The updated version is titled Boss Sounds 2: Classic Skinhead Era Reggae (the inclusion of the word “era” is a subtle but telling change). It is based on the original book retaining a lot of the original text but is significantly expanded. Whilst there may be more to read the most obvious difference is that the old black and white Boss Sounds with poor quality label illustrations and a plain, uninspiring layout has become a full colour effort with lovely clear labels scans and a rich colourful layout that is almost too fussy but actually works really well.
Boss Sounds looks at the UK labels that issued rocksteady and reggae in the 1967 to 1971 era. These labels are ordered alphabetically and for each one the authors list their recommendations, this kind of thing is subjective and it would be tempting to question both omissions and inclusions. Also for anyone who enjoys reggae beyond the self limiting “skinhead era” it can be a little frustrating to know that so many great tunes that came out after that era are omitted.
One criticism that is perhaps valid is it would have been nice to see some mention of Jamaican labels, either the equivalent issues of the UK releases mentioned or focussing on the great sounds from that era that never saw release in the UK. I think I counted a total of three Jamaican label illustrations out of several hundred in total this is a little disappointing, you can’t help thinking they’ve missed what could have been a really interesting and informative expansion on the original edition here.
Boss Sounds 2 has been self published by the authors. It is being printed in very limited quantities of around 20 copies at a time. It will soon be available to purchase on ebay. I’ll leave a message in the comment section when copies become available.