Kaya [Two-CD]

Kaya [Two-CD]

by Bob Marley & the WailersBob Marley & the Wailers


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By 1978, Bob Marley was by far the best-known reggae musician in the world and a major star in the U.K. and Europe as well as his native Jamaica. However, he was still little more than a cult figure in the United States, and by many accounts Marley was eager to attract a larger audience in America, seeing it as a new challenge. Released in 1978, Kaya wasn't necessarily made with American tastes in mind, but it was an album that presented a more accessible version of Bob Marley. Lyrically, the songs avoided the political commentary or Rastafarian philosophizing that was at the forefront of Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration, and instead emphasized tunes about love and ganga, such as "Easy Skanking" and the title cut. And the palpable musical tension that simmered beneath the surface on the Wailers' earlier material gave way to a more laid-back riddim that was more comfortable but a bit less demanding. Kaya presented a gentler and friendlier version of Bob Marley & the Wailers, but it also documented Marley and his group at the peak of their abilities. The nuance in Marley's vocals on "Running Away," "She's Gone," and "Is This Love" showed how much he'd grown as a performer since Catch a Fire, and his passion elevates "Misty Morning" into one of the album's highlights. The Wailers were capable of cutting a groove that was both powerfully muscular and seemingly effortless, with Aston "Family Man" Barrett and Carlton Barrett once again reaffirming their status as one of the finest rhythm sections on earth, and Junior Murvin and Marley offering a master class in how the concept of "less is more" can be applied to the guitar. Kaya offered a less aggressive message than one might have expected from Marley, but the songs were far from lazy, and "Time Will Tell," "Is This Love," and "Running Away" are resonant, top-shelf work. Kaya was a minor effort for Bob Marley as a prophet or a commentator, but it's a rich and rewarding set from Marley the musician. [For the 40th anniversary of the release of Kaya, Tuff Gong and Universal issued a special two-disc edition of the album, which featured a remastered edition of the original album as well as a new mix supervised by Stephen Marley, Bob's son. The original album sounds great, but while the new mix is crisp and well detailed, it follows the lead of the 1978 release closely enough to seem curiously unnecessary, revealing few new elements that were previously obscured. The package also includes a short essay from Neville Garrick, Marley's friend and the designer of the cover art, which is a warm remembrance but doesn't offer much of a perspective on how the album came to be. Overall, this edition of Kaya looks and sounds great, but doesn't offer enough that's new that loyal fans need to replace their previous CD copies if they're in good shape.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/24/2018
Label: Tuff Gong / Umgd
UPC: 0602567790594
catalogNumber: 002866602
Rank: 70296

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Marley & the Wailers   Primary Artist
Bob Marley   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Rita Marley   Background Vocals
Judy Mowatt   Background Vocals
Carlton "Carly" Barrett   Percussion,Drums
Glen DaCosta   Trumpet
Tyrone Downie   Percussion,Keyboards
Vin Gordon   Saxophone
Marcia Griffiths   Background Vocals
David Madden   Trumpet
Alvin "Seeco" Patterson   Percussion
Julian "Junior" Marvin   Guitar
Aston "Family Man" Barrett   Percussion,Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Bob Marley   Composer
Chris Blackwell   Executive Producer
Stephen Marley   Producer,Reissue Producer
Karl Pitterson   Engineer
Alex Sadkin   Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Bob Marley & the Wailers   Producer
Neville Garrick   Cover Design,Art Adviser
Cedella Marley   Reissue Producer
Xilonen Oreshnick   Photo Coordination
Matt Solodky   Reissue Producer
Peter Matthews   Tape Research
Dan Asher   Inlay Photography
Paul "Groucho" Smykle   Cover Illustration
Oliviero Fella   Tape Research

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