Customer Reviews


150 Reviews
5 star:
 (132)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Reggae Classic Revisited, But Caveat Emptor
Universal Music, the mega-company that seems to have eaten and digested dozens of other labels, has issued an expanded and remastered versions of the landmark reggae album "Catch A Fire" by the Wailers. While the music has never sounded better, there are some significant and fundamental problems with this release.
Except perhaps for the soundtrack album...
Published on April 16, 2001 by Ron Frankl

versus
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Supposedly New CD was scratched.
I love the music, however, when I received the CD it was scratched and skips in a certain spot. I told the shipper and he told me to use a different player. The CD was supposed to be new.
Published 15 months ago by Michele Marushik


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Reggae Classic Revisited, But Caveat Emptor, April 16, 2001
By 
Ron Frankl (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
Universal Music, the mega-company that seems to have eaten and digested dozens of other labels, has issued an expanded and remastered versions of the landmark reggae album "Catch A Fire" by the Wailers. While the music has never sounded better, there are some significant and fundamental problems with this release.
Except perhaps for the soundtrack album to the film "The Harder They Come," the Wailers' "Catch A Fire" (1973) was the first reggae album that most listeners outside of Jamaica ever heard. The group had been together in some form for a decade and had enjoyed a long series of Jamaican hit singles. They had also moved easily from r&b to ska before becoming one of the earliest reggae acts. Although Bob Marley wrote and sang most of the songs, it was by no means his band. Peter Tosh also was a major contributor, and Marley, Tosh and Bunny Livingston (a/k/a Bunny Wailer) had been bandmates from the beginning, and their vocal blend was striking and beautiful.
Island Records' founder and president Chris Blackwell had long followed the Jamaican music scene. When he heard the powerful results of the Wailers' '72 sessions he was ready to spring reggae on the rest of the world. Between this decision and the music's actual release, though, Blackwell got cold feet, and altered most of the tracks in London by judiciously and tastefully overdubbing rock keyboards, guitar and backing vocals in an apparent attempt to make the tracks more accessible to rock-oriented listeners. Whether these alterations were necessary, or even a good idea, "Catch A Fire" found an audience in England, the U.S. and elsewhere and became a modest hit. Although the original band broke up a year or so (and one album) later when Tosh and Livingston left, Bob Marley & the Wailers were on their way to international stardom.
"Catch A Fire" (Deluxe Edition) makes available for the first time the original unadulterated recordings from the 1972 sessions, and they are really a revelation. These versions are rawer but more powerful; its as if a sonic gauze has been removed, revealing the true nature of the music for the first time. These tracks have an immediacy that was lacking in the originally released versions, and long-time fans of Marley and the Wailers will feel as if they've stumbled upon the Holy Grail of reggae. There are also two previously unreleased songs that fans will find worth hearing and owning.
The remastered version of the original album, overdubs and all, is also here and sounds better than ever. Such Marley classics as "Concrete Jungle" and "Stir It Up" still retain their appeal. Its worth noting, though, that two of the album's most powerful songs, "400 Years" and "Stop That Train," are written and sung by Peter Tosh. Tosh was one of reggae's greatest artists, and its a shame that his reputation seems diminished largely because he was so overshadowed by badmate Marley.
The major problem with this release, and one that may make you think twice about purchasing it, is that there is barely eighty minutes of music on this two-disk set, which sells for the full price of two CDs. The Wailers recorded extensively in the period before "Catch A Fire," and perhaps some of those tracks (many of which are excellent) could have been licensed by Universal for inclusion here. Another option would have been dropping one of the two outtakes and fitting it all on one disk. Serious fans of Marley and the Wailers will purchase this package without a second thought, but more casual fans might do better to seek out the earlier, budget-priced CD issue of "Catch A Fire." The booklet of the Deluxe Edition includes all the original artwork and some nice and rare photos, as well as song lyrics, but the essay is second-rate and disappointing.
In the last few months Universal has issued such classics as "Blind Faith" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" in similar "Deluxe Editions" at a premium price. While there was a significant amount of previously unheard material in those two releases to justify their purchase, the paucity of new music here makes this feel like a bit of a rip-off. Its too bad, because "Catch A Fire" is a classic that deserves better treatment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Burnin' ", "Catch a Fire" stellar "debuts" never surpassed, May 31, 2004
This review is from: Catch A Fire (Remastered) (Audio CD)
In The Wailers' "Catch A Fire" and "Burnin'" (both released in the same year, 1973), the group released two instant classics that they never surpassed in terms of artistry, musicianship, rhythm foundation or edginess. And these two albums were also the last two that the original Wailing Wailers (Marley, Tosh, Bunny) made together.
