Bob Bell reviews new book on the history of Island Records

Bob Bell reviews new book on the history of Island Records

The name sounds familiar right? Indeed, there are a fair few interviews with Bob Bell in the Book, when he worked at Island Records himself.

“This book tells the story of that first decade, and in intriguing depth. Not only does it catalog every Island release – yes, you read that correctly – every Island release, but also shows the cover art of every LP, in chronological order, the story of how that particular release came into being, who designed the cover art, who produced the session, who played what instrument, and the release date.

“Also included are memories of those who were involved with that release – sometimes the musicians, sometimes company staff who promoted, sold or physically produced the final product.

“The reader can lift the curtains of obscurity and take a peek at what happened, and when. And on one or two odd occasions, such as the release of ‘John Foster Sings’,  that reader might be heard to mutter, “Why?”

“Not only are the original LP covers included, and the sleeve notes, but relevant advertisements for club dates in London – which are a joy to behold, featuring as they do a long-gone world of clubs, bands both homegrown and visiting from the USA –  – mostly long-gone too – and dozens of photos, many of them outtakes from ancient photoshoots which only go to magnify the depth of this astonishing book.

“Promo posters, music paper advertisements, master tape boxes, concert tickets, label shots … they are all there. There is a complete and definitive listing of all Island’s 45s, from the early Jamaican issues starting in 1959, and then the UK-based label starting in 1962, and then the legendary Sue label run by the equally legendary Guy Stevens, subsidiary labels such as Black Swan, Jump Up, Treasure Isle, Studio One, Brit and Aladdin.

“And more!


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