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​Lloyd Bradley

London, England

"At last Jamaican music has the book it deserves" 

Prince Buster, from his foreword

Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King

Penguin, 2000


The first narrative history of Jamaican music, which, in linking the evolution of the music to the island’s post-Independence development, is a story of ingenuity, opportunity and sheer force of will as much as it is of musical creativity. Putting the sound systems at its centre, Bass Culture plots a course from ska’s predecessor, JA boogie, to the dawn of dancehall in the 1980s, and the music establishing itself in the UK.  This exciting and often outrageous story is told with insight, assistance and enormous good humour from the likes of Leroy Sibbles, Bunny Lee, Lee Perry, Brent Dowe, Gussie Clarke, Dennis Bovell and Big Youth.


“A brilliant, comprehensive history, Bradley deftly intertwines the key themes of the Caribbean island’s chaotic music industry and its checkered social history. Essential.” Q Magazine


“A masterly overview of reggae’s evolution, rich in the elusive flavours of Jamaican life and culture.” Straight No Chaser


“Dizzying in its scope yet at the same time meticulous in its attention to detail, written with passion, style and gusto.” Independent on Sunday


“A compelling musical and social history … filled to the brim with anecdotes.” The Face


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"A story that shouldn't remain hidden" Jazzie B, from his foreword

Sounds Like London:
100 Years of Black Music in the Capital

Serpents Tail, 2013

The story of London’s black music and the larger-than-life characters making it, journeying from Soho jazz clubs to Finsbury Park blues dances to King’s Cross warehouse raves to the nation's pop charts, and how sound system culture redefined British youth culture. Alongside this journey through musical history of London, is the story of the shaping of a city, and in turn the whole nation, though immigration. Contributors include Eddy Grant, Osibisa, Russell Henderson, Dizzee Rascal, Janet Kay, Light of the World and Trevor Nelson, with an introduction by Soul2Soul’s Jazzie B.

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"Bradley writes with panache … this exceptional work can sit proudly beside Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King" The Independent


"Immensely enjoyable guide to an oft-ignored but vital subject ... jam-packed with vivid stories and essential information." Mojo


"Hugely entertaining ... a lively look at how London fell in love with black music" The Sunday Times


"A brilliant job in outlining the connectivity between what’s happening now, what happened back then, and the road in between." Greg Wilson



The book that accompanied the award-winning BBC2 series

Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music

BBC Worldwide, 2002


Accompanying the award-winning BBC2 TV series of the same name, a selection of original essays by Lloyd Bradley tell the story of the development of Jamaican music. Specially recorded interviews with artists and producers from Prince Buster to Yellowman to Sly & Robbie to Burning Spear to Jimmy Cliff to Buju Banton reveal the indomitable spirit that has driven the music to becoming a global force. Vibrancy that is captured in the stunning photos by Dennis Morris of reggae superstars, Jamaican street culture and the energy of the dancehall.

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The recommended gift for "cool dads"  Metro

BBC Radio 6 Music's Alternative Jukebox

Octopus, 2014


Ghost-written by Lloyd Bradley this is a journey through alternative music – the kind of songs that define the BBC radio station 6 Music – by way of five hundred singles released during the last sixty years. With track selection by the award-winning station's presenters and producers, the stories behind or the appreciation of them is written by Lloyd, as he celebrates music that might not have made it in to the mainstream and acts that had more to them than what made it in to the charts. 

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