A must own for Bob Marley and Peter Tosh fans!
Brian | Philly, PA | 07/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You want to hear roots? This is the album. Not very well publicized, this 2 CD set features versions of old classics like Small Axe and Sould Rebel that I have never found anywhere else. Most of the tracks represent the transition period when Jamaican music was evolving from Ska to Reggae and are a molding of the two. Maga Dog is one of the best tracks, but Leave My Buisness is a classic spliffin tune. I'm a sucker for some great soulful back up girls sing a chorus and this CD has lots of it! Buy it, buy it, buy it! It's addictive."
A little odd, but lots of great songs
Michael Crowley | Albany, CA USA | 08/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is essentially someone's "Original Wailers" mix, with a particular but by no means exclusive emphasis on Peter Tosh's early work-songs he did with the Wailers and songs he did as side solo projects while he was with the Wailers (the Original Wailers, incidentally, were Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston-they went their separate ways in 1974). But it's not a Tosh compilation by any means. Of the 30 songs here, 10 of them are Peter Tosh songs (and one Wailers song with lead vocal by Bunny, the very lovely Dreamland). There doesn't seem to be any particular unifying concept here, it's just one guy's favorite Wailers/Tosh songs. There's a sampling from various eras-cuts produced by Leslie Kong, Bunny Lee, Lee Perry, Danny Sims/Johnny Nash, Joe Gibbs and the Wailers themselves.
In general the guy who put this together had very good taste-pretty much every song is a killer, as they say in the reggae biz, and the sound quality's good too-but the selection seems a little eccentric. There are some crucial Wailers cuts, like Small Ax and Keep on Moving, but some important songs are missing, like Duppy Conqueror (although Mr. Brown is included, which was based on Duppy Conqueror). And there are lots of important early Tosh songs, but, again, some puzzling omissions, like No Sympathy, one of Tosh's best Wailers songs and one he thought enough of to re-record for his first solo album. But although some important songs are missing, there are some pretty cool and relatively obscure songs included, like Jah is Mighty (which is the song Cornerstone, also included here, with a new vocal) or More Ax (a remix of Small Ax, also included) or a wild version of This Train I've never heard. And the version of Keep on Moving is also one I've never heard-kind of a dub version.
I guess you could say that one good thing about this collection is you get a solid sampling of different phases of the Wailers early career--most other collections focus on one particular era, like the Lee Perry years or the Leslie Kong years. And the accompanying booklet is farily informative.The inclusion of all that Tosh stuff is unusual and might make it appealing to some. I bought it because most of my old Wailers stuff is on vinyl, which I can't play at the moment, and I'd never heard the old non-Wailers Tosh tunes--and there was a super-cheap used copy available.
But frankly, if you're really interested in early Wailers you'd be a lot better off getting African Herbsman or Rasta Revolution--sure, those comps are all Lee Perry-produced stuff, but that's the best stuff by far. And if you like Tosh there are several comps of his early work available (Arise Black Man, Toughest, Can't Blame the Youth)."