Bob Marley & The Wailers – Soul Revolution

ARTIST: Bob Marley & The Wailers 220px-SoulRevolutionII
TITLE: Soul Revolution
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: #122 US, #40 R&B, #12 UK
SINGLES: Duppy Conquerer, Kaya, Soul Rebel, African Herbsman, Don’t Rock My Boat
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Keep on Moving
LINEUP: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Livingston, Alva Lewis, Glen Adams, Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second proper Jamaican album by the Wailers featuring sessions recorded for singles and B-sides by Scratch Perry.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Wailers were quickly becoming the group in reggae music in Jamaica, and with the Upsetters (Perry’s backing band, including the Barrett brothers) backing them they had a strong combination of melody, lyrics and arrangements.

This sounds raw, still, but raw in a good way. Perry’s studio was still rather rudimentary compared to those in the UK and the US, but he did capture the emotion of the group and the depth of the playing.

As with other Jamaican releases, several of these songs made it onto later Island albums, with “Kaya” lending itself to an album title. Marley’s songwriting was already coming into great focus. If you’re mildly interested in Marley and the Wailers past the cursory compilations, this is a good one to hear.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The cover says Soul Revolution Part II, which did exist. That is a dub album of these same songs, sold in limited quantities in Jamaica.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: The production is rawer than you’re accustomed to, but this is fine stuff. Irie!

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