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4.8 out of 5 stars
Natty Dread
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
After Bob Marleys recent split from the oringinal 3 Wailers, Bob had to come up with some way to get him back on track.

So by joining together his wife Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt known as the I-Threes and an American Guitarist Al Anderson he made his new Wailers with Familyman and Carly Barret still on Bass/Percussion. The band was now named,

"Bob Marley & The Wailers."

And about 10 months later they produced Natty Dread releasing October 25th 1974.

The album was not a huge succes unlike it is today, as the likes of Queen releasing Bohiem Rhapsody and Abba firmly in the charts, did not give Bob Marley a decent chance.

Natty Dread however was still a solid albym.

The album kicks off with the groovy Lively Up Yourself, Bobs humour brings the song alive, along with Familymans amazing bass playing. 10/10

The second song No Woman No Cry is a studio version of the legendary live version, nethertheless the song still is a very decent effort. 9/10

Third brings the inspiring Them Belly Full(But We Hungry) it is a rebel on how the rich greedly flash there money while the poor poeple are shunted to one side and left there to starve. 9/10

Forth brings Rebel Music(3 O'clock Road Block) this is a very well produced song with a strong reggae feel. Bobs talking about his ambush in London. 8/10

Fifth brings So Jah Seh, which was one of the singles, a very underated song, written by Rita Marley and Willy Francisco. 10/10

Sixth brings Natty Dread a brilliant song, a catchy beat, talking about life in Trench Town. One of the many highlights of the album. 10/10

Track numer seven brings Bend Down Low originally produced 1968 with Lee "Scratch" Perry, it is a very well thought of love song. 9/10

Number eight sees Talkin' Blues an absoulute gem, its very nice to see Blue's with Reggae said Chris Blackwell. Another highlight of the album. 10/10

Track nine Revoulution is probably the albums best, and is the most hard hitting song. Another excellent song written by Bob. 10/10

And finaly number tens Am-A-Do is a rare Bob song which originally appeared on the Talkin' Blues album. I must admit the song is addictively catchy, and sometimes you may find yourself humming the tune. A great way to end the album. 9/10

All in all Natty Dread is a collection of classic songs its a pity that some of these songs arent as well known as they should be, and i cannot believe none made Legend.

Feel free to buy any over Bob Marley albums as they are equally as good as this one.

His a list of them to help you.

1. Catch A Fire released 13th April 1973

2. Burnin released October 19th 1973

3. Natty Dread released October 25th 1974

4. Live! released December 5th 1975

5. Rastaman Vibration released 15th January 1976

6. Exodus released June 3rd 1977

7. Kaya released March 23rd 1978

8. Babylon By Bus released October 12th 1978

9. Survival released October 2nd 1979

10. Uprising released June 10th 1980

11. Confrantation released May 23rd 1983 - recorded same time as Uprising though.

My favourite has to be Uprising but Natty Dread is still a all time classic.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Natty Dread," was released in the aftermath of the breakup of the original Wailers in the Fall of 1973 when Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh left to pursue solo careers. At this point, Bob Marley had replaced Bunny and Peter with the his wife, Rita, Judy Mowatt, and Marcia Griffiths, collectively called the "I-Threes". Also added was American rock guitarist Al Anderson, formerly with NRBQ. With this new line-up and the release of the "Natty Dread" album in 1974, the group was no long collectively "the Wailers," like before. Marley had dubbed it "Bob Marley & the Wailers".

The album starts off with Marley's delightful "Lively Up Yourself," (originally done with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh in their years with Lee "Scratch" Perry from 1969-1972). The remake would soon be made one of the most famous songs of all-time with its delightful blues guitar and Marley's joyous singing. Next on the list is the original cut of the legendary "No Woman, No Cry," co-written with Vincent Ford. Though the original version would not become as popular as the version from 1975's "Live!" it is just as good and heartfelt. The tempo and sound are different, but this only makes the song more enjoyable.

Third in line is the solemn, but empowering "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)," written by drummer Carlton Barrett and Logan Cogil. The song's title says it all; the song sings of the evils of money and the inescapeable suffering of the poor. Number four is one of Bob Marley & the Wailers' best known songs: "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)," which was actually written by Hugh Peart and bassist Aston Barrett. The song is about Marley's harrassment by the police while in London.

