Songs of Freedom

Songs of Freedom

by Bob Marley & the WailersBob Marley & the Wailers


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It might be slimmer, but the repackaging of Bob Marley's epic box set only means that it's now worth twice its weight in gold. Originally released in 1992 as a limited-edition 6-by-12-inch longbox, the new SONGS OF FREEDOM is a four-CD, storage-friendly brick with a 95-page color book. And then as now, it's indispensable to the Marley fan or reggae aficionado. There's no shortage of posthumous Marley material out there -- from the Wailers' exuberant ska days to Bob's radio interviews to dub collections -- but unlike so many box sets, SONGS OF FREEDOM isn't interested in obsessive overkill; instead it celebrates the first truly worldwide star with an overview that digs deep into a rich and varied career. Marley's biggest hits, collected on the perennially popular LEGEND, bristle with such bright arrangements and undeniable grooves that it's easy to lose sight of his songwriting. But the oft-made comparisons to Bob Dylan are borne out on SONGS's rarities, alternate takes, and live versions. Marley was a master of many things: Rastafarian redemptive philosophy, Jamaican folk idioms, and, of course, American R&B. Plus, he could trade Biblical allusion with a Talmudic scholar. But his greatest skill was, he could get his musical vision across with an easy, disarming sensuality. Disc Two's 12-minute "Acoustic Medley" encapsulates Bob's facility with the simple love lyric ("Stir It Up"), the gospel-inflected redemption song ("This Train"), and the lusty rub-up ("Guava Jelly"). These rare moments, interspersed with standards of the Marley canon such as "No Woman No Cry," "Get Up, Stand Up," and "I Shot the Sheriff," create a portrait of the Gong as a working artist. Even those who credit Lee Perry as the architect of Bob's mystique through his collaborations with the Wailers will be persuaded by the power of Marley's songwriting gift. And by digging up pristine-sounding demos, SONGS rights the wrongs of LEGEND and NATURAL MYSTIC, which presented reconstituted versions of "Could You Be Loved" and "Iron Lion Zion." Top all this off with beautiful sequencing, lovingly restored sound, and literate, informative notes by Timothy White, Derrick Morgan, and others, and you have one of the greatest box sets ever assembled.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/16/1999
Label: Island
UPC: 0731451443220
catalogNumber: 514432
Rank: 64175

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Marley & the Wailers   Primary Artist
Joe Higgs   Percussion,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Bob Marley   Guitar,Vocals
Rita Marley   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Judy Mowatt   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ras Michael   Percussion
Melba Liston   Trombone
Hugh Masekela   Trumpet
Don Drummond   Trombone
Eddie Quansah   Trumpet
Timmy Thomas   Keyboards
Doris Troy   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Count Ossie   Percussion
Richard Ace   Keyboards
Glen Adams   Keyboards
Gladstone Anderson   Keyboards
Aston Barrett   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Carlton "Carly" Barrett   Drums
Noel Benbow   Drums
Mikey Boo   Drums
Arnold Brackenridge   Trumpet
Junior Braithwaite   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Lloyd Brevett   Bass
Baba Brooks   Trumpet
Cedric Brooks   Saxophone
Hux Brown   Guitar
Lennox Brown   Saxophone
John "Rabbit" Bundrick   Keyboards
Ska Campbell   Saxophone
Chico Chin   Trumpet
Mikey Chung   Guitar
Fred Crossley   Bass
Glen DaCosta   Saxophone
Santa Davis   Drums
Lloyd Delpratt   Keyboards
Val Douglas   Bass
Tyrone Downie   Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Bobby Ellis   Trumpet
Jerome Francique   Trombone
Luther François   Trombone
Dean Fraser   Saxophone
Brinsley Forde   Guitar
Angus Gaye   Drums
Marlene Gifford   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Vin Gordon   Trombone
Cherry Green   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Marcia Griffiths   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Raymond Harper   Trumpet
Harry T.   Percussion
Gordon Hunt   Guitar
Lee Jaffe   Harmonica
Jah Jerry   Guitar
Esmond Jarrett   Drums
Beverly Kelso   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
King Sporty   Percussion,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Donald Kinsey   Guitar
Lloyd Knibbs   Drums
Denzel Laing   Percussion
George Larnyoh   Saxophone
Earl Lindo   Keyboards
David Madden   Trumpet
Hugh Malcolm   Drums
Herman Marquis   Saxophone
Tommy McCook   Saxophone
Joe McCormack   Trombone
Larry McDonald   Percussion
Danny McFarlane   Keyboards
Peter Tosh   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Melodica,Vocal Harmony
Candy McKenzie   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Trummie Miles   Trumpet
Jackie Mittoo   Keyboards
Johnny "Dizzy" Moore   Trumpet
Johnny Nash   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Lloyd Parks   Bass
Lascelles Perkins   Percussion
Wayne Perkins   Guitar
Dwight Pinkney   Guitar
Ernest Ranglin   Guitar
Roy Richards   Harmonica
Lloyd Robinson   Drums
Nambo Robinson   Trombone
Carlton Samuels   Baritone Saxophone
Santa   Drums
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass
Lloyd Spence   Bass
Keith Stirling   Keyboards
Lyn Taitt   Guitar
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson   Percussion
Constantine Walker   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Seymour Walker   Saxophone
Lloyd "Gitsy" Willis   Guitar,Keyboards
Ian "Willy" Winter   Keyboards
Sydney Wolfe   Percussion
Winston Wright   Keyboards
Cat Coore   Guitar
Rico Rodriguez   Trombone
Jackie Willacy   Trumpet
Danny Simpson   Trombone
Anthony "Sangie" Davis   Guitar
Stanley Ribbs   Saxophone
Tony Wilson   Saxophone
Junior Marvin   Guitar,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
"Deadly" Headley Bennett   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
Bryan Atkinson   Bass
Jackie Jackson   Bass

Technical Credits

Rita Marley   Composer
Aston Barrett   Composer
Carlton "Carly" Barrett   Composer
Allen Cole   Composer
Vincent Ford   Composer

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