Bob Marley & the Wailers


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Wisdom is one of the more intriguing collections of the Wailers' music currently to be found in the shops. Crediting Peter Tosh and Bob Marley alone on the cover rather muddies the waters though; in fact, the majority of the 30 tracks here are Wailers numbers, the rest officially released as Tosh or Bunny Wailer solo singles. All the tracks are drawn from the late '60s through the early '70s, post-Studio One, but before the group began exciting international interest via the Natty Dread album. During this period, the group together or solo worked with a variety of producers -- Lee Perry, Joe Gibbs, Leslie Kong among them, as well as self-producing their own work. Wisdom trawls merrily through this era, pulling out a slew of Jamaican hits along the way. Many of the songs featured here would be recut in later years, and not all to their advantage, which makes hearing the originals even more crucial. Inevitably, considering the flood of music recorded, the Wailers inevitably cut chaff amidst the wheat, but virtually none of the former can be found here. With songs like Wailer's "Dreamland," Tosh's "Maga Dog" and "400 Years," the group's "Small Axe," "Trench Town Rock," "Soul Rebel," and so many, many more, this is the crème de la crème. A variety of other compilations also hone in on this period, but this is the best overall roundup of the trio's work.

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