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Album Review

The third in a series of box sets from JAD Records that covers chronologically the complete pre-Island recordings of Bob Marley & the Wailers from 1967 to 1972, Man to Man ("Man to Man" was an early working title for "Who the Cap Fit") collects work from 1971 and 1972, arguably the finest creative stretch the group ever had. The first two discs consist of Lee "Scratch" Perry productions, including some alternate takes and backing tracks, recorded at Randy's (Perry's legendary Black Ark Studio didn't open until 1973 and wasn't fully operational until a year after that), and while these delightful cuts have been available in countless other packages, it's always revelatory to hear them again. The third disc contains Wailers self-productions (the group had established their Tuff Gong imprint by this time) done during the Perry period, along with a handful of JAD song demos. The final disc offers alternate mixes, plus a series of dubplate mixes designed to sound absolutely huge over outdoor sound systems (which means they're all bass and high end), and an intimate set of five acoustic song demos done for JAD Records. Again, everything here has been available many times over in different configurations on countless legit and not-so-legit Marley collections, but in sorting through the often confusing mare's nest of the Wailers' pre-Island tracks and offering them up chronologically like this and with accurate annotation, JAD has performed a most welcome service.


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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