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Thread: Bob Marley.

  1. #166
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    Well I won't hear a word against Yabby You but I am from earnest stock.

    It's an obvious point to make but reggae was of course a fusion itself of US r&b and nyabinghi and pocomania business.

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  3. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    It's an obvious point to make but reggae was of course a fusion itself of US r&b and nyabinghi and pocomania business.
    you only went and bloody nailed it mate

  4. #168
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    Default Catch A Fire

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    Catch A Fire (1973)

    OK maybe this was the first one for Island, I dunno.

    Burning is a better album, mainly. Concrete Jungle, Slave Driver and 400 Years are a good opener, but not really amazing. Stir It Up is the only one people really know, isn't it? (I like that there are two tracks with vocals by Peter Tosh though, that's good).

    I was excited about the "Jamaican version" of Catch A Fire which Island put out in 2001, but it mainly just sounds like unfinished versions of the released one, with louder bass. (I.e. not as "yard" as I had been lead to believe). The only exception is Stir It Up which has that incredible synth sound on it like with the Old Grey Whistle Test version mentioned upthread.

    Kinky Reggae is particularly shite, I mean if you're gonna do lewd you might as well go for the full Max Romeo "Wet Dream" experience and not this:

    Uh, ah-oh-oh! I went downtown, (I went downtown)
    I saw Miss Brown; (said, I saw Miss Brown)
    She had brown sugar (had brown sugar)
    All over her booga-wooga. (over her booga-wooga)


    Also intrigued by the reference to Piccadilly Circus in a later verse:

    I went down to Piccadilly Circus; (ooh-ooh-ooh)
    Down there I saw Marcus: (oo-oo-oo-ooh)
    He had a candy tar (ooh-ooh-ooh)
    All over his chocolate bar. (oo-oo-oo-ooh)


    Not sure if Bob knew about the "meat rack" at Piccadilly Circus in those days? The "Take It Or Leave It" tolerance of Kinky Reggae is out of kilter with apocalyptic Midnight Ravers which starts with:

    Do-do-do. Do-do-do. Do-do-do.
    (You can't tell the woman from the man)
    No, I say you can't, 'cause they're dressed in the same pollution;
    (dressed in the same pollution)
    Their mind is confused with confusion


    As with Burning this rawer version of "Slave Driver" (live from the same period) is better:



    And just to continue my riff on "good songs mangled by Island" there is this 1980 version done proper by Gregory alongside Sly and Robbie:



    Also this (relick, earlier version?) of 400 Years by Peter Tosh is better:



    Next up: Natty Dread.
    Last edited by john eden; 24-06-2018 at 02:13 PM.

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  6. #169
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    Default Natty Dread

    Feel free to join in, by the way (and feel free not to).

    natty.jpg

    Natty Dread (1974) is a superb album. So screw you, hipsters.

    Full fat sound with Sylvan Morris (Harry J and Studio One) on the desk.

    The I-Threes are sensational. Whatever the merits of Tosh and Bunny's later work, the I-Threes are good swap.

    Some great little touches - I like the early drum machine stuff biz on No Woman No Cry and So Jah Sey. (The latter is basically a take on the drums on Lee Perry's "Dub Revolution", no?). No Woman No Cry sounds a bit more urgent here than the more famous live version.

    Bend Down Low is actually an improvement to my mind on the older "classic" pre-Island version.

    So, blimey, this is the one that they got right, eh?

    Next up: Rastaman Vibration
    Last edited by john eden; 24-06-2018 at 02:14 PM.

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  8. #170
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    Interested to see where this goes next. I reckon you could make a pretty good album from Vibration, Kaya, Exodus and Uprising if you took out all the chaff.

  9. #171
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    Yes, very interesting. Never thought so actually.

  10. #172
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    Add me to the list of people very much enjoying John Eden Rethinks the Classics

    don't have much interest in joining in on Marley, but if you wanna do U.S. hardcore at some point - as you mentioned having gone thru some of that canon - sign me up 110%

    actually, and perhaps this is only b/c I've recently finally surrendered to podcasts, I think there's the makings of a pretty good Dissensus podcast there

    at the point in life of being able to appreciate/evaluate things (mostly) without their subcultural detritus, but still lots of strong, highly dissimilar opinions

    idk how that would work technically but I'm sure it could be sorted out pretty easily

  11. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    I reckon you could make a pretty good album from Vibration, Kaya, Exodus and Uprising if you took out all the chaff.
    this is interesting in re: Island-era Wailers as basically the reggae version of classic rock, b/c that's exactly how I feel about Zeppelin, for example

    like, you'd never want to listen a full LP all the way thru but you could make a killer mixtape from their first 6 albums - all the funk, crunch, proto-heavy sludge, none of the embarrassing interludes about hobbits, acoustic guitar filler, extended drum solos, etc. and that's probably how I feel about most of the big classic rock bands. I think maybe the era just lent itself to self-indulgence and filler.

  12. #174
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    "Retrieval is not simply a matter of the hauling the old thing back onto stage, holus-bolus. Some transformation or metamorphosis is necessary to place it into relation with the new ground... the old thing is brought up-to-date as it were."

    that's Mcluhan talking about Balearic and whatever

  13. #175
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    Default Rastaman Vibration

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    Rastaman Vibration (1976)

    A step backwards from the peaks of Natty Dread.

