Wednesday, May 30, 2007

275. Bob Marley and the Wailers - Catch a Fire (1973)

Track Listing

1. Concrete Jungle
2. Slave Driver
3. 400 Years
4. Stop That Train
5. Baby We've Got A Date (Rock It Baby)
6. Stir It Up
7. Kinky Reggae
8. No More Trouble
9. Midnight Ravers


I've never been a particularly big fan of Reggae, I appreciated Bob Marley for some socio-political points and for his summery tunes, but living with this album for the last three days actually brought a renewed appreciation of the music. There is not a song in this album under the level of brilliant, 400 Years for example has an intro which sounds decades ahead of its time and could have been taken from a Portishead album in the mid-90's. Stir It Up is fun, but the album really catches you from Concrete Jungle and doesn't let you go until the end.

This album has just the right mix of socially counscious songs and lighter tracks like Kinky Reggae. This is a sonic revolution in the happening, Reggae was a style unheard in most of the western world, of course Britain already had a sizable population of West Indians which brought their music with them, but even so this is the first truly successful album of Jamaican music.

Paul Simon's debut album had already delved into Reggae with Mother And Child Reunion a year earlier, but this is a proper trenchtown product with a little help from a British producer. This is the real deal and it is just as good as it should be - revolutionary to western ears at the time, it stands up today as a brilliant collection of some of the best tracks in the history of Reggae. Get it today at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Kinky Reggae
2. Stir It Up
3. Concrete Jungle
4. 400 Years

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The first 20,000 copies of the original 1973 vinyl release were encased in the famous Zippo sleeve (pictured above). This sleeve worked as a Zippo lighter case would, opening at a side hinge to reveal the record within.

However, the producers soon realized that this operation would require hand-manufacture, as machinery available was not sufficient to rivet the upper and lower halves of the sleeve together.

Kinky Reggae:

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