Bob Marley

The Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967-1972, Pt. 1

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Bob Marley & the Wailers' early recordings have been reissued so many times and in so many inferior packages that it's hard to tell which compilations are worthwhile, but Jad/Koch's three-volume The Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967-1972 is the one to get, whether as a box set or as individually packaged volumes. Although it's technically not complete, since a handful of tracks ("Hammer," "High Tide or Low Tide," "Soul Shake Down Party," "Caution," "Back Out & Do It Twice") could not be included due to legal reasons, it contains the great majority of the main recordings the group made, including unreleased cuts, alternate takes and dubs. Furthermore, the liner notes are exhaustive and authoritative, helping make the series the one definitive source for fans. Best of the Wailers, contrary to its title, is not a compilation of singles, but rather a complete album, the first reggae album recorded as a cohesive entity unto itself. Leslie Kong produced the record, which was released just before his untimely death, an event that doomed its chances of commercial success. However, that's no knock on the album, whose grooves flow together seamlessly, achieving the group's aim of making a coherent musical statement. The reissue uses only the original mixes and appends several dub versions of tracks from the album.

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