Wednesday, July 18, 2007

324. Bob Marley And The Wailers - Natty Dread (1974)

Track Listing

1. Lively Up Yourself
2. No Woman No Cry
3. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
4. Rebel Music (3 O'clock Roadblock)
5. So Jah Seh
6. Natty Dread
7. Bend Down Low
8. Talkin' Blues
9. Revolution


Who doesn't love a bit of reggae? People with no sense of rhythm that's who. Fortunately even though I am white I do have a sense of rhythm, which is not to say that I can dance, but I can wiggle to the beat. So I do enjoy the Reggae one in a while. And this is one of the great Reggae albums.

Mr. Marley brings us another great album, although quite a different from the previous Catch A Fire, I wouldn't say it is necessarily better, but it is different. Unfortunately Peter Tosh is out of the picture and he was one of the great things about the previous album, but Marley has more of a pop sensibility, is angrier and has gotten an excellent backing band as well as backing vocals, so all is not lost.

One of the great things about this album is how angry it is, Them Belly Full, Talkin' Blues and Revolution are great examples of this, and even though no one would claim that Bob Marley music makes kids violent, he actually advocates bombing churches at one point... probably getting low on the ganja. Again Marley brings us supremely socially aware music, which is at the same time angry and fun to listen to, almost a paradox, but the truth is that is is easy to dance around to Them Belly Full although it is a song about hunger and angry mobs rising against those who keep mobs hungry. Get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. No Woman No Cry
2. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
3. Talkin' Blues
4. Rebel Music (3 O'clock Roadblock)

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Like most reggae from the time, Natty Dread is a spiritually charged political and social statement. It opens with a blues-influenced celebration of the Rastafari movement, "Lively Up Yourself", which Marley used to open many of his concerts, in order to get the audience worked up; American R&B star Prince used it for the same purpose. "No Woman, No Cry", the second track, is probably the best known recording on the album. It is a nostalgic remembrance of growing up in the impoverished streets of Trenchtown, and the happiness brought by the company of friends. The song has been performed by artists as diverse as Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett and Rancid. Songwriting credit for "No Woman, No Cry" went to V. Ford. Ford, better known as Tartar to his friends and neighbors, had been a kind friend of Marley as a child in Trench Town, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica. Marley claimed he would have starved to death on several occasions as a child if not for the aid of Tartar.

"Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" is a warning against allowing a nation's poor to go hungry, with the prophetic warning "a hungry mob is an angry mob" (the song is reportedly dedicated to newly-elected Democratic Socialist Michael Manley), while "Talkin' Blues" and "Revolution" go deeper into controversial political commentary. "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)" is a reflection on the potential impact of reggae music on Jamaican society. The song was written after Marley had been stopped by a night-time police carcheck. The influence of Marley's increasing devotion to Rastafari can be heard in religious-themed songs like "So Jah Seh", "Natty Dread" and "Lively Up Yourself", while Marley's reputation as a romantic is confirmed with smooth, seductive songs like "Bend Down Low". The title track of the album takes its title from an idealised personification of the Rastafari movement, Natty Dread

In 2003, the album was ranked number 182 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Them Belly Full (But We Hungry):

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