This collection's title is a bit misleading. The Best of the Early Years actually features songs from Bob Marley's run of popular '70s albums on Island. Songs like "Natural Mystic," "Concrete Jungle," "Kaya," "Sun Is Shining," and "Soul Shakedown Party" all show up here. These aren't early recordings but rather peak-era recordings for Marley. What separates The Best of the Early Years from the bulk of other Marley best-ofs out there is this album's performances are live recordings -- not the well-known studio versions. As a result, completists should find much pleasure here, just as those looking for a one-stop Marley collection like Legend will no doubt be left disappointed and underwhelmed. Definitely not the place to begin if you're new to Marley, yet if you're ever looking for a fine collection of live performances, then you may wish to consider this collection.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier