Limonious was not the only skilled illustrator who specialized in doing cover art for Reggae albums (i just love Jamal Peete’s paintings) but he is by far the most prolific and important of the handful that exists. The sheer number of covers alone makes him an important part of the history of Reggae (just like Sassafrass is the unheralded master of typing).
In today’s climate many of his covers would be considered as sexist but lets face it, no matter how “PC” our society is: “Men will always enjoy looking at sexy women and vice versa”. Besides being the uncrowned king of Reggae art he also did a large number of cartoons for Jamaican newspapers (obviously many of these has rarely been seen outside of Jamaica) and advertisements etc… This book chronicling the career of Wilfred Limonious was advertised years ago and i had almost lost hope that it would see the light of day but now it’s finally here.
It reeks of quality, just looking at the hardcover with it’s embossed lettering you can tell this is going to be quite something. There has been a few books on Reggae cover art before and while they are good they have been little more than just collections of images, categorized and with s little bit of text but not really that informative. This book is a whole different story, i assumed it would just be a collection of his record covers.
I would say about 2 thirds of this book consists of an illustrated biography of “Wilfred Limonious”, you get to follow his career from start to finish, his brothers, artists and label insiders he worked for are interviewed etc… It also covers so much more than just his album art, we get to see early paintings, sketches and many of his comics that rarely has been seen outside of Jamaica. As it’s all encompassing we are luckily treated to the rundown of his covers as well towards the end.
You know that you got a good book when it attracts the general public. This is not for Reggae nerds alone, anyone with an interest in art and design should find this a fascinating read (the write up in “Vogue Magazine” is proof of this). While being a little bit expensive this is one of those rare times when price does not matter, you need to get this book (get it before it goes out of print and becomes even pricier, “One Love Books” prints tend to do that).
Buy it on Amazon here