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Bob Marley and the Wailers. Reggae's dominant group began its legacy at Jamaica's dominant record label, Studio One. At Studio One, the Wailers, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Neville Livingston, joined by legendary producer Clement Dodd, recorded some of their most enduring music. The anthemic "One Love," which has become the soundtrack for Jamaica's tourist industry, was conceived by group and Mr. Dodd at Studio One. This greatest hits collection, culled from the over 100 tracks the Wailers recorded at Studio One, features many of their top-selling songs like "One Love," "Simmer Down," "Jailhouse," and "It Hurts to Be Alone." Also included are many of the group's top requested songs from the Studio One catalog along with alternate versions of some of their popular hits. The genius and magic of Bob Marley and the Wailers' legacy is found on these classic Studio One tracks and this collection is guaranteed to become one of the corner stones in the rich history of Reggae Music.
Personnel: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Neville Livingston (vocals); Jerome "Jah Jerry" Haines, Huks Brown, Ernest Ranglin, Harry Sweeting (guitar); Lester Sterling, Headley Bennett, Seymour Walker (alto saxophone); Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Dennis Campbell, Tony Wilson (tenor saxophone); Carlton Samuels (baritone saxophone); Johnny Moore, Bobby Ellis, Trummie Miles (trumpet); Don Drummond, Vin Gordon (trombone); Jackie Mittoo, Richard Ace, Danny McFarlane, Lloyd Delpratt (keyboards); Lloyd Brevett, Lloyd Spence, Bryan Atkinson, Desi Miles, Fred Crossley, Lynn Taitt, Dwight Pinckney (bass); Lloyd Knibb, Carl McCloud, Joe Issacs, Lloyd Robinson, Bunny Williams, Esmond Jarrett (drums); Beverley Kelso, Rita Marley (background vocals).
Producer: Clement S. Dodd.
Compilation producer: Chris Wilson.
Recorded at Studio One, Kingston, Jamaica between 1964 & 1966. Includes liner notes by Rogger Steffens.
In strictly musical terms, you simply have to give this album top marks. It contains just about every recording that could be called essential from the Wailers' Studio One era in the mid-'60s, when they were evolving (like most of their contemporaries) from the galloping ska sound that had ruled the Jamaican dancehalls for the previous five years into the slower, thicker rhythm that would come to be called rocksteady (and would later slow and thicken further into reggae). All the undisputed classics are here: "One Love" (in a souped-up ska version very different from the one Marley would record ten years later on the Exodus album), the rude boy anthems "Simmer Down" and "Let Him Go," a spectacular early version of "Dreamland" (later a signature song for Bunny Wailer), and Peter Tosh's snide "Maga Dog." There is also a previously unreleased version of "It Hurts to Be Alone," which features some impressive jazzy guitar playing by Ernest Ranglin. The only problem with this album is that almost all of the material on it has been packaged and repackaged so many times, most of them within the last ten years by the Heartbeat label itself. But if you don't own either the two-disc One Love compilation or the single-disc distillations that were released separately thereafter, this one will make an excellent introduction to one of the most significant periods in the history of reggae music's most important artist. ~ Rick Anderson
Mojo (Publisher) (9/03, p.121) - 4 stars out of 5 - "... At Studio One, mixing up rock steady, US soul and a little doo wop, the Wailers arrived at a sound so exuberant and direct that these original performances often overshadow the later versions..."