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VINE VOICEon May 31, 2001
Back in 1978 I was fortunate enough to have seen the king of reggae perform in a small amphitheatre. When Bob Marley and the Wailers hit the stage the audience knew they were in the presence of very special human being. When you watch this video for the first of a guaranteed many times you will be astounded by the magical charismatic vibe Bob Marley delivered to his audience. This excellent live performance captures the essence of his spiritual being and the dynamic energy he displayed. The accompanying musicians are minus Bunny Livingston and the late great Peter Tosh but have no doubt that this version of the Wailers was more than competent. The backup vocals by the I-Three's, which included his wife Rita Marley are as soulful as it gets. See Bob prance and contort on the stage like a shaman, with his wild dread locks flowing about as he casts his magic on the crowd. the interaction between Bob and the audience is a symbionic delight. Whether it is a down tempo number like "No Woman No Cry" or an exuberant original version of "Jamminng" Bob Marley struts his stuff like a man possessed. He had a message to convey to the world and in his short life of 36 years he achieved immortality and accomplieshed his goal of reaching many people. Twenty years have passed since his death and his music lives on and this live concert captures the vitality of his music. If you have never seen him perform this is a good video to get to see why he was and still is such a favorite throughout the world. See this video for a live performance nearly 25 years old but powered and fresh as a mystic breeze blowing in from Jamaica. Long live the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley!!!
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on February 21, 2005
So it falls to me to review this first? This June 1977 concert at London's Rainbow Theater captures the recently reconfigured Wailers ending a European tour to promote the masterful 'Exodus' album. The rare videotaped performances of 'Trenchtown Rock' and 'Rebel Music', and 'Crazy Baldhead', dating from the earlier Wailers repertoire, and performed well here, are the highlights of this collection, however. Missed notes on some songs, including the beginning of 'Exodus', and guitarist Junior Marvin's failure to notice his boss Bob about to start singing 'Lively Up Yourself', are minor annoyances, as is the loss of Aston Barrett's famous distinctive bass line in 'No More Trouble', jettisoned in favor of a 'new', harder sound (surely a reaction to the exciting energy of London's 'new wave' summer of 1977). By the way, it always annoyed me that the front cover picture on the VHS and now the DVD editions is most definitely not from this 1977 show, but rather is the same photo that graces the 1975 Live at the Lyceum album. I wish those responsible would show some commitment to historical accuracy, and use a photo from the actual show in '77. The DVD sound and picture are good, considering the age of the videotape source. I purchased my DVD copy of 'Live at the Rainbow' from Amazon France, and it includes an accompanying DVD entitled 'Carribbean Nights', which is an informative look at Marley's life and times. While 'Caribbean Nights' contains no full-length performances, it does contain several enjoyable if brief film clips of various performances such as the Leeds, UK 1973 show with Peter Tosh. Hopefully these early performances will someday make it onto DVD as well.
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on October 13, 2005
Even though this concert is probably Bob Marley's most used performance, it is still a relief to see it on DVD. It is definitely a must have for all Reggae fans. I think it's too bad that they are still releasing the edited version on DVD. The actual performance is actually almost three hours long. The highlights of the show is when Bob sings Crazy Baldheads. I agree with the first reviewer on the fact that the concert in Dortmund, Germany is long overdue but so overlooked and it is in my opinion Bob Marley's best performance. The great news is that there is so much more to come for Bob Marley's fans like maybe the concert in Zimbabwe...

The documentary that originally aired on the Entertainment Channel under the name "The Bob Marley story", then oddly "Caribbean night" is one of my favorites. It's too bad that they edited out the Bunny Wailer interview featured in the original version for contract/money issues. I'm not sure if they made their way back on this DVD as I am reviewing this from my knowlegde of the VHS tapes.

If you were craving something "fresh" from Bob Marley, here it is?
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on June 24, 2006
Marley fans know what time it is with this title.

This is an excellent (and economical) 2-DVD set. Disc 1 is Marley live at the Rainbow (London) in June 1977. A MUST for Bob fans. Check out his dancing throughout and spinning like a top onstange during "Exodus" and his prophet-like stance through much of the proceedings. Mostly tunes from "Exodus" and "Natty Dread." Powerful.

Disc 2 is "Carribean Nights.' Early cable fans will recognize this as "The Bob Marley Story" which used to air a lot on A&E and "USA's Night Flight" (of sainted memory) in the late 80s and early 90s. Lots of REALLY rare footage that did not appear on television when it was orginally aired. We see Bob's pal Jimmy Cliff performing a ska set while very young in the early 60's, unedited interviews with Bob's mom, Peter Tosh, and Rita, and Bob performing at the Zimbabwe independence celebration in 1980.

There are also some really interesting interviews. A Canadian interviewer gets downright rude with Bob, asking him "Don't you think that most conservative people would think that you look strange?" (remember, dreadlocks were rarely seen outside of Jamaica during the 70s). I won't spoil it by telling Bob's answer, but let's just say our reporter friend had met her match.

