Volume 2: Issue 3: March 2002
Welcome to the March 2002 update of wailers.co.uk. Each month we plan to bring you news and opinions of the Wailers and associated affairs, with regular contributors offering articles and reports from around the world.
The third of Island's Bob Marley & The Wailers deluxe edition arrived in the UK on February 25th.
The 2 CD set edition expands on the original 1984 compilation by adding 2 bonus tracks, Easy Skanking and Punky Reggae Party to the first CD, while the second disc compiles the remixes made available on the original US version and across various 12" singles.
Any album that proclaims itself to be "the best of" will immediately draw fire from critics because of it's inclusions and omissions. Remembering that Legend is actually intended as a commercial sampler for Bob's work, we can set aside any criticism of the great tracks not included. Instead what we have is a documentation of Bob's biggest hit songs based on European and American chart returns, therefore there is no place for the likes of War, Jah Live or Natty Dread.
With this in mind, all would seem present and correct on disc 1. As well as the big chart smashes enjoyed by the band themselves, there are also the Wailers recordings of hits enjoyed by others. Both the 1973 version of Stir It Up and I Shot The Sheriff hits for Johnny Nash and Eric Clapton respectively, are included, as is the monumental Get Up Stand Up, a nod to the bands grass roots following.
Unfortunately some of the mixes on the first CD are not the ones that should be included. The original Legend album from 1984 featured some original single 7" mixes, but the cuts here are lifted directly from the relevant album master tapes.
So what's the difference between the original single mixes and the ones presented here, and why are we so disappointed they haven't been used? Well, to answer the second part of that question first, the mixes here are already widely available on the various albums from the back catalogue. When Legend was originally issued on vinyl in 1984, it featured the short versions of No Woman No Cry, Stir It Up and Exodus, but these were replaced with the longer album mixes when the CD was remastered in the early 1990's.
The original version also featured the single mixes of Is This Love, Buffalo Soldier, Jamming and One Love/People Get Ready, but these have also been presented in their album form this time around.
The variations in most cases will make little difference to the more casual listener, but for those with a sharper ear, and to the more fanatical, the changes will be more obvious.
The album opener, Is This Love for instance, is lacking the sweet little guitar lick that follows Bob's opening line, betraying it's origins as an album mix almost immediately. The original single mix of Waiting In Vain featured more use of phase on both the keyboards and guitars, while the 1984 single mix of One Love/People Get Ready was given a more dynamic sound by adding more reverb to Carly's drums.
The single mix of Jamming begins without Bob's opening "ooh yeah" and features a moment as he sings "true love that now exists" where the bass drops out. The song also fades out rather than coming to it's full conclusion al la the Exodus album.
The edits of Buffalo Soldier, Stir It Up and Exodus were used on the recent One Love best of compilation, making the whole of Islands approach to the two sets rather confusing. It's a rare case where we actually wanted less from the company.
The final change to the main disc is the addition of 2 extra tracks. Both Easy Skanking and Punky Reggae Party were included on the 1984 cassette edition of the album, explaining why they are here, but the original 7" single edit of the latter has been overlooked in favour of the same 6.52 mix used on last years 2CD package of the One Love album.
The bonus disc contains the remixes that appeared on the spin off 12" singles in 1984/85, the 1980 12" of Could You Be Loved, as well as 3 tracks from the strange US original of the album, and one solitary unreleased remix.
The disc is topped and tailed by 2 very different takes on One Love/People Get Ready; The first is the better know Julian Mendelsohn remix that originally saw digital transfer on the Songs Of Freedom set, while the second is the more gimmicky "dub version" by Godwin Logie, that was pressed on a more limited platter at the same time as the original single.
Mendelsohn offers two further mixes to the disc, a simple but effective lengthening of Waiting In Vain, and a nice prolonged remix of Three Little Birds, complete with added guitar solo. Of all the remixes on the second disc, it is certainly Julian Mendelsohn's that come across best.
Paul "Groucho" Smykle, who may be remembered by Black Uhuru fans for his deconstruction of their Anthem album, takes a similar approach to his dismantling of Jamming. Although it's an interesting excercise and is well executed it sounds a bit too clinical and the novelty wears off very quickly.
