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Reggae Explosion

Reggae Explosion

Reggae Explosion

Chris Salewicz and Adrian Boot have republished Reggae Explosion as an e-book. It is available for the Amazon Kindle Worldwide and soon will be available for the Ipad and other e-book readers, Click on the image to view the book on Amazon.

Jamaican music has had a thoroughly disproportionate effect on the rest of the world – an astonishing achievement for a tiny Caribbean island which has a population of just three million people. Spearheaded by the popularity of reggae and the figurehead of Bob Marley, its reverberating rhythms have found a resonance with a diverse international audience. This newly updated edition of Reggae Explosion charts the course of this extraordinary cultural revolution.

Chris Salewicz and Adrian Boot have brought together 50,000 words of informed, insightful text and over 100 striking images from the ReggaeXplosion Archive to create a history that contains a potent cocktail of drama, turbulence, pride and protest.

From the earliest emergence in the 1950s of the fiercely competitive sound systems fighting sonic battles in downtown Kingston the story of Jamaican music is traced through ska, the birth of reggae, dub, roots reggae and the impact of Bob Marley to the new, harder-edged developments that have emerged in the last twenty years, including dancehall, ragga and jungle.

Unpublished transcripts of interviews with key figures like Lee ‘Scratch” Perry and Prince Buster introduce the authentic voices of reggae history to Reggae Explosion – which blends deeply researched facts and rare images to create not only a sense of the pulse of the music, but also the contrasts of poverty, humour, desperation and joie de vivre that typify both the island of Jamaica and its music.

Click here to view sample and buy this book on Amazon.co.uk

ReggaeXplosion – The Exhibition

Reggae Explosion Jamaica

ReggaeXplosion started life in the summer of 2000 as a heated argument.  Should the project be called ReggaeXplosion or more accurately Reggae Explosion. ReggaeXplosion ( all one word ) won the day, but it didn’t last .. by the time the USA version of the book was published the name reverted to Reggae Explosion. The project was to be a book and an exhibition.

Reggae Explosion Exhibition Jamaica

Reggae Explosion – Panorama of Exhibition in Ocho Rios Jamaica

On Friday 29th September 2001  ReggaeXplosion opened with with a launch party down in the brick passages and catacombs under The Roundhouse – Camden.  All of London seemed to be there and one could imagine their numbers expanded by hippies still vainly trying to find their way out of the labyrinth since back in the Sixties. The visuals are set up on the raw brick passages which radiate like spokes from the building’s central space or, a welcome touch for contributors to this site, on panels of zinc fence and corrugated iron. Rootical rub a dub sounds were provided by the Mighty Tip-A-Tone Hi-Fi to a crowd well lubricated with free Appleton Gold rum punch and Carib beer. Among the heaving mass of thirsty reggae fans jostling at the bar were spotted Mark Lamarr the radio DJ, members of Aswad, Tricky the DJ and Massive Attack associate, Gaz Mayall of Gaz’ Rockin’ Blues and all the usual reggae suspects.

This was a major reggae event and a model of how to present reggae to a larger audience. What comes across strongly is the range and diversity of the reggae experience and how much has been accomplished in fifty years by one small island. A ’50 years of cultural firestorm’.

Black Uhuru

Black Uhuru – Sly and Robbie – Full band line up at Island’s Fallout Shelter Studios – London 1981 – Photo by Adrian Boot

Bob Marley 1978

Bob Marley at Home in Kingston – Tuff Gong Studios – 1978 Photo by Adrian Boot (c) 56 Hope Road Music.

Jamaica Sound System 1978

Jamaica Sound System – Ocho Rios 1978 – Photo by Adrian Boot

Bob Marley at Tuff Gong Studios - Kingston Jamaica

Bob Marley at Tuff Gong Studios – 56 Hope Road Kingston Jamaica 1979 Photo by Adrian Boot (c) 56 Hope Road Music.


Ini Kamoze Jamaica

Ini Kamoze – Ocho Rios Bar – Jamaica 1981 – Photo by Adrian Boot

Peter Tosh downtown Kingston

Peter Tosh downtown Kingston Jamaica 1978 – Photo by Adrian Boot


Reggae Record 45 Labels

Reggae Records – Classic 45 Vinyl Labels

Laurel Aitken - Ska

Laurel Aitken – Early Years – Ska – Live in London 1980 – Photo by Adrian Boot


Roots Rock Reggae - Burning Spear

Roots Rock Reggae – Burning Spear – St Ann’s Bay Jamaica – Photo by Adrian Boot

Benjamin Zephaniah - Dub Poet

Benjamin Zephaniah – Dub Poet – London 1990 – Photo by Adrian Boot

Luciano with Baaba Maal in Senegal

Luciano with Baaba Maal in Podor Senegal 2005 – Photo by Adrian Boot

The Specials

UK Reggae -Specials concert in Brighton UK – Stage invasion brings the concert to a climax – Photo by Adrian Boot

Lee Scratch Perry - Producer

Lee Scratch Perry – Black Ark Studios – Photo by Adrian Boot



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