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Album Review

Originally issued in 1970, Soul Rebels was the first album credited to Bob Marley & the Wailers, and it was also the band's first full-length collaboration with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, for whom they had already recorded a string of fairly successful singles. Working with the newly configured Upsetters band, Marley and crew delivered a strange and wonderful set of early reggae that at times plays fast and loose with the already established conventions of the genre — on "My Cup" the beat sounds inside out, while "It's Alright" sounds like a slightly Jamaicanized version of Motown soul. Other songs, such as the beautifully harmonized "Try Me," show their deep roots in rocksteady. One of the most arresting tracks on the album is the Bunny Wailer composition "Four Hundred Years," on which Wailer unburdens himself of some of his typically dread pronouncements in his rich, chesty voice. [The 2004 Jad/Hip-O edition of the album includes the bonus track "Jah Is Mighty" and an alternate version of the title track.]

Biography

Born: 06 February 1945 in St. Ann, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Reggae's most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley was the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom, in the process introducing the music of his native island nation to the far-flung corners of the globe. Marley's music gave voice to the day-to-day struggles of the Jamaican experience, vividly capturing not only the plight of the country's impoverished and oppressed but also the devout spirituality that remains their source of strength. His songs of faith, devotion, and revolution...
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