posters, records and jackets, and other items. FIND OUT MORE

Caribbean Popular Music: An Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, and Dancehall by David V. Moskowitz.
caribbean popular music

Exploring the singers, songwriters, history, culture, and fashions of reggae and Caribbean music Reggae music is more than just steel drum bands on a white sand beach. Its history is rich with culture and evolution, helping to tell the story of Jamaica’s past. This book is the most complete and up to date encyclopedia of reggae, mento, ska, rocksteady, and dancehall music on the market today. FIND OUT MORE

Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica by Norman C. Stolzoff.
Wake the town and tell the people

Dancehall – from the urban ghettos of Kingston to the rural districts of the countryside – is the most potent form of popular culture in Jamaica. this is an academic look at the developments and the role of Dancehall in Jamaican culture and society. FIND OUT MORE