Customer Reviews: Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers (New Packaging)
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on March 17, 2000
I grew up in Jamaica and as a teenager I can recall seeing the posters at the bus stop advertising an upcoming concert... and The Wailers were headliners. But I never truly listened to Bob untill the Live album came out.
I remember sitting in my room one Saturday listening to the horse races on the radio, and in betweem each race the DJ would play No Woman No Cry. The words were haunting.. "And I remember when we used to sit... In a Government Yard in trenchtown..." The vouce and lyrics seemed magical... so simple yet so beautiful. That was about 30 years ago and I have been a fan ever since. Bob's music spoke to me personally, as it did to people all around te world. As it will speak to you once you play this album. But don't stop there... buy more... listen to songs like Concrete Jungle; Talking Blues, and Roots Rock Reggae. In fact let your next album be the Live at the London Lyceum and you will get a flavour for the infectious Bob.
If you have a Jamaican friend have him/her explain the lyrics (if needed). But regardless, just enjoy the music. Enjoy it with fans from Africa, Europe, Canada and now the USA. I saw Bob once in Tampa and was amazed at the 'good old boys' in Cowboy hats and bandanas that screamed for Bob and sang his songs. I knew then that Bob's music was truly intended for the world to love.
When Bob died I heard the news over BBC radio. I was 20+ years old then but I cried. I had lost a good friend. Then I reached for my records and played Rastaman Chant, and cried some more when Bob sang... "One bright morning when my work is over I will fly away home.", the background containing soulful conga drumming. But as the song ended I felt better.. bob's music made me feel better. Fly on BOB. And you my friend... listen to the Music on Legend and experience an upliftment... fly with Bob. Enjoy Legend! But remember there is more great Marley music awaiting you.
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on May 31, 2002
There is a reason that Legend is the best selling reggae album of all time - simply put, it contains 14 (now 16+) of the best tracks of the best artist of the entire genre. The music on this CD will take you to another place, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Legend album is an essential component to any music collection.
This expanded edition is great for serious Marley fans and collectors, but is not highly recommended for casual fans. The second disc is full of remixes and expanded versions that are definite treats and quite enjoyable, but not essential listening. If you are new to reggae and only want the absolute best, stick with the single disc remastered version of Legend - which is improved over the original version by adding two key bonus tracks - Easy Skanking and Punky Reggae Party (both well deserving to be included as some of Marley's best tracks) - and superior remastered sound. It's cheaper and provides the essential look at the Legend of Bob Marley. Even if you're a casual fan who is loaded and don't mind shelling out big bucks for music, I would recommend that you splurge and get the Songs of Freedom 4 CD set, which provides a more comprehensive overview of the artist's entire career than this 2 CD set.
The liner notes of the expanded edition (and the single disc remastered edition) consist of a 28 page booklet containing the lyrics to the 16 tracks on the first CD. The lyrics are helpful to new fans of Marley, as his Jamaican accent can have you wondering what exactly he is singing about.
One Love!
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"Legend" features some of the very greatest hits of Bob Marley and the Wailers--and what a compilation it is! As always, one could have hoped that other items be included (for example, only one cut from "Natty Dread"?). Nonetheless, this is a dazzling collection.

Some of the hits are compelling to include, such as "No Woman No Cry," "Buffalo Soldier," "Get Up Stand Up," "Stir it Up," "I Shot the Sheriff," "Redemption Song," "Jamming," and a nice bonus cut, "Funky Reggae Party." One thought: Quite a few of these songs appear to be love songs or whatever, but--in fact--have political content to them.

Let's consider a few of the pieces in more detail:

"No Woman No Cry":

"In this great future
You can't forget your past
So dry your tears, I say."

This song has a softer sound to it. The band plays well and Marley is in peak form. Since this is a live version (over seven minutes long), it is fun to hear the audience's responses throughout. The upbeat line, repeated several times, "Everything's gonna be alright," sets a tone for the song.

"Stir It Up": This song was a hit for Johnny Nash, representing one of the first reggae songs to break out to a wider audience (but not the first). Marley's version is great! The I-Threes provide strong backing vocals; the band plays well. This is an infectious version of the song and genuinely rates as one of Bob Marley and the Wailers' greatest hits.

"I Shot the Sheriff": This was a worldwide hit for Eric Clapton (it seems weird that others had great hits with Marley's work, without him having the same success). Marley's version is very different from Clapton's (although both work). As liner notes point out, there is more of a political edge to Marley's version. Band, backing vocals, and Marley are all in fine form on this work.

The bonus track--"Punky Reggae Party": The song is about getting ready for a punky reggae party, but there are all manner of observations scattered throughout this song, some with political overtones. One interesting set of lyrics that caught my attention:

"Rejected by society
Treated with impunity
Protected by my dignity
I search for reality."

