Friday, July 19, 2013

40 Year Itch : Wake Up & Turn I Loose


   Following shortly on the heels of the 1973 Island Records release Catch A Fire, Trojan Records put out African Herbsman, a collection of  recordings by Bob Marley and the Wailers most of which were produced as far back as the 1960s by Lee Perry. In Jamaica they were released in 1971 as Soul Revolution.

Among the tunes that would be re recorded for future Island releases: "Lively Up Yourself" ( Natty Dread). "Duppy Conqueror" (Burnin) and "Sun is Shining" ( Kaya). Not just the hipster fans claim the original, less dynamically produced Wailers is the superior stuff.

Billboard Magazine interviewed Marley for a November 1973 article that begins in a way that shows the author, Leroy Robinson, is not overwhelmed.:

The fact that reggae music has not been able to "Catch A Fire" (on Island Records) as the title of the Wailers' recent album suggests cannot be blamed on the Kingston, Jamaica group, headed by Bob Marley, for they have literally been steaming for ten years.

Marley is clearly in the position of selling this little known form of music to the America.

"I think as soon as the people in America find out what the real Reggae is, it will be around for a long long while."

He says Reggae is "mostly out of own living, our ghetto, our own oppressions. It's the kind of thing that really tears your heart open. The Jamaican man grows up with Reggae.It's our blues...Yeah, man it's a black people's music. But I prefer all people to like our music."

That day would soon come.

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