Bob Marley & the Wailers

At His Best

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Is this really Bob Marley At His Best? How can it be with such crucial numbers as "One Love," "No Woman, No Cry," "Jamming," "Exodus," and other such songs all missing. In fact, of all of Marley's international hits, only "The Sun Is Shining" is included, and it isn't, of course, the chart-busting version, but an early recording. No, this is not Marley at his best, but the Wailers finally making some international inroads during the early reggae years. This is the period when the group initially recorded to little avail with a clutch of different producers, climaxed when they linked up with Lee Perry. And it's his productions that predominate here, with only two tracks, "Soul Shakedown Party" and "Mellow Mood," overseen by others: Leslie Kong and Johnny Nash/Danny Sims respectively. It's a pleasant enough set, but hardly earth-shattering, and as the flood of compilations dedicated to this period turned into a deluge, it was quickly made redundant by better selections.

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