A blend of new and old (such familiar tracks as "Concrete Jungle," "Slave Driver," "400 Years," "Stop that Train" from "Catch A Fire," and "Put It On," "Small Axe" and "Duppy Conqueror" from "Burnin'" were remakes), these albums were the Wailers first releases with the intent to reach an international, mainstream audience. Blending in some rock influences such as the guitar style, and toning down the bass and drum for more treble sounds to reach the rock audiences in Europe and America, the Wailers debut on Island label snuck up slowly on these listeners, just as the intro to "Concrete Jungle" slowly rolls in, opening the "Catch A Fire" album. There may be some lesser, lighter moments on both albums, but no songs are throwaway, no songs are filler.
Sadly, despite being full of gems and instant Wailers classics, original members Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left to start solo careers, feeling they were in the shadow of Bob, and had their own stories to tell musically. It was more unfortunate, because Bob Marley and the Wailers (as the group became known) never surpassed the quality of these albums on later efforts. With Tosh's departure went the edgy, bassy rhythm sounds, and with both Bunny and Tosh went the delectable harmonies they provided behind Bob's lead vocals. If there are only two albums in the Wailers library of music, they go by the names "Catch A Fire" and "Burnin'." They both had a stark, unadulterated emotion and edge that Bob Marley's more pop-influenced efforts lack. With the departures of Tosh and Bunny, it felt as if a light was being extinguished. But listening to these albums again, makes me remember back to a time, when the childhood friends were like brothers, making music together until the sun came up. Listening to these albums is bittersweet, but I can still relive those times listening to the sweet, harmonious music they made together, as family, reminiscing to a time when something truly mystical, magical was happening in the studio. But with the breakup of the original Wailing Wailers, the circle was broken, the fire doused, and what once was one, was splintered into three, to never join back together again. "In the ghetto, bitter was sweet....."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch a Fire - But Don't Get Burned, May 31, 2002
By 
Daniel R. Martin (Grand Haven, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This deluxe edition of Bob Marley and the Wailers' debut on Island Records is an absolute gem and must have for the serious Marley fan, but casual fans beware - you might get burned.
The two CD set, consisting of the previously unreleased original Jamaican version as recorded by Bob Marley & the Wailers and the album as remixed and released by Cris Blackwell on Island Records, shows the creative musical genius of Marley - indeed, the original version is arguablly the better of the two. The liner notes, consisting of a 28 page booklet, provide all the lyrics along with an insightful essay by Richard Williams and numerous pictures. Hardcore dedicated Marley fans will love this set.
But at a price.
Casual fans on the other hand will be burned by this deluxe edition, when the single disc remastered version containing the bonus tracks High Tide or Low Tide and All Day All Night may be all you need, at about half the price. These two songs were the only two songs on the original Jamaican version that didn't make the cut to be included on the previously released album. For the life of me, I can't understand why High Tide or Low Tide was left off in the first place. This beautiful song of faith and friendship (which was previously included only on the Songs of Freedom box set)is perhaps one of my favorite Marley tunes. And it's now available on the lower priced single CD remastered version of Catch a Fire. If you pick up that single CD, you get all of the songs, just not all of the alternate versions. But that is still enough to satisfy the casual fan.
For those who must have it all, this Deluxe Edition is worthy of all five stars.
Jah Live!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When is a "deluxe" edition not a "deluxe" edition...?, June 16, 2001
This review is from: Catch A Fire (Remastered) (Audio CD)
Don't you love it when a record company puts out a "Deluxe Edition" of an album (such as is the case with "Catch a Fire" some) and then six months later puts out a reissue of the same album with bonus tracks? Tacking on two extra tracks to the U.S. mix of "Catch a Fire" gives Marley fans a dilemma : the "Deluxe Edition" or this edition? I don't think Bob Marley would have approved of such corporate cynicism. I can't help but rate this CD five stars on its historical and artistic merits (even though I prefer the leaner Jamaican mix on the second disk of the "Deluxe Edition" to the organ-drenched U.S. mix), but I feel cheated neverthless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smokin', February 21, 2005
By 
Patrick W. Schubert (Santa Ana, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Many reggae fans have long villified Island Records head honcho and, according to Lee Perry, vampire, Chris Blackwell for adding additional instrumentation to this album's original tapes in order to pander to mainstream Western tastes. The fact is, the Wailers themselves were intent on breaking reggae worldwide and reportedly approved of Blackwell's "enhancements". Whatever the case, the listener can be the judge with this collection.

