Listening to reggae music is, of course, deeply enjoyable, even for people who aren't from the Jamaican culture which created the genre. However, gaining some background of the genre can add important social context and reveal the personalities behind the music, thereby bringing a whole new depth to the reggae experience. From casual coffee-table books to serious anthropological studies, this list has something for everyone.
travelers and music lovers. Concise yet thorough, deeply informative and impressively non-judgmental, this reference tome is a must-have for any real reggae fan's library.
Jamaica, as well as the tenets of Rastafarianism, and how these things have shaped reggae musicians and reggae music. The social and cultural context of reggae is vital to the understanding of the genre, and this book is a great introduction.
UK's leading experts on reggae and Jamaican music. It's a quick read, but well worth it, and the pictures included are outstanding.
Bob Marley, through the eyes of the woman who knew him best: his wife, Rita Marley. It is blunt and unapologetic, and yet deeply reverential. No Woman, No Cry is also the subject of an upcoming Bob Marley biopic, so now is a great time to read it.
oral histories - stories from those people who were part of the amazing Jamaican musical scene of the 1950s, '60s and '70s and who watched the music develop and form into what became one of the world's most popular genres of music. There is, expectedly, a bit of braggadocio, lots of devastatingly sad stories, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. These stories come from a variety of insiders, many of whom are reggae greats, and to understand these people is to understand the music.
anthropologist, took a look at the gap between these two now-distinct genres, and the economic, social and political contexts that brought them apart. Though this is a serious cultural study, it's definitely readable, and definitely worth a perusal for both fans of reggae and fans of social psychology and its convergence with ethnomusicology.
ska and working through rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall, this collection of essays and articles covers an amazing breadth of Jamaican music. The pieces come from around the world, and serve to give a well-rounded view of reggae music through the eyes of many of the different cultures who have fallen in love with it. There is also a lot of vital historical information in here, so for people who prefer short stories over novels, so to speak, this is an ideal book.
record collector) will appreciate this wonderful art book. The album covers included range from psychedelic to scenic, and biblical to scandalous. They say not to judge a record by its cover, but these covers are amazing enough to stand in their own right.