Shooting in Harlesden to retrace reggae record sleeves

A reggae fan has scoured the streets of London in pursuit of the original locations once used to shoot iconic reggae album sleeves.

Alex Bartsch, began his study of reggae record covers in 2014, retracing and re-shooting the album covers before the original location. This project has taken him all over the city, with his detective work often leading him to Harlesden in northwest London.


Cover was taken at King Eddies Park in Wembley – Rainy Days by Al Campbell (1978)

This reggae culture gold rush has led the reggae enthusiast to,

“hitch a boat ride across Regents Canal, climb onto a roof top near Old Street, ask to enter someone’s front room in Hampstead, access a back yard in Wembley and venture on to the Westway in west London.”


Taken at Plough Road, near Clapham Junction Station is – Cockney Translation by Smiley Culture

How can this genius idea get any better? Turn it into a photography book, that’s how. All forty-two reggae record cover locations, photographed in London between 1967 and 1987 will be published through One Love Books. A Jamaican culture specialist, whose previously published work includes, Clarks in Jamaica and Sound System Culture.


Taken at Hackney Downs is the Harder shade of black by Santic

To be one of the first to get a copy of Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London, you can fund the project on Kickstarter.

Listen to some of the artists featured in this project on our Soundcloud playlist.

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