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Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae Paperback – 3 Mar 2003

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Paperback, 3 Mar 2003
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (3 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747559104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747559108
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 669,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in San Francisco but long resident in London, David Katz is author of People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae. He also contributed to the Rough Guide to Reggae, A Tapestry of Jamaica, and Keep On Running: The Story of Island Records. Over the last 25 years, Katz's writing and photographs have appeared in many international periodicals and music books, and he has co-ordinated and annotated over 100 retrospective collections of Jamaican music. He has also co-hosted reggae radio programmes on three continents, released original records in the UK and France, and contributed to various radio and television documentaries and feature films, while his Dub Me Always deejay nights continue to be a regular feature of London's musical nightlife.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By david willemsen on 19 April 2004
Format: Paperback
it is really great to walk with david katz through the history of jamaican music. so much more became clear to me as he choose to write AN ORAL HISTORY. it's like you travel through jamaica and hear what the 250 key-people of reggae have to say about how the musical culture came about. he let's them talk instead of making up stories and believes himself. so in the end YOU can make up yourself what are the right stories and what is important. i thank katz a lot! absolute the best read i've red about the tresure isle.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Gilbert on 29 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
Katz has taken on an enormous task - writing a definitive history of reggae. It's a topic larger than many think - Katz has interviewed over 250 of the surviving artists. Armed with such a wealth of information, Katz has produced a truly fantastic book. What makes it unique and utterly readable is 'listening' to the artists in question - you almost feel as though you are hearing Johnny Clarke or Sly Dunbar speak. The book can be quite challenging as most interviews are transcribed into Jamaican slang, but I think this makes the book all the more authentic. A truly necessary work - you'll be an expert on Jamaican music by the time you finish.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely fascinating 5 Jun 2003
By E. L. Oneill - Published on
Format: Paperback
The books that have been available on the history and background of reggae have (almost) always been organized around the rise of Bob Marley and the Wailers and have (again, almost) always shown an overconcentration on what went on in the UK (as opposed to Jamaica).
Katz's book is blessedly different. For one thing, it's an oral history (as opposed to a researched/analytical history) and as such, he lets the artists and producers and other figures speak for themselves. This gets the reader much closer to the source than any other similar text. The story also unfolds in the same way that a bunch of guys shooting the breeze in a bar might tell it which I found extremely compelling. It is also the very first book on reggae that made me really understand the nature of the connection between London and Jamaica (besides just asserting a large expat community in London). Not only that, but it's the first time I remember reading anyone giving credit to the NY scene as well.
Because of the anecdotal nature of the book, it's hard to hold the writer accountable for it's weaknesses. It's not really set up to be a research tool (it's hard to find specific facts or specific stories) and after reading it for a while, you realize that there are several voices missing from the narrative. Some have been exposed to death in other places (Marley, Peter Tosh, Lee Perry) but there are others I found conspicuous by their absence (Inner Circle, Brigadier Jerry, Yellowman).
Finally, I just LOVE the focus on musicians. These guys are the real heart of reggae but have long stood in the shadows of the singers and producers.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Reference material. 31 Mar 2014
By Richard Hugh Blackford - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as an additional reference book for a project that I am currently working on. I am not disappointed.
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