SKA bought the sound of Jamaica over to a sleepy Britain waking up from the Fifties.
This new wave of music first arrived in the UK in 1964 by privately imported singles. The Pocket Guide to SKA covers the development of the music deriving from the Caribbean island with the birth of revolutionary sound systems, and artists such as Tom The Great Sebastian, Duke Reid and Sir
Coxsone Dad. Sounds that were destined for popular attention. By the mid-sixties the likes of Millie, The Skatalites and Desmond Dekker were raking up hits in the UK release charts, often on labels associated with Chris Blackwell's ever-expanding Island Records. The arrival of reggae briefly eclipsed SKA before a new generation of home-grown British acts took the music in a new direction. Clash manager Bernie Rhodes was an influential figure in these developments which saw renowned punk acts paying homage to the likes of Prince Buster. As well as The Clash, the music took off with The Specials, Madness, The Selector, The Beat and many others. So successful was this revival that British SKA bands took the USA by storm.
The Pocket Guide to SKA is 352 pages of illustrated joy that tells the story of the music and the musicians from early influences in Jamaica right through to the Coventry Two-Tone scene.
Back cover of Dead Straight Pocket Guide to SKA