"DEEP DOWN WITH DENNIS
BROWN COOL RUNNINGS
THE CROWN PRINCE OF REGGAE"
A SHORT STORY BY PENNY REEL*
The sudden death aged just
42 of Jamaican singer Dennis Brown on July 1, 1999 sent a shockwave
through the world of reggae and robbed the music of its most popular
ever grassroots performer.
"Deep Down With Dennis Brown - Cool Runnings And The Crown Prince Of Reggae" traces the busy years of his early rise to prominence in the 1970s, when the singer developed his distinct style and also made the majority of his best and most famous recordings.
Told as a short story in the author's highly personal style and set against the backdrop of the London underground reggae scene during these turbulent times, this profile of its star act provides a fascinating insider's insight into an otherwise hidden world. In this respect, here is a unique piece of written work, not only in the medium of reggae music, but as a wholly original approach to the debate of popular music and its wider cultural concerns. In addition to the text, full colour illustrations of photographs, album sleeves, record labels, concert posters and other ephemera from the era are reproduced throughout the book, adding a striking visual accompaniment to the story as it unfolds and the half that has never been told is revealed.
The sudden death of Jamaican singer Dennis Brown on July 1, 1999 at the age of just 42 brought to an untimely end the career of reggae music's most popular ever artist at grassroots level. Feted as a child star in the 1960s, Dennis Brown went on to fulfil his early promise with a career that spanned 30 years and resulted in a huge body of recorded work. Deep Down With Dennis Brown - Cool Runnings And The Crown Prince Of Reggae traces the busy years of his rise to prominence in the early 1970s, when the singer developed his unique style and also made the majority of his best and most famous recordings, and is set against the backdrop of the London underground reggae scene during these interesting and turbulent times
Penny Reel has written extensively about popular black music and specifically reggae since the early 1970s and in that time has met and interviewed most of the latter's major players.
During this period he has freelanced on a regular basis for publications including International Times, Oz, Time Out, Mojo, Virgin Yearbook, Sounds, Music Week, Wire, Straight No Chaser, Underground and many others. During the 1970s-80s, he was the chief correspondent on reggae for New Musical Express, at the height of the paper's success as market leader in its field, and from the mid-70s until the end of the millennium wrote a regular column for the weekly tabloid Black Echoes as well as sundry articles, reviews, think pieces and other work.
Distributed by: Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN
What the critics said…
"Atmospheric, poetic, impassioned and respectful of arcana which would otherwise be lost to knowledge. Fans of Penny Reel's writing on London and reggae have a double treat here. Leaves you wanting more." Jon Savage - Mojo
"A visual as well as literary feast… The writer makes his unorthodox approach work in impressive fashion and furthermore remains true to his own personal experience… There have been a number of new reggae titles over the past twelve months, but I doubt any of them are as essential as this lavishly illustrated and beautifully presented retrospective." John Masouri - Echoes
"Mr Reel has a way with words. His wonderful richly distilled Runyonesque prose marks him out as an authentic character and chronicler of the developments and paths of Jamaican music in London… Very entertaining and fact rich read." Dave Hucker - Beat
"A handsomely illustrated testament to the life of a singer who brought more than a little love into the hard lives of the Jamaican people and those whose roots lay in the Caribbean." Paul Bradshaw - Straight No Chaser
"Reggae's much respected and longest serving writer delivers a stylish homage to the late crown prince. Hugely enjoyable." John Williams - Top (Tower Records)
"A singular kind of illuminations through reggae's maze of names, faiths and fashions. Reel's voice suits this kind of street level narrative - chancers, semi-Rastas, one horse backers and scene stealers." Ian Penman - The Wire
"A timely reminiscence. Reel's aim to achieve accuracy of information, facts and figures is very successful." King Appiah-Agyemang - Darkerthanblue (online magazine)
"The purpose of this book…is to establish Dennis Brown's unrivalled importance as a reggae artist before his contribution can be overlooked or forgotten.' Presentation - beautifully illustrated with many period pictures, record labels and memorabilia - is excellent and we are unable to fault the reasoning. Buy with confidence." Dub Vendor
"Indispensable to not only Dennis Brown aficionados but reggae lovers in general. Penny Reel's text is a revelation." Michael de Koningh - Reggaereggaereggae.com
"From archive facts on releases of his myriad hits to personal and private conversations, this book informs as it entertains." Lionvibes
"This massive book is a must for anyone with a true love of reggae music and who wants to know why Dennis Brown is one of the music's greatest stars." Ray Hurford - Small Axe
A Drake Bros Publication:
Deep Down With Dennis Brown Cool Runnings And The Crown Prince Of Reggae A Short Story By Penny Reel
Softback with embossed cover PRICE £16.99 ISBN 0-9541959-0-6 SIZE (HxW) 265mm x 190mm PAGES 112pp ILLUSTRATION Full colour and b&w throughout CATEGORY Popular music biography (Afro-Caribbean) Price: £16.99
|homepage||index||top of page|