This was an album of great transition for Bob, he had split with his childhood friends and original Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Bob's influence over the band was becoming more and more pronounced and Tosh and Wailer decided that is not the direction they wished to go. The revamped band was now, for the first time, known as "Bob Marley and The Wailers" as opposed to just "The Wailers" thus solidifying Marley as the primary leader of the band.
Bob truly took charge of the overall focus and direction of the group and wrote all the songs. In an interesting twist of fate and one of the best business moves in music history, he assigned the credits for many of his songs to his close family memebers and friends as a way to make sure they were taken care of financial, certain charities he believed in and supported were funded and as a way to avoid contractual obligations to his former publishing company, Cayman Music.
Although this is a transition album of sorts, it sports some of his most memorable songs and one in particular that would be one of his defining moments, "No Woman, No Cry" which would gain much fame due to his incredible live performances of the record. He would introduce the "I-Threes" a female vocal group that included his wife, Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. Their vocals addeded a wonderful compliment to Bob's on songs such as one of my personal favorites on the album, "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)". The writing on this album seems very personal and almost takes you on a journey through Bob's life in Jamaica and some of the obstacles he had to overcome.
This record is also a canvas for Bob to infuse some of his Rastafarian beliefs and he does a marvelous job of this on songs such as "So Jah Seh" and the title track "Natty Dread". This album is almost like Bob saying "Here I Am, The Real Me" and he gives us a fairly detailed revelation of where his heart was and where his and the bands focus was now going to be. I believe this to be one of his most profound works and it's one of my personal favorites. It's only years after it's release and in particular after his death that I think many truly appreciated this album for it's greatness.
There are many wonderful songs beyond "No Woman, No Cry" that make this a truly wonderful album and it gives it's listener a front row seat into some of the many tragic situations going on in his homeland and, indeed, many of the places dear to his heart such as the other island nations, Africa and United States. Bob Marley was a revolutionary in every since of the word and he would spend the remainder of his tragically short life fighting for the cause, "Revolution".
- Original Release Date: October 25, 1974
- Release Date: June 12, 2001
- Label: Island Records
- Copyright: ℗ This Compilation 2001 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company. © 2001 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.
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- Total Length: 42:02
- ASIN: B000V696ZI
- Customer Reviews:
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