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Talkin' Blues (Live) [Remastered]

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Album Review

Originally released in February 1991, this album combines material from several different sources to trace the development of Bob Marley & the Wailers between October 1973 and September 1975. The bulk of the disc comes from a 1973 radio concert performed before a handful of listeners at the Record Plant recording studio in San Francisco and broadcast by KSAN-FM. The original album contained seven songs from this performance, while the 2002 reissue adds three more to complete the show. The songs had been featured on the band's albums Catch a Fire and Burnin'. The outfit who played them was technically still the Wailers, since Peter Tosh was still with them (and sang lead on his own compositions, "You Can't Blame the Youth" and "Stop That Train"), although Bunny Livingston had declined to tour and been replaced by Joe Higgs. By 1974, when the group assembled to record their next album, Natty Dread, Tosh and Livingston had quit, and the band was reorganized as Bob Marley & the Wailers. From those sessions come alternate performances of "Talkin' Blues" and "Bend Down Low," as well as an outtake, "Am-a-Do." In July 1975, the band played two shows at the Lyceum in London that would break them in the U.K., when recordings from the performances were issued as the album Live!. Here, a previously unreleased version of "I Shot the Sheriff" from the first concert is featured. (Maybe the reason it wasn't used on Live! was the irritating announcer who proclaims, "a trenchtown experience.") Finally, the musical tracks are interspersed with excerpts from an interview with Marley conducted in September 1975. While these spoken fragments provide a flavor of Marley's conversation, his heavy patois is very difficult for non-Jamaicans to understand. Still, these are valuable odds and ends for the Bob Marley fan.


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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