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Legend Remixed

Bob Marley & The Wailers

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Album Review

Even though it's a posthumous compilation of hits, Bob Marley's Legend (1984) is the best-selling reggae album of all time, but even more, it's a cherished set of favorites that fans hold quite dear. Keep that in mind, and that Marley's catalog has been shamelessly subjected to cheeseball remixes in the past, and it's easy to see why roots reggae noses wrinkle at the word "Remixed," but in the set's liner notes, Marley son Ziggy keeps it real. "This is an adventure in music," he writes, "a 'soul adventure'" with words like "respect" and "open ears" further supporting his cause, but it's the music that matters here, and the tasteful set of remixers listed on the back should be the first clue that this one is soul-filling and easy skanking. Speaking of, studio wizard and Marley son Stephen bends the rules a bit by grabbing the bonus track "Easy Skanking" off the deluxe edition of Legend, but he turns it into a wonderfully busy dubstep kaleidoscope of dad's feel-good vibes. Stephen's remix of "No Woman No Cry" is chock-full of bass drops as well, but it's the feel-good, sunshine disco he lays on the track that puts hands in the air. Brother Ziggy's the one who surprises with his rich, rootsy, reserve red, and reverbed mixes of "Stir It Up" and "Redemption Song," while others play to their strengths and exceed expectations, like Thievery Corporation ("Get Up Stand Up" wonderfully echoes into space) and Roni Size (his cut sounds like a simple Internet kid's hastily pasted together mash-up of "Brown Paper Bag" and "I Shot the Sheriff," but it's simply delicious). Fans unfamiliar with the electronica and EDM scenes should know this one leans toward the underground rather than the mainstream, with folks like Photek taking it slow and low rather than hard and fast. Those concerned that the Marley legacy is damaged by this stuff should know that Ziggy puts it out there, writing in the liners that "Nothing will ever be better than the originals." Nothing here is, but it's all worthwhile, and some of it is quite wonderful.

Customer Reviews

Keep the cult members out

Any great creativity is welcomed! Get ready…. soon the cult members are going to start complaining that any change made to Marley's music is sacrilegious and forgetting that Marley despised rigid conformists and created different dub/dance remixes of his own music before he died to have his music reach a greater audience.

Legendary

Some things shouldn't be messed with. The originals are perfect.

Unreal

Really? Is this what has to be done? Why would you try to modernize something that's timeless?

Biography

Born: February 6, 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...
Full Bio

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