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Reseña de álbum

Despite being encased in a handsome box set featuring a 16-page booklet decorated with nice graphics, the rambling liner notes and other documentation don't give a totally clear idea of when the 68 tracks on this three-CD package were recorded, or (less forgivably) a totally clear context of how they fit into Bob Marley & the Wailers' career. It's more important to enjoy vintage reggae than to get upset about the historical details, however, and all you really need to know is that this material was cut circa 1967-1970, mostly for JAD (though there are a half-dozen sides identified as "Wail'n'Soul'm" versions, presumably indicating recordings done for their own Wail'n'Soul'm label). Most important of all, this is really first-rate early reggae music, from a juncture in the group's career that's been too ill-documented, despite having yielded much fine work. While relatively few of these songs will be familiar to many Marley/Wailers fans (an early version of "Stir It Up" and "Soul Rebel" being exceptions), it could be argued that at no other time did the band strike such an even balance between early reggae, lingering American soul influences, tender love songs, and stirring social consciousness. The production is for the most part pretty clear, and always lighter and more basic than the somewhat slicker recordings through which Bob Marley & the Wailers would rise to international stardom in the 1970s. Sometimes there's even a mild pop touch, particularly as non-Jamaican musicians (including guitarist Eric Gale, drummer Bernard Purdie, and jazzman Hugh Masekela) play on some of the cuts. Too, there's a real sense of these singers being a true group, even if Marley wrote the lion's share of the tunes, as there's so much effective give-and-take vocal harmonies among the Wailers (with Rita Marley's voice frequently heard in the mix). There are too many quality songs to specifically cite in one or two paragraphs, but "How Many Times," "Gonna Get You," "Freedom Time," "Fire Fire," "Rocking Steady," "Hypocrites," "Can't You See," and "Mr. Chatterbox" are all among the outstanding ones. As for less expected covers, you have the Archies' "Sugar Sugar," the traditional spiritual "This Train," and pretty nice American pop-influenced tunes written by JAD's Jimmy Norman and his collaborators, while emerging Rastafarianism can be heard in "Selassie Is the Chapel." Eight "versions," less essential than the fully vocalized renditions but nice for collectors to have, fill out the CDs, the last of which ends with a demo of "One Love, True Love" and a "Dub Plate special" of "How Many Times."


Nacido(a): 06 de febrero de 1945 en St. Ann, Jamaica

Género: Reggae

Años de actividad: '60s, '70s, '80s

Bob Marley, la figura más trascendente e icónica del Reggae, fue el primer artista jamaiquino en alcanzar el estrellato internacional en el proceso de llevar la música de su isla natal a todos los rincones del planeta, aun los más distantes. Su música puso voz a las luchas diarias de la experiencia jamaiquina, capturando vivamente no sólo el compromiso para con el empobrecido y oprimido país sino también a esa profunda espiritualidad que la convierte en fuente de su fortaleza. Sus canciones crearon...
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