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on 25 April 2009
I had expected a lot more for the £45 asking price. This is a useful addition to the fairly small list of books that attempt to cover caribbean music in any sort of encyclopedic detail, but it should have been a lot better. Firstly, it isn't a hugely detailed work, with around 700 entries in 328 pages, many of which are rather brief. The quality is also disappointing, for example the entry for Ranking Dread states that he rose to prominence on Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's UK-based sound system, confusing Dodd with the completely unrelated British sound system operator Lloyd Coxsone. Moskowitz doesn't seem to have done his research well at all, and he fails to even mention Ranking Dread's rather colourful life after reggae. The entry on Cornell Campbell is similarly poor, getting his year of birth wrong and stating that he recorded at Studio One for Bunny Lee(!) and retired in the mid-1980s, not mentioning the albums he recorded or the regular live performances since then. These are just the two of the first handful of entries I read, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the book. It isn't all bad, and at least covers some artists that have little information available elsewhere, but the book isn't great, and it costs three times as much as it should do.
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