"So Jah Seh," written by Bob's wife, Rita, and Willy Francisco is an underrated and solemn classic about Marley's willingness and desire to spread the message of God wherever he may tread, and that God will indeed protect him. The title track, "Natty Dread," written by his wife Rita and Allen Cole, is a danceable, happy tune about life in Trenchtown, and a longing to return to Africa.

After the title track comes a remake of "Bend Down Low," originally from the 60's during his time with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh. It's a joyous, yet serious and very realistic song about how the sinners must straighten their lives. This song is one of the album's best with it's jovial tune and honest lyrics. The next two tracks, "Talkin' Blues," and "Revolution," are my person favorites from the album.

"Talkin' Blues," also written by Carlton Barrett and Lecon Cogil, is a blues-esque tune with soft, relaxing music and bold, unapologetic lyrics. It carries Marley's message of hope, but even moreso, his will by any means nessecary to uncover lies and hypocrisy. "Revolution" is the harder-hitting slap in the face to politicians everywhere. Marley boldly says that the politician's goal is to see the oppression of the poor and the gain of money. It shows Marley's aching pain that the world must be free from political strife; truly a masterpiece.

Finally, the bonus track "Am-a-Do," originally released on the 1991 "Talkin' Blues" album, is a thick and delightful sensual song similar to "Guava Jelly," or "Stir It Up". This is one of the trademark phenominal Marley love songs.

Overall, Natty Dread is a simply amazing album with some of the best songs by Bob Marley & the Wailers. No fan will be disappointed with this blues-and-jazz tinged reggae album. It's a treasure for the musical world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This was the first Bob Marley and the Wailers vinyl albums that I bought--and it remained one of my favorites. Long ago, at the advice of an auctioneer, I threw away my album collection. This is the first time in about 20 years that I have listened to this work, having just purchased a CD through Amazon. Wow! I recalled this as a very nice work, but I am delighted that it is as powerful as I remembered it from decades ago.

This is the first work after the breakup of the original band, with Peter Tosh leaving. And it remains strong today. I find it surprising that only one song off this CD made it onto the Wailers' greatest hits CD, "Legend." Anyhow, my reaction to some of the songs on this CD. . . .

"Lively up yourself": With Marley's work, the sound has a "laid back" kind of quality, but it is also hypnotic and powerful. This features some nice guitar licks by then new guitarist Al Anderson. A couple lines that provide a sense of the tone of the lyrics, so ably sung by Marley:

"You're gonna lively up yourself and don't be no drag,
You lively up yourself 'cause reggae is another bag."

"Them belly full (but we hungry)": An evocative song with a social and political sensibility. The I-Threes are the backing group, and they show well here. The opening lines set the tone for this work:

"Them belly full but we hungry.
A hungry mob is an angry mob."

"Talkin' Blues": The instrumental work is excellent; the percussion sets the beat nicely. The I-Threes again create solid backing for Marley's vocals.

"Cold ground was my bed last night
and rock was my pillow too. . . .
I been down on the rock so long
I seem to wear a permanent screw."

"Revolution":

"Revelation, reveals the truth, Revelation.
It takes a revolution to make a solution."

With those lyrics, this cut begins (with the I-Threes filling in between the two lines above). This is another overtly political song. The drum and horns start this song off well. Then, the words. This is another example of how much Bob Marley was a master of the reggae genre.