    Apparently there is some meta light/dark concept going on with this one, but frankly it's half great and half shite.

    Awesome:

    Positive Vibration -
    Roots, Rock, Reggae -
    Crazy Baldhead - not as good as this, obviously, but what is?
    Night Shift - shout out to all warehouse crew! Apparently inspired by his brief stint in a car factory in the US.
    War - again, it's great to hear this as a studio version rather than the overplayed live one. IMO.
    Rat Race

    Rubbish:

    Johnny Was
    Cry To Me
    Want More
    Who The Cap Fit (I know people rate this, but I think it's dreary)

    I will challenge anyone who disagrees with me to a fight* outside the where Centerprise** used to be in Dalston.

    I was trying to figure out WTF was happening with the writing credits for these songs and apparently Bob credited a bunch of his mates or people he owed stuff to, possibly because he hated his publishing company.

    Tosh and Bunny released their classic LPs in 1976 also, which I will get to eventually.

    Also some of my favourite ever reggae vocal LPs:

    The Gladiators - Trenchtown Mix Up (including two superb Marley covers - Bellyful and Soul Rebel)
    The Mighty Diamonds - Right Time
    Max Romeo - War Inna Babylon

    Plus deejay business from Big Youth, Tappa Zukie and dubwise you have King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown AND Super Ape.

    An amazing year for music, but really Rastaman Vibration is a junior partner, unless you see it in its correct context. Which is that Bob was a gateway drug for a lot of people which allowed them to explore and find those other albums.

    Next up: Exodus!

    *Not really. Be interested to know if people really like the tracks I hate, actually.
    **Andy Martin of The Apostles once used a fanzine to challenge a whole bunch of people he didn't like (including former teachers) to a fight outside Centerprise
    Last edited by john eden; 24-06-2018 at 02:22 PM.

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  15. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Feel free to join in, by the way (and feel free not to).

    Natty Dread (1974) is a superb album. So screw you, hipsters.
    YEAH BABY! it's a brilliant LP.

    looking forward to your thoughts on *exodus* which (from memory at least) is some very kosmic shit. fabulous production.

    i first heard it in morocco in a funny little record store. i think they taped a copy for me - that kinda scene where you buy a recording of the LP

    and LIVE is very good. a live reggae recording - in itself that's ^wrong^ but such a great atmosphere.

    will dig out lloyd bradley's reminiscence of meeting marley as a door manager - very powerful.
    Last edited by Matthew; 15-06-2018 at 07:23 AM.

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  17. #177
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    Not too keen on live myself, dunno if its even in the top 5 of live reggae albums, which includes:



  18. #178
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    Default Exodus

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    Exodus (1977)

    Maybe it's my ears but this is the album where you can hear Bob from Trenchtown becoming Bob Marley the international superstar. Also worth noting that this is the mid point of the Island studio albums (5th out of 9).

    The title track is a flippin' juggernaut of a tune which rightly deserves the "classic" label.

    Natural Mystic and So Much Things To Say are great openers. Solid. I mean I won't be busting them out through the car window but it's hard to deny their appeal.

    I'd never heard Guiltiness or The Heathen before and have no desire to again forgettable filler.

    Can't really unhear / have never liked / unforgiveable: Jamming, Turn Your Lights Down Low, One Love/People Get Ready

    Three Little Birds - just a great piano riff and stupidly positive message, nursery rhyme style. Undeniable.

    Waiting In Vain was the real surprise here - I love it despite myself. I don't think Bob is convincing as a balladeer but this just got to me - I had to play it several times over to figure out whether or not I really liked it. But even the cheesy guitar solo is great. The three "knocks" that go with those lyrics are awesomely silly.

    Overall - better than most but not as good as "Natty Dread".

    Back a yard:

    Culture - Two Sevens Clash (obviously)
    Heart of the Congos
    Yabby You - Deliver Me From My Enemies
    Prince Far I - Under Heavy Manners
    Dennis Brown - Wolf & Leopards
    Horace Andy - In The Light

    and

    Junior Murvin - Police and Thieves, which came out on Upsetter in JA and Island in the UK...

    Next up: Kaya!
    Last edited by john eden; 24-06-2018 at 02:23 PM.

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  20. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Rubbish:

    Johnny Was
    Cry To Me
    Want More
    Who The Cap Fit (I know people rate this, but I think it's dreary)

    I will challenge anyone who disagrees with me to a fight* outside the where Centerprise** used to be in Dalston.
    I love Johnny Was - backing vocals! I even loved the remix with Guru on it. Violence it is then.

    (Gladiator's Soul Rebel is one of my favourites too)

    An interesting aside about the album from Wikipedia that I wasn't aware of: "Although the album's liner notes list multiple songwriters, including family friends and band members, all songs were written by Marley. Marley was involved in a contractual dispute at the time with his former publishing company, Cayman music. Marley had not wanted his new songs to be associated with Cayman and it was speculated, including in his obituary in The Independent, that he had put them in the names of his friends and family members as a means of avoiding the contractual restrictions and to provide lasting help to family and close friends."
    Last edited by baboon2004; 19-06-2018 at 08:42 PM.

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  22. #180
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    This thread is encouraging me to reevaluate Bob Marley. I still hate Redemption Song though.

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