Bob Marley

Rainbow Country [Pazzazz]

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This two-disc set (the two discs easily could have been combined into a single one) of early Bob Marley sides is rather haphazardly thrown together, and includes a mixture of late-'60s tracks for producers Arthur Jenkins and Joe Venneri like "Treat You Right" that were never really intended to be more than demos and a handful of 1970/1971 tracks produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry. The Perry sides (which include here "Fussin' and Fighting" and "African Herbsman") are among the best that Marley & the Wailers ever did, but they have been presented in much better sets elsewhere. Some of the Perry material is deceivingly named ("Dracula," for instance, is simply the backing track for "Who Is Mister Brown"), while the Perry "dubs" that make up disc two aren't really dubs in the true sense, but backing tracks with all the vocals removed. There are countless Marley collections on the market -- some legal and some not so -- and you can tell the good ones by their willingness to explain where the various tracks came from, a situation that isn't the case here.

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