Sunday, October 19, 2014

natty dread

Bob Marley & The Wailers got their culture with the dreadlock Congo bongo and talkin' trenchtown blues of this lively Rastifarian rebel music.  After a decade and five albums together ('The Wailing Wailers', 'Soul Rebels', 'Soul Revolution', 'Catch A Fire', and 'Burnin''), Hubert Winston McIntosh (Peter Tosh) and Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer), Tosh and Wailer left the band.  Marley retained the brotherly rhythm section of Aston "Family Man" Barrett and Carlton "Carlie" Barrett and brought in Bernard Harvey and Al Anderson to fill the void.  The I-Threes provided a vocal underpinning to make up for the loss of the fabulous harmonies that Tosh and Wailer had provided over the years.  

The sessions for 'Natty Dread' took place at Harry J. Studios in Kingston, Jamaica and were produced by Chris Blackwell and The Wailers with engineers Sylvan Morris and Phil Ault.  The album credits Bob Marley on lead vocals and rhythm guitar;   Aston Barrett on bass guitar;  Carlton Barrett on drums and percussion;  Bernard "Touter" Harvey on piano and organ;  Jean Roussel on hammond organ, keyboards, and arrangements on "No Woman No Cry", "Natty Dread", and "Lively Up Yourself";  Al Anderson on lead guitar;  and The I-Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths) on backing vocals.  

Marley would expound at the time on the natural virtues of Reggae and Rastifarianism, the cutthroat music industry, the madness of capitalism, and Armageddon:    "Reggae is a vibration that you get from the earth, ya dig it..Reggae is different from all other type of music. The first time I hear singin' it was my mother singin' gospel. My grandfather played the violin, a sort of country-western, what they call "quadril"... When me go up in a Trojan office now, and me go in, me see a big guy who is a big thief. After we finished "I Shot the 1 Sheriff' the guys go in the studio behind our back, and get it a little bit too quick, ya know, so the quality leave it. The record companies down in Jamaica, mon, ya have some guys are hustlers, guys don't love music, competitive guys, ya know. And the guys who can deal with music, somehow get pressurized, so them can't even get a good studio together ... Herb is natural...Herb is the healin' of the nation. Everyone on earth is supposed to smoke herb. When you smoke it, we can see and talk real nice and get along. Now for some reason, some people feel, 'No, these people shouldn't smoke herb, because them gonna live too good, and then we no got no power. Ya dig it? God created herb for man mon. Let them teil me 'don't sniff hashish' or 'don't take cocain, great. But when they teil me don't smoke herb, it come like its crazy, mad! But if you just smoke and smoke, smoke,smoke, smoke, smoke foolishly, then you can get hurt, you know. Be wise enough to give thanks and praises to the most High (Jah!)...One's supposed to smoke herb freely and be free. That is why there's so I much quarreling upon the earth and confusión, because the people, them can't get herb to smoke...Now is the time when you have to get conscious. We I mus know that things now. God goes on forever; minutes slip by, plenty things happen, but people make decisions.  It happen a lot in every capitalis place, where one guy has $7 million, a guy has $2,000, and another guy has none, ya dig it. It is not in balance. Me go out in the street and you have your million and you don't like to see me, 'cause ya just feel like I gonna rob ya. So it kill you, your millions. Capitalism is strictly madness...When I talk about the guy who rule America, dem thing have tó wipe out. The earth have to be one. There's too much heads, too much worthless rulers. Plenty things don't happen yet, you know, because is plenty things have to happen. Me know plenty people going dead. Plenty people will die, because righteousness have to run the earth-is just truth, ya know. Armeggedon will come. Some of the earth must destroy, but the kingdom can then go on...You know you have two roads before you.  You have life and you have death. The gift of god is life and all the other business is death...We make everybody know about Rastafari, that is our job. That means when you finish now, about that is your business -me make sure me do my work."

'Natty Dread' reached ninety-two on the US pop album chart, forty-four in New Zealand and on the US R&B chart, and forty-three in the UK.  The album cover was done by Tony Wright.  It was the first Wailers album to give Marley top billing.  Although all of the songs were composed by Marley, the album credits most of them to friends and family.  This was a ploy to give some financial security to these people and to avoid giving the songs to his former publishing company Cayman Music.

"Lively Up Yourself"

"No Woman, No Cry" went to ninety-seven in Australia, thirty in New Zealand, and eight in the UK.  

"Bend Down Low"

"Natty Dread"

'Natty Dread'
full album:

All songs written by Bob Marley; but listed on album as follows:

Side one
1. "Lively Up Yourself"   (Bob Marley) 5:11
2. "No Woman, No Cry"   (Vincent Ford) 3:46
3. "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)"   (Leon Cogill, Carlton Barrett) 3:13
4. "Rebel Music (3 O'clock Roadblock)"   (Aston Barrett, Hugh Peart) 6:45
Side two
5. "So Jah Seh"   (Rita Marley, Willy Francisco) 4:27
6. "Natty Dread"   (Rita Marley, Allen Cole) 3:35
7. "Bend Down Low"   (Bob Marley) 3:21
8. "Talkin' Blues"   (Leon Cogill, Carlton Barrett) 4:06
9. "Revolution"   (Allen Cole, Carlton Barrett) 4:23
bonus track
10. "Am-A-Do" (Bob Marley) 3:20

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