A social history of Jamaican album covers

nzshadownzshadow 5,515 Posts
edited February 2012 in Strut Central
Mention Jamaican music to someone who isn???t a fan and you can bet that a fairly predictable image pops into the head of your listener. Chances are this image looks something like the cover of Bim Sherman???s Exploitation:

Strutnip? You decide.

Annnnnd.... GO!


  • Cool thanks.

  • Cool thanks.

  • Not sure why this would be Strutnip, aside from it's overall lameness and numerous glaring factual errors.

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    Horseleech said:
    Not sure why this would be Strutnip
    Because it's whitey holding forth on what does and does not constitute "realness" in the presentation of some particular aspect of non-white culture, long one of soulstrut's chief exports. Extra points for framing artists as socio-political signifiers first and creative individuals second, if at all.

    Were the same article written concerning a genre less rooted in danceability, it might very well instead be Waxidermynip. But since it's reggae, here we are.

  • coffinjoecoffinjoe 1,743 Posts
    Horseleech said:
    Not sure why this would be Strutnip, aside from it's overall lameness and numerous glaring factual errors.

    this & as "jon" points out in the coments section
    you freely mix albums covers designed in Jamaica, England and America and assign them equal weight and meaning

    (and jon's other comments are also spot on)

    this would have been B- high school report material in the pre-internet era,
    but with all the info available today to research the subject
    the author should be embarrassed

  • bassiebassie 11,710 Posts
    By the mid-???80s, however, the comic-book style degenerated into an excuse to put out bad artwork quickly.
    ...The album covers reflect the hard times, as the genre contributed some of the worst covers you???ll ever see from this period.


    The impressions left behind on Jamaica???s album covers, however, point to a wider and more fragmented social history, one that lacks the conformity of a marketing campaign and that contains the multitude of contradictions in the postcolonial experience.

    Double sigh + groan.


    Blood and Fire to the rescue of reggae!!

  • The_NonThe_Non 5,690 Posts
    Plus the author seems to hate "the rapz." I found it "interesting" like I found this "interesting":



  • The_NonThe_Non 5,690 Posts
    Don't get it.

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    It seemed like he had a point to make and went looking for record covers that proved it rather than the other way around where you would look at a lot of covers and then trying to analyze them. For instance, there are a ton of early Ska covers of Prince Buster released in England of him decked out like a gangster or a prince or Studio One covers made in Jamaica itself that showed smiling Jamaicans dancing and dressed up for the club that would contradict the beginning of his article. Also he overlooks the fact that there were a lot more vocal groups during the Rock Stead early Reggae period than previously and hence there were more groups on covers. Something obvious like that becomes a wave towards "egalitarianism" in record covers?

  • jamesjames chicago 1,863 Posts
    Punany Train

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    I might also add that there were plenty of instrumental ska acts, most famously the Skatalites and all their off shoots, Tommy McCook, Roland Alfonso, etc. and they all had album covers of the musicians sitting around or playing their horns. How does that disrupt the author's idea of "egalitarianism" in the Rock Steady era compared to the previous one?
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