Bob Marley / Bob Marley & the Wailers

Reggae Legend [Special]

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By virtue of sheer quantity alone, Reggae Legend is one impressive set. Then again, the racks are groaning under Bob Marley & the Wailers' compilations, virtually all drawing exclusively from the early reggae age (1968-1972), the period after the band departed Studio One but before the group inked a deal with Island Records. This three-CD set is no exception, and like most of these sets is weighted heavily toward the band's recordings with producer Lee Perry. That, of course, is a good thing, as this was the group's strongest material from the time, but it has been repackaged so often that this compilation is already redundant for more devout fans. However, for those just wading in to the collecting waters, this is an excellent choice, not just for the number of tracks within, but because this set, unlike so many others, actually contains virtually all the hits and myriad fan faves. Inevitably, there are still some omissions, though -- Bunny Wailer's gorgeous "Dreamland" springs instantly to mind, as does Peter Tosh's vociferous "Down Pressor." Both are easily found elsewhere, however, and since one does have to start somewhere, Reggae Legend is probably the best place to do so.

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