Saturday, April 13, 2013

catch a fire

The Wailers brought reggae to the world with the spiritual essence, political realism, and bottom heavy rhythmic bounce of their incendiary major label debut.  With three albums under their belt ('The Wailing Wailers''Soul Rebels'and 'Soul Revolution') the band was invited to open for Johnny Nash on his UK tour.  When the tour was over, the band was stranded in Britain without enough money to get back to Jamaica.  They contacted Chris Blackwell from Island Records and received an advance for the recording of an album and enough money to get home. 
The intial recording took place in three studios in Kingston, Jamaica:  Dynamic Sound, Harry J's, and Randy's with overdubs added later in London at Island Studios.  'Catch A Fire' was co-produced by Marley and Blackwell and features Peter Tosh on organ, guitar, piano, and vocals; Bob Marley on guitar and vocals; Bunny Wailer on bongos, conga, and vocals; Aston "Family Man" Barrett on bass guitar; Carlton "Carlie" Barrett on drums; John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards, synthesizer, and clavinet; with Wayne Perkins on guitar; Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths on backing vocals; Tommy McCook on flute; Robbie Shakespeare on bass guitar on 'Concrete Jungle'; Francisco Willie Pep, Winston Wright, and Chris Karan on percussion. 

'Catch A Fire' charted at one hundred and seventy-one on the US Billboard 200 and fifty-one on the US R&B album chart.  The album received rave reviews and is acknowledged as one of the greatest reggae albums of all time.  It was initially released with a zippo sleeve that opened like a lighter to reveal the album inside.  Later pressings feature Marley smoking a joint on the cover and are credited to "Bob Marley and the Wailers". 

Marley expressed in an interview at the time:    "The group is the Wailers. Well fi some reason them seh Bob Marley and the Wailers. I never tell anyone fi seh dat, from no time at all. But maybe fi some reason why dem do it. Well I man is a Wailers. An' ah just soh it rest. Right now I&I ah goh play some music and just gwaan play some music until then. Until wah fi happen will just happen. Because I&I don't plan life. Because when man plan, Jah wipeout...Well...Dem gi mi some money the other day. And want mi fi sign another agreement with them. Mi really ah check it out like (ha ha). 'Cause yuh know...chuh! Is like mi noh waan really seh nothing bad 'bout dem, and still mi noh have nothing much good fi seh...I've come to realize se dem really divide wi in classes. Yes, and is true. Dem try fi divide wi in classes weh mi don't agree with. Because is wickedness. Yuh caan divide people. How can yuh divide the people? Some ah dem noh have four foot...Jamaica is a little nice great place. Mi really love Jamaica, because mi walk plenty stone land inna Jamaica and plenty hills. But ah think we really need a direction. Not a big ol' signing up this and signing up that, but a direction in your own country. Wah happen to the earth. An mean wi have to till the soil. An' it noh call fi slavery fi do that. It just call fi understanding...I man a Farmer Iyah from creation...Many shall be called, but only a few chosen. And there shall be sheep and wolf in sheep clothing! But I&I couldn't watch that, this day. Because I&I have to live Rasta and know Rasta. I noh come fi judge a man. Jah seh leave all judgemant onto him. Soh all people who see a man out deh and seh "how him a gwaan like seh him a rasta". Who is dem fi seh how him a gwaan so. When God seh leave all judgemant onto him...Is laws cause crime and violence. Well I noh really... Yuh know what ah mean. Earth a come, earth a forward to how creation was an how earth fi rest. Is a mind ting. Now all the laws that we abide by and blaah-blaah-boom-boom-boom, what cause wi fi suffer. As any man can know that. Them law deh noh must be a must...Every law! The only law which is law is the law of life. The law how fi live. Now dig dis. A man build him city and him seh him want these people fi run it, and him want these people to live yah soh. Now me don't waan get involved talking like me is a politician. Mi jus' waan talk 'bout righteousness. Like seh well then, Jah a earth rightful ruler and him noh run no wire fence...Rasta don't believe in violence man! Rasta don't believe, Rasta know. Yuh see, is when yuh believe, is that mash yuh up. Yuh must know what yuh know. Earth is earth, within 2000 years, now is 1973. Like I seh again. I naah do dis ting fi no money business. Dis ting, is Jah come inna I heart and mek it move, that I fi goh inna England goh seh these things again. Or say these things in America, or Australia. I man haffi goh, because I personnally is a servant of H.I.M. Not doing noh hard work, just doing wah Jah seh I fi do. And thru him gi I the power fi play music and him gi I the Inspiration fi seh these things, and mek the people, who him work through see these things. Because I know seh Jah inna every life. Now some people ah devil and some people ah angel. Dig! Jah seh leave all judgemant onto him. Dig! Soh yuh know, is certain, is plenty tings, ah man haffi keep to himself and try source it out fi himself. Because yuh can seh tings. At the time yuh say it, it noh seh right, and maybe not. Yuh know wah ah mean. Because these things are things Jah teach yuh everyday, and sometime yuh haffi learn. Yuh haffi know wah him seh. Yuh haffi source it out...I am sorry for the people who don't understand what we talk about. Because they bare great tribulations in times when they don't have to. Yuh see, I personally know my heart can be hard as a stone, and yet soft as water. Then again... still sorry fi the people who don't know H.I.M. Because is like my mother used to tell mi. People head ah goh chop off and dem waan dead and caan dead. Inna the judgement. And these days yah ah the judgement days. Yuh know, only the fittest of the fittest shall survive. Like wah Marcus Garvey seh. Ah jus' so it goh...If yuh don't know God yuh goin' suffer and dead! No God Noh Partial, regardless weh yuh deh pon earth. If yuh deh ah Ethiopia inna him palace and yuh don't know him is the almighty, yuh suffer. God noh partial I. Now, I could ah starve and suffer too, but I know Jah." 

'Catch a Fire' 
full album:

Original album release (1973)[edit]
All songs were written by Bob Marley, except where noted.

Side one

1. "Concrete Jungle"   4:13
2. "Slave Driver"   2:54
3. "400 Years" (Peter Tosh) 2:45
4. "Stop That Train" (Tosh) 3:54
5. "Baby We've Got a Date (Rock It Baby)"   3:55

Side two

6. "Stir It Up"   5:32
7. "Kinky Reggae"   3:37
8. "No More Trouble"   3:58
9. "Midnight Ravers"   5:08

'Catch a Fire' classic albums on Vh1:

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