Published by S.T. in 1995, Marc Griffith's Boss Sounds is the definitive guide to the late 60s and early 70s Reggae and Rock Steady. Lovers of tunes found on Trojan, Pama, Bamboo and the various offshoots, are sure to love this book. This has everything from a small history to Skinhead Reggae to a guide to the top producers of the time like Laurel Aitken, Coxsone, Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, Lambert Briscoe, Joe Mansano, Clancy Eccles and so many others.
The history portion is well written and entertaining filled with facts about the rise and fall of the Trojan and Pama empires, why the rose, why they fell, etc. The words are complimented nicely by the period photos filling the book. Pictures of different singers, producers, record labels, newspaper/magazine cutouts and reggae charts. Even old Trojan, Pama and Island ad's and concert posters.
My favorite part of the book would have to be the excellent list of some of the top sounds of Skinhead Reggae. Sorted by label (from Ackee to Upsetter) with small (I mean a paragraph or so) history of the labels and then the top sounds on that particular label. Complete with catalog numbers and producer info and corrections to misprints, etc. Very informative, especially if you are a collector.
Even if you want to look up records by a certain artist, or a certain song, but don't know the label it was on, you can check the index at the back of the book and find it that way. A very easy book to navigate. Plus, like I said earlier, the many pictures and things make the book very fun to just look through.
So, if youre a fan of the late 60's - early 70s Jamaican music, or you just want to brush up on your own knowledge of this nearly forgotten music, Boss Sounds is a book you need to pick up.
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