Playful bubblegum and R&B Vigour, gospel sanctifying and street corner rhymes, native ska and American soul, country and western and [B]Jah Rastafari[/B]...
PLAYFUL BUBBLEGUM AND R&B VIGOUR, gospel sanctifying and street corner rhymes, native ska and American soul, country and western and Jah Rastafari… The mixture of musics and influences that fed into The Wailers‘ emerging sound was formidable. This album – the first in a 12-part series of pre-Island Wailers recordings – begins an official and comprehensive guide to the days when Marley was a Jamaican mover and shaker rather than an internationally revered icon.
Even though the songs were often good enough to be rerecorded for Island, these recordings were commercial failures. But the quality is there from the start: The Wailers produced by Johnny Nash, augmented with top-flight US session men and Marley laying claim to the soul man status of Otis Redding with nonchalant ease.
Increasingly sophisticated vocal patterns are a source of wonder on CD Two (‘Selassie Is The Chapel’) – the title track a fascinating, half-formed version of the reggae offbeat that lay ahead. Recorded for Leslie Kong and released as the label boss died in 1970 (ensuring a few more years in the commercial wilderness), the third CD (‘Best Of The Wailers’) features great covers of The Archies‘ ‘Sugar Sugar’, Peter Tosh‘s ‘Stop This Train’ and Junior Walker‘s ‘Hold On To This Feeling’.
The sound quality isn’t always top notch but the music is seldom anything but. File under ‘Lost booty from the days before the West was won’.