Songs Of Freedom
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1992.
Maximum respect goes out to Island records for the
release of this outstanding 4 CD limited edition box set
(also available on cassette). 78 songs; including extended
versions, rare releases, alternate takes, and a 64 page
informative booklet, make this an essential buy for all
Beginning with Marley's first solo recordings in 1962,
the ska flavored "Judge Not" and "One Cup Of Coffee," then
taking us through a journey which traces his career through
the formation of The Wailers to his emergence as an
international superstar (ending with the classic "Redemption
Song," offered here as a live version recorded in Pittsburgh
at his final show in 1980), "Songs Of Freedom" is an
exhaustive compilation which chronicles this legendary
artist's eighteen-year career.
Of the 78 songs, well over one-third are already
available (taken from his Island record catalog; beginning
with "Catch A Fire," and ending with "Uprising"). Although
these classic recordings are an excellent sample of Marley's
work, the real excitement is found in the rarities.
"High Tide Or Low Tide," "Iron Lion Zion" (which will
be the first single and video, due Oct. 26th), and "Why
Should I" are three recordings which have never been heard
before (only recently being discovered). Each is from the
early 70's, and each is vintage Marley.
The 12" versions of "Jammin'," "Exodus," "Ride Natty
Ride," "One Love," "Could You Be Loved," and "Coming In From
The Cold," are, in a word, wicked.
Some of the outstanding rare tracks include "Lick
Samba," "Craven Choke Puppy," the haunting "Jah Live,"
"Guava Jelly, "Screw Face," "Bus Dem Shut (Pyaka)," "Smile
Jamaica," and an insightful acoustic medley, timing in at
just over 12 minutes, featuring excerpts of 7 songs
(including "This Train," and "Cornerstone"), recorded in
Sweden when Marley was working on a film soundtrack with
Johnny Nash in 1971.
There are also original versions of "Stir It Up, "One
Love," "Mellow Mood," "Duppy Conqueror," "Bend Down Low,"
and "Put It On," as well as alternate versions of such
classics as "Trenchtown Rock," "Waiting In Vain," "Three
Little Birds," "Keep On Moving," "I'm Hurting Inside," and
"Is This Love."
With almost 5 hours of crucial reggae, "Songs Of
Freedom," will provide endless hours of entertainment. It
will also, on behalf of the Bob Marley Foundation (as said
in the liner notes) "donate part of the proceeds...for the
establishment of the Berhane Selassie School in Ethiopia
(which) is dedicated to the children left destitute by the
Civil War in Ethiopia."
Even though Bob Marley passed away in 1981, his legend
continues to grow. This informative, well-done retrospective
will certainly add to the man's legacy. "Songs Of Freedom"
is a must have and belongs in each and every one's
FREE SKANK SAMPLER
POSITIVE VIBES ON KDHX
GET IN TOUCH
WHO IS PROFESSOR SKANK?