Bob Marley & the Wailers

Kaya/Soul Rebel/Can't You See

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Clue number one to detecting a cash-in compilation: the label is too lazy to even come up with a title, opting instead to stick the song titles on the cover and leave it at that. That, friends, is a dead giveaway. Sadly, Bob Marley & the Wailers' canon has been subjected to a multiplicity of these sorts of sets, all pulled from the same messy post-Studio One, pre-Island period. With the release of JAD Records' The Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967-1972 sets, they all became redundant; before that, they were just seriously irritating. This one rounded up a dozen tracks from the era: six Lee "Scratch" Perry productions, five overseen by Leslie Kong, and the odd one out coming courtesy of Johnny Nash and Danny Sims. The latter, "Mellow Moods," is representative of the inferior material the pair produced; in contrast, "Soul Shakedown Party" is arguably the best number the Wailers cut for Kong, while "Stop the Train" is entertaining as the trio members trot out their best Motown harmonies. Only those two hold their own against the Perry productions, although not all of those are top-notch, either. Still, there's no denying the power of "Kaya," "Soul Rebel," and the funky "Lively Up Yourself." For collectors this is a waste of time; for fans there are better collections; and for beginners it's far from a best-of. So, in fact, it's totally redundant.

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