But enough of this, just SEE it!
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on August 5, 1999
What was I thinking? Why did it take so long for me to add this incredible video to my collection? Bob Marley...the Wailers...the I-Threes...rhythm as strong as any you'll ever hear and a magnificent performance by a totally mesmerizing ambassador of reggae. Do yourself a favor, even if you're just a marginal reggae fan, and invest in "Live At The Rainbow". You won't be sorry.
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on August 20, 2006
The Wailers had perfected their groove, and what a groove it was. Heavy, heavy, heavy. This groove apeared in full force in their live shows - Live at the Rainbow is a beauty.

Tough and driving rhythms non-stop, the Wailers demonstrate why their brand of reggae conquered the world.

Nice little mini-documentary comes with the live concert DVD.

Funny thing though - Aston "Familyman" Barrett was in many ways the "engine" that drove the Wailers sound. But the camera seems to avoid him in the concert footage. He's barely seen at all. Its like he's not there. Wonder why. Familyman is The Man, and it would have been nice to see less of Bob and more of him.

Actually, the way the concert is filmed is a little too Bob-centred, but who cares, the music is kicking.
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on February 28, 2000
I was lucky enough to have been working at the Rainbow theatre when this was recorded. This video brings back all the magic and wonder Marley and his band were capable of producing. Don`t hesitate to buy this video, it`s a gem!
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on December 9, 2007
...and the best one on video! And the best recorded and mastered sound.

This film shows how important the rhythm section of Aston and Carlton Barrett were to Marley's group. Carlton plays a hyperkinetic style of one-drop, a style that went on to shape all of reggae and other 80s pop sounds. The songs here are nearly the same as on the audio release, but none of them are from the same evening/same takes. This may be an earlier show. It seems that they are not quite as polished, and the crowd isn't quite as pumped up as on the album version.

But what a constant, sweet groove they get into! Just a non-stop, pulsing groove, and the sound is excellent, re-mastered to DTS multi-channel format by Abbey Road. (I am a bit behind the times, but DTS is the only really good multi-channel format that I've yet heard).

We also see that Bob wasn't much of a guitar player, more of a singer/songwriter. He plays only the rhythm "cha-chick". The lead ax is in the hands of Junior Mervin I think, who has great fun playing blues licks next to Marley's gyrations, although Junior seems a bit loopy at times. The I-Threes are crucially important, as is Tyrone Downie on keyboards.

A sweet band at the height of their powers.
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on March 15, 2011
I was home yesterday afternoon and I was feeling it. I felt old, tired, discouraged, fearfull of the world I was leaving my 15 year old son. I had a full-blown, first class "case of da blues". Watching sports talk didn't help and neither did the talking heads on the news. I'd recently bought a DVD "Bob Marley and the Wailers - Live at the Rainbow" but had never watched it. I popped it in and sat back prepared to be bored.

Why bored you ask? Well for a time I was lead singer in a local "reggae" band called "Pangea". Nice enough guys, good musicians and decent blokes but the repetoire was almost 85% Marley and if you do anything too long you can come to hate it. I left the band after I felt I'd sooner stick my head in an oven rather than sing one more Marley tune.

So on went the DVD which was a note for note recording of a 1977 show at the Rainbow Theatre. I sat back and closed my eyes as the familiar songs began to wash over me. But not being visibly "distracted" the words and lyrics began to hit me.

"One good thing about music, when it hit if you feel no pain."

"If you get down and quarrel everyday
You're saying prayers to the devil, I say
Why not help one another on the way
Make it much easier"

"Cost of livin' gets so high
Rich and poor they start to cry
Now the weak must get strong
They say oh, what a tribulation"

I sat up and watched, some of these lyrics 30 plus years old, just a relevant, even more so because it now applies to the "First World". Soon I found myself transported in a dub trance right along with him and the rest of the band. I felt transfixed, then calmed and finally... uplifted. I've played music for money since Nixon was President, it's been a part of my life since I could recognize it. I always felt that "music heals" now I KNOW it does.

My son found me sitting there and crying a little. He's always concerned when crusty dad "gets emotional". I told him that watching Bob Marley play and sing was like watching a "prophet of old from the days of miracles." I don't think he got it, but I did. Music heals, it'll help get you through hard times it can even wash away the blues.

Da Worfster
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on February 22, 2014
I have been into reggae since the 70's (when it actually "broke out") and still sing "ZION" in meetings. Bob's music is timeless. He was the biggest of them all. Watching this performance is like 1) a tunnel of time, and 2) bringing you back to the essentials. It goes both ways. I have never seen him live, but this is as close as it gets. Played the DVD twice in a row. The back-up singers seem tired at the very beginning, but then they loosen up and start to enjoy the fun. The music is just outstanding - simple, laid-back and harmonious. The part when Bob starts to dance is for crying out loud.
Enjoy this!
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