The musical line from the band is almost hypnotic and the I-Threes, as typically done, provide fine backing vocals. Marley sings with pizzazz and spills out through after thought at a quick pace. What a nice bonus track!

In short, a truly wonderful greatest hits CD. If interested in the range of Marley's work, this is a good place to start.
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VINE VOICEon March 6, 2002
The basics :
1. Remastered sound quality is excellent.
2. CD 1 : 2 additional tracks : "Easy Skanking" and "Punky Reggae Party". Worthwhile.
3. CD 1 : "Exodus" and "Stir It Up" are now the longer LP versions rather than the edited singles. Good move.
4. CD 2 : Extended remixes from 1980's 12-inch singles. generally excellent with a few duds ("Buffalo Soldiers" ala disco).
Summary : A significant upgrade from an already-excellent release. A worthwhile purchase even if you already own the first CD.
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The Bob Marley collection "Legend" does indeed make its case for Marley as a regge legend. More than any other artist, he helped bring regge music to mainstream audiences with his excellent songwriting and musicianship. He could be political without sounding preachy, and also wrote some of the sweetest love songs of any musical genre. Marley was popularized in America, of course, when Eric Clapton remade his "I Shot the Sheriff." Clapton's version is outstanding, but Marley's is equally so and is the one were the song's subtle political message is more overt.
Other outstanding tracks on the collection include the sweet "Three Little Birds," the ace peace and love song "One Love/People Get Ready," the straight up love songs "Is This Love" and "Stir It Up," the political rant of "Buffalo Soldier," the call to arms "Get Up Stand Up" and the rave-up "Jamming." Even among the lesser well known songs there is not a clunker or misstep in the mix.
Overall, a superior single disc anthology that establishes Bob Marley as one of the most important musicians of his era.
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on January 1, 2013
Bob Marley is a Legend and I don't use the term often or ligthly. In fact, the original version of Legend was an excellent selection of his work. The only flaw with the original Legend was that there were some additional songs that should have been included. The Deluxe Edition of Legend, however, doesn't enhance the experience of listening to Bob Marley's music it only makes it take longer to finish.

The first disc of the Deluxe Edition of Legend includes the live version of "No Woman, No Cry." This would have been a great choice for disc two. The original single version, which was on "Legend" is a much better fit with the studio hits that the listener is accustomed to. Disc Two which has all of the extended versions of Bob Marley's hits wasn't necessary or interesting. The songs lost their core integrity because there were too many ill placed musical interludes that the artist himself hadn't used. Some of the songs on disc two seemed endless. I've never listened to Bob Marley and wondered when a song was going to end before. But on several of my favorite Bob Marley songs I found myself wondering when they would end. The mixes and re-mixes on disc two did nothing to enhance the Legend of a great artist.

If disc one had followed the format of the lp version of Legend, adding a few additional studio cuts, my rating would have been much higher. I'm sure I would have rated it four stars at the very least. Bob Marley was a true genius but the elongated mixes that comprise most of the second disc fail to display that genius. More isn't always better, sometimes it feels like too much.
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on November 16, 1999
Bob Marley's music changed my life! Many reviewers are turned off by a perceived commercialism of this album (for a time myself included). BUT, it is people's first introduction to Bob and reggae. And for that it serves it's purpose. To expose us to the words of this prophet and see that this life is your're free to do with it what you will. "Legend" contains a small part of his genius, its unfair to bash it for its inability to capture all of Bob's greatness. It is the first glimpse into a 'legendary' body of work, that luckly for us continues to be discovered. As Peter Tosh once sang, "Don't criticize it...advertise it!" Buy this album. Listen to it, love it, live it, and buy more Marley. JAH live!
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on December 29, 2002
This man WAS a legend. His music touched millions. He laid the groundwork for a lot of ska and reggae existing today, surviving an assination attempt and a country filled with unrest and confusion in the process. It truly was inspiring. His passing in 1981 was both tragic and untimely. Legend is a Best Of-album of sorts. It has a lot of his radio singles, his big hits, and a few treasures. Recommended to all fans of music, Jamaican music or otherwise. A stepping-stone into eventually collecting all of of his amazing work.
Truly it is: "...the heart and soul of the Jamaican people packed into one five-inch compact disc..."
Bob Marley's spirit lives on in his music.
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on July 5, 2002
Everyone knows all the great songs from the great man. This reissue has improved and great sound, all the lyics and a good essay on Bob, and 2 new "bonus" tracks that emphasize good time party Bob. But the single best reason to toss your old Legend and buy this one is that it has, at last, the full length version of Exodus. There was never an excuse for having the shorter version of this great song on CD and it always took away from the album for me. Now Legend is the perfect CD.
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on July 4, 2014
Very tastefully done 5.1 mix. Excellent use of the surround channels. I've heard these songs countless times over the years. There are background vocals and instrumentation in some of the songs I've never heard before. And very nice moving stills to go along with the tracks.
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