The Small Axe Album Guide To Ragga 1

by May 27, 2019Writings

The Small Axe Guide To Ragga 1


Author: Ray Hurford
Publisher:  Muzik Tree
Published: May 21, 2019
Book: Paperback / 158 pages
ISBN: 978-1099434839

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Tiger jams with Earl Wire Lindo at home

Tiger jams with Earl Wire Lindo at home (Photo: Beth Lesser)

‘Small Axe Guide’ Series

It all started back in 1996, when Ray Hurford’s ‘Small Axe Guide’ series took off with “The Small Axe Reggae Album Guide: Singers”, which included 437 reviews of albums and more than 200 illustrations. Although the next book in the series, “The Small Axe Reggae Album Guide – Deejays” was almost finished in 1998, Ray and his partner in crime Tero Kaski were forced to put the book on hold because “More Axe 8”, an edition from another series of books, had dramatic sales figures. It wasn’t until 2009 that “The Small Axe Reggae Album Guide – Deejays” finally could be published. The success of this book encouraged the initiator of all “Small Axe” activities to continue working on more guides.

Other Guides

In the next 7 years Ray Hurford published ‘Guides’ to… Rocksteady, Reggae (1969-70), Dub, Roots (1971-75), Rockers, Bands & Vocal Groups, Producers, Instrumentals and Dancehall (1979-85). Unfortunately the “Small Axe Guide To Dancehall (1979-85)” for whatever reason didn’t sell well, which actually is an understatement. And just like what happened with “The Small Axe Reggae Album Guide – Deejays”, Ray Hurford was forced to put the next books in the series on hold.

Ragga Era

But now, about two and a half years later, he’s finally able to put out another book in the series, “The Small Axe Album Guide To Ragga 1”. It’s an album guide to the Ragga era from 1985-1989, when reggae music went digital and everything changed!!! The story of that era is told through the reviews of over 400 albums from well over a hundred artists. The book is a ‘Guide’, so it’s obvious that these reviews don’t cover all album releases of that era. Featured are albums from artists such as Shabba Ranks, Admiral Tibet, Gregory Isaacs, Top Cat, Papa San, King Kong, Ini Kamoze, Cocoa Tea, Tenor Saw and, of course, Wayne Smith to name a few. Furthermore included are producers like King Tubby, King Jammy, George Phang, and Gussie Clarke.