Saturday, December 5, 2015


Bob Marley and The Wailers had their breakthrough success with the positive vibration of this incandescent reggae incantation.  After a decade together and five albums  (The Wailing Wailers in 1965, Soul Rebels in 1970,  Soul Revolution in 1971, Catch a Fire in 1972, and Burnin' in 1973), founding members Peter Tosh and Bunny "Wailer" Livingston had left the group.  

Bob Marley assembled a new lineup for the recording of  Natty Dread in 1974 and the tour that followed:   "[The music is tighter now; but] I don't think it because [Tosh and Wailer] leave. I feel it mostly because the type of vibration we had in the studio. We did have a good vibration...You not supposed to feel down over whatever happen to you. I mean, you're supposed to use whatever happen to you as some type of upper, not a downer. Say if a brother say he don't wanna play no more music, then you have a little time to work out what is to be, what must be...I don't see reggae music as like the twist, I see reggae music as music. When people say reggae them expect a type of music. As far as me is concerned, I never give it a name. Just play music. Once you put it in a bag and call it reggae and then mebbe you listen with your ear and think you hear a single thing. Because music wide, music go everywhere...That's why people expect reggae to be a one type of thing but it's not that. This music, man, is not music of a day. It have to be real...Babylon is everywhere. You have wrong and you have right. Wrong is what we call Babylon, wrong things. That is what Babylon is to me. I could have born in England, I could have born in America, it make no difference where me born, because there is Babylon everywhere...What important is man should live in righteousness, in natural love for mankind...Prejudice is a chain, it can hold you. If you prejudice, you can't move, you keep prejudice for years. Never get nowhere with that...I wish things could change without hurt and righteousness reign for ever, let righteousness cover the earth like the water cover the sea."

'Live!' was recorded at the Lyceum in London on July 18 and 19 in 1975 using the Rolling Stones Mobile.  Dave Harper did the live sound mixing and Steve Smith was the recording engineer. Phill Brown engineering the mixing at Basing Street Studios.  Steve Smith and Chris Blackwell produced the record, while Bob Marley and the Wailers produced the music.   The album features Bob Marley on lead vocals and rhythm guitar,  Carlton Barrett on drums,  Aston "Family Man" Barrett on bass,  Tyrone Downie on keyboards,  Al Anderson on lead guitar,  Alvin "Seeco" Patterson on percussion, and the "I Threes" (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths) on backing vocals.   

'Live!'  went to number ninety on the US pop album chart, forty-seven on the US R&B album chart, thirty-eight in the UK, and twenty-nine in Sweden.  Marley would consider:   "People who listen to the music and don't listen to the words soon start listening to the words. Let them hear the music first. But as long as you want to listen, you might hear the words, mebbe not unnerstand everything. Like if I write a song, Them Belly Full But We Hungry, can you understand that?...That's a patois. It's not straight English you can write. Sometimes we sing in patois ... I don't care what people do with the music. Every time I play I get that fresh inspiration. It fresh, and no-one can hear a song that you write until it out on a record. So people can capitalise upon reggae as much as they want. People have all sorts of music they can play.  We can play different music from the kind of music that we play now...Different, just different, so if somebody try and catch up with we, we can leave and change again. Because that's what we been doing over the years. Every time that we make some music, they catch up with we, so we change, just like ska, rock steady, reggae.  If them come too much and call it reggae, we go to nyahbingi music, the first music...It mean 'Death to black and white oppressors'.  But that type of music it come from the heart." He beat his chest with a fluttering palm. "Just like that. Every time you hear the drums you hear it, sometime soft, sometime frightening, you get to know it. Like when I first hear rasta drumming, I think it something terrible going to do with me, because it's something that we no understand.  And yet it's so near to me. And then we get to understand it and everything become natural again."   

"No Woman, No Cry" charted at number thirty in New Zealand, twenty-three in the Netherlands, and twenty in the UK.  The song re-entered the British charts in 1980 after Marley's death and went to number eight.  Marley gave songwriter credit to his friend Vincent Ford to help maintain the soup kitchen Ford ran in Trenchtown, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica where Marley grew up.

full album:

Side one
1. "Trenchtown Rock"   Bob Marley 4:23
2. "Burnin' and Lootin'"   Bob Marley 5:11
3. "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)"   Leon Cogill, Carlton Barrett 4:36
4. "Lively Up Yourself"   Bob Marley 4:33

Side two
5. "No Woman, No Cry"   Vincent Ford 7:07
6. "I Shot the Sheriff"   Bob Marley 5:18
7. "Get Up, Stand Up"   Bob Marley, Peter Tosh 6:28

bonus track
8. "Kinky Reggae" (originally the B-side of "No Woman, No Cry") Bob Marley 7:35

full show July 18, 1975


Burnin' and Lootin'
No Woman, No Cry
Kinky Reggae
Stir It Up
Lively Up Yourself
I Shot the Sheriff
Get Up, Stand Up
Trenchtown Rock

Live at the Boarding House, San Francisco July 7, 1975

Trenchtown Rock
Burnin' And Lootin'
Midnight Ravers
Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)
No Woman, No Cry
Kinky Reggae
Stir It Up
Lively Up Yourself
Get Up, Stand Up

New York, NY June 15 1975

part one
01: Trench Town Rock
02: Slave Driver
03: Burnin' And Lootin'
04: Concrete Jungle
05: Kinky Reggae
06: Midnight Raver
07: Lively Up Yourself
08: No Woman No Cry
09: Rebel Music

part two
01: Them Belly Full
02: Natty Dread
03: I Shot The Sheriff
04: Nice Time
05: Talkin' Blues
06: Bend Down Low
07: So Jah Seh
08: Get Up Stand Up

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