The remainder of CD2 features 7 remixes from Eric "E.T." Thorngren. No Woman No Cry is a re-working of the 1974 studio cut, but while it remains fairly faithful to the original, it is spoilt by some horrible drum machine overdubs. Why remixers insist on dubbing new drums to this track is a mystery; Thorngren makes the same mistake that Bill Laswell did on the Dreams Of Freedom album. By adding these overdubs, the subtlety of the original track is lost.
Thorngren's work on Coming In From The Cold extends the song nicely past the 5 minute barrier, but his balancing of the track leaves the bass sounding very thin. Exodus is given a more radical remix, but again the bass is not given enough depth and the neat interplay of horns, keyboard and guitars from the original is messed up.
Even worse is the dreadful version of Buffalso Soldier that was on the first pressing of the US release. Here Thorngren takes the vocal from the King Sporty demo and rebuilds an electronic dance backdrop. Oddly it sounds quite contemporary now, fitting in with the recent club mixes of Bob's work by the likes of Funkstar et al.
That US edition of Legend also offers two further mixes from E.T. Jamming is similar (but not quite the same) as the original 7" version mentioned earlier, while Waiting In Vain adds a little electronic percussion. Both seem pretty pointless in the context of this release, especially as they offer nothing over the other 2 versions of the songs present, but completeists may approve of their inclusion.
The final mix is what will draw many fans to the set, an unreleased mix of Lively Up Yourself. Unfortunately the version here falls into place with Thorngren's other mixes, offering nothing new to the track. A simple rebalancing to sound more contemporary (to the '80s), with the drum intro intact, but otherwise the song bubbles along in pretty much it's standard format.
The packaging follows the original artwork exactly, with no new photo's or essays, and even the reproduction of the band members manages to clumsily mis-spell Earl "Wya" Lindo's nickname as "Way". The over all feeling is of a release with little thought put into it; the tape research should have revealed the original mixes used on the 1984 releases, and for a package that proudly boasts to be "The best selling Reggae album of all time" surely some extra effort could have been afforded to providing new images and liner notes.
The deluxe edition of Legend is something of a disappointment. Island have delivered two fine releases in the series prior to this, but unfortunately this one doesn't come up to scratch. Hopefully the forthcoming Live! release will set things back on the right track.
NEW COMPLETE WAILERS SETS IN
The 9th and 10th CD's in JAD Records Complete Wailers series have emerged in France. The 2 discs, which follow on from the 3 CD box sets so far issued in the UK contain mainly unreleased alternative takes of songs already featured in the series.
The 9th album is titled Freedom Time and features some early Wail N
Soul M productions, 8 "soul mixes", as well as two Rita Marley tracks from
the JAD period.
.1. Hypocrites (alternate)
.2. Freedom Time
.3. Lyrical Satirical I
.4. This Train (alternate)
.6. Pound Get A Blow
.7. Stepping Razor
.8. I'm Hurting Inside (original)
.9. Dem A Fe Get A Beatin
10. Fire Fire
11. Play Play Play (Rita Marley)
12. Bend Down Low (soul mix)
13. Nice Time (soul mix)
14. Rocking Steady (soul mix)
15. Rock To The Rock (soul mix)
16. Chances Are (soul mix)
17. Mellow Mood (soul mix)
18. Love (soul mix)
19. Rhapsody (soul mix) (Rita Marley)
20. Falling In And Out Of Love (original-demo)
21. Splish For My Splash (original-demo)
22. Stranger On The Shore (original-demo)
23. Hypocrites (version)
The second new CD, Soul Adventurer, is the 10th in the series and is
more of a mixed bag, containing alternates and dub versions, mainly from the Lee Perry
productions. The 1967-72 time frame seems to have been dispensed of here, as the disc
features the later Natural Mystic and Rainbow Country.
