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Legalize It (Legacy Edition)

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Album Review

After years of being overshadowed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh left the Wailers to pursue a solo career. Released in 1976, Legalize It is a bold statement that Tosh had arrived and was a creative force in his own right. Although he explores some issues of spirituality, this is Tosh's most lightweight album in the sense that it is his least political. This is not meant as a criticism — in fact, Tosh's playfulness and joy ("Ketchy Shuby") only add to the album's charm. He does make political statements (the title track celebrates and promotes the use of marijuana), but they are done with a sense of humor and a melodic infectiousness that belie his sincere concern for the issues. Tosh incorporates many instruments and mixes slower ballads with upbeat grooving tunes. The album's highlight is "Why Must I Cry," a multi-layered song (co-written with Bob Marley) that conveys a sense of personal failure when fighting an uphill battle, whether it be against injustices of the world or within the confines of a relationship. Legalize It cemented Tosh's position as a giant in reggae, and the album is one of the best albums of the genre. [This deluxe Legacy Edition of Legalize It offers Tosh fans a wealth of desirable extras. Disc one features the original U.S. version of the album followed by seven demo versions. Disc two offers Tosh's own original mix of the album as it was released in Jamaica, along with a handful of dubs and alternate versions.]

Customer Reviews

Very nice package especially for the re-release suckers

I have to start by asking, how many times can some CD's be remastered and re-released?

I have to say I prefer the regular release of Equal Rights better compared to Legalize It. It has a more defined feel to it than this release which is Tosh's first solo. With that said, this Legacy Edition is phenomenal and blows away the re-release of Equal Rights which seems like a lot of fillers and throw-in's on the bonus disc. All of the original Jamaican versions on the second disc are fantastic. I'd almost go as far as saying I enjoy them better than the over-produced regular issues. This is the same feeling I had when I heard the original versions on the bonus disc of Catch a Fire - and to this day, I still listen to the more raw versions than the regular releases. The simplicity of it is music to the ears.

I bought the actual CD for the liner notes and although I haven't had the time to read through them yet, the packaging makes it worth it given the price difference between digital and CD is very minimal (between $1-2 more).

Do yourself and get this re-release. It's worth every penny.

Legalize It Again...and Again and Again and Again

With the release of "Legalize It" in 1976, Peter Tosh proved he was a force to be reckoned with in the world of reggae music. It takes only one listening of the album to realize how much he had grown up since his time with The Wailers. Though only 9 songs long, Tosh's debut solo album made an indelible mark in music that can still be felt 35 years later.

Having said that, the recently'released Legacy Edition of "Legalize It" is a little bit too much for the casual listener to handle. Spread out over 2 discs are a total of 32 songs, but none of them stray too terribly far from the original album's formula. Sure, we get demo version of 7 of the original 9 songs, but they sound an awful lot like the album versions. Same goes for the Original Jamaican Mixes, the very first cut of the record sent out by Tosh himself. The only tracks truly worth listening to on this collection are the dub versions found at the end of disc 2. Otherwise, this collection winds up sounding a bit too redundant.

My suggestion: Get the 10-track release instead.


Born: October 19, 1944 in Westmoreland, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

Singer, musician, composer, and rebel Peter Tosh cut a swathe through the Jamaican musical scene, both as a founding member of the Wailers and as a solo artist. He toured with the Rolling Stones and had an international hit with a duet with Mick Jagger, then toured again to equally rapturous world audiences as the headlining act. His words would cause an uproar at the One Peace concert, but then unlike fellow Wailer Bob Marley, Tosh always made his true feelings known. He was born Winston Hubert...
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