Natty Dread (Remastered)
Audio CD | Extra Tracks, Reissued, Remastered
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Natty Dread (Remastered)
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, June 12, 2001
Audio, Cassette, Original recording reissued, June 18, 1990
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Remaster of brilliant 1974 studio album featuring 'Lively Up Yourself' & 'No Woman No Cry'. Includes a bonus track
Natty Dread captures Bob Marley's decisive transition from Wailers band member to auteur, his singing and writing now front and center, and the revamped band securely reined in to his defiant, Rastafarian worldview. This 1974 release mirrors the lineup's more sinewy sound, carved by Al Anderson's spidery guitar fills, Touter's telegraphic keyboard, the I-Threes' female vocal choruses and vamping horns--a potent brew that bubbles under his then most openly political songs. A position paper on the daunting ghetto realities of Jamaica's Trenchtown, the album reels off a series of enduring Marley classics and kicks off with the giddy, sexy reggae anthem, "Lively Up Yourself," with its hilarious but mysterious spoken fadeout ("What you got in dat bag, dere?"). It continues with the uplifting pep talk in "No Woman No Cry," the grim dispatches of "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" and "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)," as well as the exhortations of the title song and "Revolution." Marley's own dreadlocks were still just growing in then, but this is nonetheless fully matured, riveting reggae at its most focused, righteous, and rhythmically irresistible. --Sam Sutherland
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Top Customer Reviews
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".
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."
"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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good early Bob. I had forgotten how good his musicians were. great studio sounds.Read more