.1. Soul Rebel (alternate 2)
.2. Sun Is Shining (DJ version-Johnny Lover)
.3. Keep On Moving (alternate)
.4. It's Alright (alternate)
.5. Duppy Conqueror (version 4)
.6. I Like It Like This (Don't Rock My Boat DJ version-Johnny Lover)
.7. Concrete Jungle (alternate)
.8. Kingston 12 (Trenchtown Rock DJ version-U Roy)
.9. Put It On (full length)
10. No Sympathy (full length)
11. Reaction (full length)
12. Man To Man (full length alternate)
13. Don't Rock My Boat (alternate 3)
14. Natural Mystic
15. Rainbow Country (full length)
16. Natural Dub (Natural Mystic dub version)
17. Rainbow Dub (Rainbow Country dub version)
18. Sun Is Shining (side 2-dub version)
19. Red (alternate dub Redder Than Red)
20. Zig Zag (Duppy Conqueror dub version)
At the present there is no news of a wider Europeanor US release, or whether the track listng will be altered for these different territories.
NEW WAILERS SINGLE
A new single has appeared on Aston Barrett's FAM'S label. The new release features Familyman, Earl "Wya" Lindo and Tyrone Downie on a superb new version of Bunny Wailer's Bide Up. Also covering Bunny Wailer is UK reggae singer Nerious Joseph. His latest album contains an excellent re-working of Fig Tree, on which he sounds uncannily like the great Wailer himself.
WAILERS BAND TOUR
12 MAR 02: Brick Works, Chico, CA.
13 MAR 02: Miner's Foundary, Nevada City, CA.
14 MAR 02: Caesers Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, NV.
15 MAR 02: Six Rivers Brewery, McKinleyville, CA.
16 MAR 02: McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR.
17 MAR 02: Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR.
21 MAR 02: Ice Palace, Tampa, Fl.
22 MAR 02: Mars Music Ampitheatre, West Palm Beach, FL.
23 MAR 02: TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, FL.
25 MAR 02: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA.
27 MAR 02: Bi-Lo Centre, Greenville, SC.
29 MAR 02: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Raleigh, NC.
30 MAR 02: Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC.
01 APR 02: MCI Centre, Washington DC.
Always check with the venue before setting out!
WAILER VISION IN APRIL
Vision Walker, one of the original Wailers, will perform live in concert on April 7th, 2002 in San Francisco, CA.
Vision, along with his band Kibah, will be part of a benefit concert called Music By The Dock Of The Bay, to support the Oakland Runnin' Rebels/Student Athletic Academy (http://www.oaklandrebels.org), a youth non-profit organization to help troubled or at-risk youths.
If you are unfamiliar with the name Vision Walker, he co-founded The Soulettes with his cousin Rita Anderson (Marley) in the early 1960s, and they began recording for Coxson Dodd at Studio One. When Bob Marley left for Delaware in 1966, Vision was asked to fill in for Bob in The Wailers, helping to record such classics as Don't Look Back, The Toughest, Dancing Shoes, and many others! He performed with Peter Tosh for Tosh's 1982-3 world tour, and has been helping further the U.S. reggae scene by playing in several bands throughout the years, including The Rastafarians.
You can find much more about Vision Walker at:
Vision has taken a lot of time looking for talent in the Bay Area and nurturing some of the bay area's finest reggae musicians, and thus comes Vision Walker and Kibah.
Here is the event information:
April, 7th 2002
Kelly's Mission Rock
817 China Basin in San Francisco, CA 94107
Time: 3 - 10pm
Price: $20 Advanced $25 at the door
Advanced tickets can be purchased at:
You can find the complete itinerary and more information for the benefit
Vision Walker will also be selling his debut solo CD at this show!
Hope you can attend!!
Remember, our good friend and website contributor Alvaro Gaynicotche now broadcasts a show dedicated to Bob & the Wailers every Saturday on X FM -100.3 Montevideo,Uruguay.
X FM is broadcoast on the Internet, so you can hear it from all over the world. The Uruguay time for the show is : Saturday, 7:00 PM to 9:00PM.
People can contact Alvaro at :
And you can hear by clicking "X FM"" on this site:
Number 13, January 2002 Number 14, February 2002
Number 12, December 2001 Number 11, November 2001
Number 10, October 2001 Number 9, September 2001
Number 8, August 2001 Number 7, July 2001
Number 6, June 2001 Number 5, May 2001
Number 4, April 2001 Number 3, March 2001
Number 2, February 2001 Number 1, January 2001
Please visit these Wailers/reggae sites:
The OFFICIAL Wailers website: www.wailers.com
www.bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk Django! Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae
http://robertnestamarley.free.fr The Wailers News
Bob Marley Magazine http://go.to/bobmarleyshows