Bob Marley & The Wailers ‎– Legend

Label:
Island Records ‎– 846 210-2, Tuff Gong ‎– BMWCD 1
Format:
CD, Compilation, Remastered
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Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Is This Love
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
3:52
2 No Woman, No Cry (Live)
Producer – Chris Blackwell, Steve Smith (3)
7:07
3 Could You Be Loved
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers, Chris Blackwell
3:55
4 Three Little Birds
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
3:01
5 Buffalo Soldier
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers, Errol Brown (2)
4:16
6 Get Up, Stand Up
Producer – Chris Blackwell, The Wailers
3:17
7 Stir It Up
Producer – Bob Marley, Chris Blackwell
6:32
8 One Love/People Get Ready
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
2:01
9 I Shot The Sheriff
Producer – Chris Blackwell, The Wailers
4:40
10 Waiting In Vain
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
4:15
11 Redemption Song
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers, Chris Blackwell
3:47
12 Satisfy My Soul
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
4:30
13 Exodus
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
7:36
14 Jamming
Producer – Bob Marley & The Wailers
3:31

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

1972-1981 best songs compilation

This compilation
℗ 1984 Island Records Ltd
© 1984 Island Records Ltd

CD face: Made in France by PMDC
CD Ring: Made in France by Universal M & L

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 042284 621021
  • Matrix / Runout: 846 210 2 10
  • Matrix / Runout: Made in France by Universal M & L
  • Mastering SID Code: IFPI L004
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 0282
  • Rights Society: BIEM MCPS
  • Label Code: LC0407
  • Other (Distribution code): PY900

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IanPhillips1979

IanPhillips1979

May 18, 2016

Jamaica's most gifted musical artist was undoubtedly the legendary Bob Marley. Marley and his dynamic backing group, The Wailers, became THE sound of Jamaica, taking reggae music into the mainstream. Deservedly hailed as the undisputed and unparalleled king of reggae, he defined unique styles that set standards that many upcoming and current reggae artists are measured against to this day. His untimely death certainly left a big void in music.

'Legend' is just a mere skimming of their greatest work together, released in 1984 on Tuff Gong Records, three years after Marley's death. While there is a more comprehensive 4-CD box set offering of his work, for casual fans that just want the main highlights then this serves up just that; truly the definitive collection of Bob Marley and the Wailers.

The vast majority of songs captured on this one disc were written and produced by Marley. He more than proved himself a musical genius, his inner thoughts and reflections of the world and outlook on life itself perfectly captured in song. He explored various themes throughout his career, some being thoughtful love songs while others containing more of a political theme, depicting relevant social issues of the time.

'Is This Love', one of his most instantly recognisable classics, kicks off this unforgettable collection. Penned in 1978 and featured on the album 'Kaya', this pretty much sets the tone for the duration of the album. The warm, casual arrangements contains Marley's distinctive vocal style where he puts in a subtle yet powerful performance. Although mainly about love, the lyrics also touch upon poverty ("We'll be together/With a roof right over our heads/We'll share the shelter/Of my single bed"), giving the song a wistful quality.

His remarkably unique vocal style is put to full accelerated effect on an electric and stunning live performance of his divine 'No Woman, No Cry'. Originally from the 'Natty Dread' album, it is this live version that is widely considered the definitive takes. Depicting the struggle of life in Trenchtown, a rundown part of Kingston, Jamaica, this track gives you a sense of relaxed euphoria and is possibly his most famous and revered recordings. Woven into the mix is a stunning guitar solo while the chanting of "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" may well be the key hook here.

The jamming 'Could You Be Loved' is a pure example of this. This is one of those great numbers to groove to and is infectious thanks to its complex, multi-layered arrangements to Marley's raw, earthy delivery. The bubbly guitar line drives the track throughout, while females voices are drawn in on the bridge. Extracted from his sublime 'Uprising' album in 1980, 'Could You Be Loved' became a UK Top 5 hit and one of his biggest-selling singles.

Marley proved to be a highly versatile vocalist and made for a great ballad singer which is perfectly demonstrated on the exotic, and sensual 'Three Little Birds'. This timeless classic is a masterpiece! Three minutes of pure perfection! Joyous and uplifting, this had first been recorded for 'Exodus' (1977), one of their most commercially successful albums.

'Buffalo Soldier' finds Marley seamlessly surfboarding over the startling instrumental, carrying this off with verve and style. Utterly contagious from the outset, here the lyrics are centered around black soldiers conscripted to fight in the American civil war.

The urban mode and almost stark effect on the compelling 'Get Up, Stand Up' is just contagious. Written by Bob and original Wailer Peter Tosh, this became the anthem of Amnesty International and was a prominent song in the Rasta movement.

There are far mellower and laid back numbers included such as their early 1970's classic 'Stir It Up' which becomes almost hypnotic as the musical arrangement career along at an easy, relaxed pace. They go in for that more traditional Jamaican sound on the sensational 'One Love/People Get Ready', a song influenced by Curtis Mayfield's 'People Get Ready'. Ignited with the array of shimmering backing vocals courtesy of the Wailers and Marley's vibrant, up-beat, feel-good performance, this is another highlight of the set.

More gritty and earthy was another bombastic classic 'I Shot The Sheriff', holding a great reggae beat and, like most of the other tracks on here, enjoyed phenomenal chart success across on both sides of the Atlantic.

Marley shows off his seemingly effortless flair again on the magical ballad 'Waiting In Vain'. His vocal style still has that uplifting quality but here it conveys a more sensitive, yearning sound. There's a more spiritual and poignant edge on the atmospheric, acoustic-led 'Redemption'. The sparse orchestrations are complemented by forceful, aggressive vocals from Marley, where he shows off a more soulful quality in his single. 'Redemption' also commendably conveys Marley's diversity and artistic integrity.

Equally as mellow as 'Redemption' is 'Satisfy My Soul', capturing another beautifully laid back vocal from Marley sailing across the flowing, theraputic arrangements. However, more exciting musically was one of his biggest, all-time best classics - 'Exodus'. From that compelling opening through to the funk-driven rhythms and Marley's impeccable delivery. 'Exodus' is pure dynamite and profound, penned following an assassination attempt on Marley and his wife in Jamaica.

Legend (1984) then winds down with another of his all-time greatest and most infectious creations, Jamming. My point about Marleys music making great house party music and simply making you want to just get up and dance, will give you an understanding of what I mean when listening to this divinely funky number that ends the album on a high.

Bob Marley and the Wailers enjoyed staggering chart success in Jamaica before their music spread to become a world wide phenomenon. They enjoyed deserved mammoth chart success throughout the 1970s, their string of albums all pieces of musical art. Marley remains one of the key influential singers of our era and as far as reggae music is concerned, he has never been bettered and casting my own rather biased opinions aside, doubtfully ever will! Long live the king of reggae!

Ian Phillips