Marley's premature death is greatly to be regretted. In the rather short time that he recorded his works, he created a body of work that is powerful and some of the best reggae around. I'd recommend this work pretty strongly to those who like reggae.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Natty Dread is my favorite Bob Marley album, and every stupid college kid who has only listened to his greatest hits compilation should buy it so they can know what Marley was really about. The entire album in fantastic, but tracks 3-5 are the highlight of the album for me, because they're so raw and powerful. This is the first reggae album I ever listened to and it had me hooked. It's a great starting point for anyone interested in the genre and honestly, it's just a hard album for anyone not to like. I mean, if you don't like Natty Dread, that's like saying you don't like bread, or sex, or sunshine. It's just silly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my top 10 favorite albums just because it's so lively (lively up yourself!). It's got the horns in most of the songs and then the bass lines are superb. And of course the guitar licks are great too. I just think that this album as a whole is one great performance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The demise of the original Wailers was certainly tougher on Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh in terms of later success than it was on Bob Marley, who saw the value in spreading his beautifully defiant messages in music that meant crossing over to reach white audiences at the risk of alienating his core Rastafarian audiences at home.
As it turned out, Bob successfully reached everyone, and "Natty Dread," his first crossover success, proved it. There is little I can say about this lp that hasn't been said hundreds of times before, but here goes. It is one of the most perfect reggae lps made. Bob, now the undisputed leader, shines his visionary lights on high beam for the world to see. His was a message of defiant unity- a message that Peter Tosh also embraced, but in a much more radical way.
The key to Bob's success was that he understood moderation. His protests were subtle, poignant, yet you still knew they were protests, whereas Tosh's protests were blatent, in your face accusations (which I admire to no end) that left little to the imagination..
Bob's protest/love songs, such as "No Woman No Cry," are true tearjerkers, while "Revolution" leaves no doubt where Bob is at. The mix of love and protest on "Natty Dread" is a perfect yin/yang balance that Bob, no less anyone else, was ever able to reach again. It's a beautifully frozen moment in time that can be relived again and again- and should.
One of the most important reggae lps ever made, and one of my top 50 lps of any genre, any time period, and one I always seem to go back to for inspiration, "Natty Dread" is simply incomperable.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2006
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Though I love "Burnin" and "Catch A Fire" just as much
as this one, this album was my introduction to Marley
and holds a special place in my heart!
It was 1981 and I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wa.
right outside Seattle. I had two of the hippest roomates
that I could've had!
We all were heavily into music and exchanged ideas,
albums, genres with each other and I expanded
rapidly on my musical expertise!
I was also turned on to "gunga" and guinness stout (yuck!)
by a "spliff-smoking" kat (B.D.) who was out of Brooklyn, NY
via Jamaica who used to play this funky but offbeat
to my ear at that time kind of music called reggae!--
Boy, I liked it!
Bob Marley was my favorite of these that he played
and a new love affair with another great artist was born!
Buy any Bob Marley and The Wailers album from 1972's
"Catch A Fire" to 1980's "Uprising" and you can't miss!
R.I.P. Bob Marley!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Natty Dread" was the first album of the revamped Bob Marley and the Wailers following the departure of foundation Wailers Peter Tosh and Bunny "Wailer" Livingston. It is also to my mind the best of the Wailers albums (although to be fair I haven't heard all of "Exodus") but while Marley would go on to write classic songs like "Jammin'", "Waiting in Vain" and "Redemption Song", I don't think any of his subsequent albums equal this- they're good but just a bit too polished and slick. This reggae, on the other hand, rocks hard, especially on "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry); "Talking Blues", "Rebel Music", "So Jah Seh", "Revolution", and the cover tune. The album kicks off in style with a glorious remake of the 1971 Wailers hit (in Jamaica) "Lively Up Yourself", and also includes a fine remake of their 1966 song "Bend Down Low". And, of course, this album also has the touching "No Woman No Cry", although I prefer the live version that appears on "Legend".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Natty Dread is a masterpiece. Every song has a message, and every song can be listened to over and over again. Nobody in music can compare to Bob's brilliance. Natty Dread is surely an album that will live on forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Natty Dread was an extremely important album for Bob Marley. Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer had left the band and Mr. Marley was out on his own. He delivered an album that painted a vivid portrait of live in the shanties in the ghettoes of Jamaica. Many of the songs like "Them Belly Full (But We Hungary)", "Revolution", "Rebel Music" and "Bend Down Low" were a call to arms, songs that didn't asked for change, but demanded it. "Talkin' Blues" takes its cue from Bob Dylan's early 60's songs. Not everything on Natty Dread is angry, "Lively Up Yourself" is a bouncy number about having a good time and the original studio version of "No Woman No Cry" is a reaffirmation that as the line goes, "everything's gonna be alright".
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