Disc One features the original Jamaican versions of the songs that were to eventually comprise "Catch A Fire". These tracks are generally more raw and immediate than the official Island release. In some cases, there is little variation between the two. In others, the differences are quite notable. Many consider the originals to be the definitive versions. Also featured are two bonus tracks, including the beautiful "High Tide Or Low Tide" which was originally made available on the Marley boxed set.

Disc Two, of course, is the released album complete with Blackwell's sonic "tinkering". I honestly feel that each disc is crucial. The Jamaican tapes offer a rock solid foundation for the tasteful contributions of some ace studio musicians. They hardly turned "Catch A Fire" into a mainstream rock album. Rather, they added some rock flavor to what is very much an uncompromising reggae album. Take, for example, John "Rabbit" Bundrick's clavinet and Wayne Perkins' guitar parts during the intro of "Concrete Jungle". Rather than detracting from the original version, their parts contribute to the the song's overall intensity and sense of desperation. Perkins' guitar solo is simply incredible and, again, only adds to the song's dramatic flare. Elsewhere, Perkin's slide guitar parts (and especially his solo) on "Baby We've Got a Date" are unexpectedly effective while Bundrick's etherial synthesizer on "Stir It Up" elivates this tune to a higher plane.

Compare the two discs for yourself. Both are 100-percent enjoyable, in my opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch a Fire (deluxe edition), March 27, 2001
By 
"b_m_w68" (Tampa, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This new digitally remastered version of Catch of fire is the best Bob Marley & The Wailiers have ever sounded on CD. With classic tracks like Stir It Up, Kinky Reggae, No More Trouble and 400 years this is a must for any true Bob Marley & The Wailiers enthusiast. The unreleased Jamaican version of Catch A Fire has a much more roots reggae feel to them then the Chris Blackwell, Island versions of the same songs and alone is worth the price of this two-disc. I urge anyone you truly loves Bob Marely & the Wailiers to get this Double Disc Set, you won't regret it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reggae Classic, May 7, 2006
This review is from: Catch A Fire (Remastered) (Audio CD)
"Catch a Fire" is an excellent debut album by the Wailers. All the original Wailers are there including Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Their performance here is electric. The album was released in 1973 and it was this album that got me hooked to reggae music. This is the album that popularized reggae. Wailer fans will find this a treat. Listeners will enjoy the excellent instrumentation: the guitar, keyboards and percussion combined with gentle and soothing vocals to complete an exhilarating picture.

The songs in the album address serious social and political issues. Some of the songs include "Slave Driver", "Concrete Jungle", "Stop that Train", "No More Trouble" and my favourite song on the album "Stir it Up".

For me, this is the best and most creative album by the Wailers with its classic roots reggae. This is great music even for those that are not reggae fans. When I need to lift my spirits up, I play this album. I always feel better afterwards.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive edition of a reggae classic, March 28, 2001
By A Customer
"Catch A Fire" is one of the true classics in reggae music. In America, it was only one of two Wailers albums ever released here, and both were subjected to overdubbing that made them more appealing to a rock-oriented market. This isn't to say that these were marred albums; the overdubbing was tastefully done, and for some, they improve the album. However, this new edition does everyone a favor by including the original, raw-sounding versions of these tracks, which have a distinctly different flavor than the Bob Marley music most Americans are familiar with.
Furthermore, the remastered sound is excellent, particularly for the "dubbbed" American edition of the album, which sounds better than the previous standard release.
Besides being possibly the best album ever cut by Bob Marley & the Wailers, this now becomes a perfect introduction to reggae music, allowing us to hear it the way it was presented in its home land and abroad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch a Fire - The Classic Island Debut, March 1, 2007
By 
D. Wees "Twice Nightly" (Barquisemeto, Venezuala) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Catch A Fire (Remastered) (Audio CD)
When Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston (Wailer), and Peter McIntosh (Tosh)entered the studio and began recording Catch a Fire in 1972, they had already established an impressive track record on the island of Jamaica. But when they signed to Chris Blackwell's Island label, their music reached a new level. While reggae music had not been tremendously popular at this time, The Wailers proved their style of reggae was strong enough to carry a full-length album.

Not only is this album one of the best by Bob Marley and the Wailers, it is one of the best albums in the entire genre of reggae music, and here's why...up to this point, Bob, Peter, and Bunny have never sounded better. Their vocals and harmonies are suberb, their musicianship is just as impressive, and their song writing (Bob's in particular) is passionate (Concrete Jungle), personal (Slave Driver), and seductive (Stir It Up). Blackwell's production and mixing give the songs a crisper, more rock/dub influenced edge that really enhance the original recordings, and he really helped bring out the best in The Wailers. Any way you look at it, this album is a classic and a must-have for fans of reggae music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get It For the Jamaican Version, April 19, 2001
By 
W. Todd Dominey (Decatur, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Like other reviews here, I too wish this Deluxe Set had something "extra" for fans to chew on, like demos, outttakes, or anything totally new.
But that feeling dissapears after checking out the unreleased, original Jamaican version. I was expecting a rougher, denser, unmastered version of the album, but was shocked to hear a clean, clear, and joyous mix that in my mind blows the Island version away. It has more spirit, sounds looser, and is much better mix than the one I already thought was a masterwork.
I never noticed it in the original Island version, but the sound is notably softer, more subdued, with far less energy. Plus, tthere are a number of overdubbed instruments in the Island version, which just seem uneccessary. Case in point, play "400 Years" from both discs back to back. The overdubbed organ in the Island version swallows Peter Tosh's voice, while in the Jamaican version Tosh is in command. Bold, and straight up.
So if you already have the original version, you have to hear the Jamaican release. In my mind, THIS is how it was supposed to be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Catch A Fire (Remastered)
Catch A Fire (Remastered) by Bob Marley (Audio CD - 2001)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.