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Bob Marley is more than the greatest reggae artist of all time – he is an icon, an embodiment of music’s transformative power. Politically stirring and spiritually moving, yet at the same time earthy and human, his songs have an essential depth that has inspired audiences of all ages and cultures.

But Marley didn’t become a seismic cultural force overnight. He spent the ’60s and early ’70s finding his voice, experimenting with a variety of sounds and styles. The recordings in this revelatory collection capture Marley and his extraordinary band, The Wailers, during several phases of their musical evolution.

These cuts were for the most part produced by the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry and initially released on the Trojan label. Some, like the frisky “Soul Shakedown Party” and the band’s take on the gospel standard “Go Tell on the Mountain,” showcase the exuberant mixture of American R&B and Caribbean lilt that informed the rock steady and early reggae genres. Others, notably “Soul Rebel,” “Kaya,” “Sun Is Shining” and “Lively Up Yourself,” reflect the social consciousness, timeless melodies and deep grooves that came to epitomize Marley’s songwriting – and to set the template for reggae’s “mature” sound. What shines through in each case, though, is Marley’s passion and originality.

This anthology offers a unique insight into the development of a musical legend.

 

Tracklist:

1. "Soul Shake Down Party"
2. "Lively Up Yourself"
3. "Don't Rock My Boat"
4. "Kaya"
5. "Concrete Jungle"
6. "Sun is Shining"
7. "Rainbow Country"
8. "Soul Rebel"
9. "Go Tell it on the Mountain"
10. "Run for Cover"
11. "I Know a Place"
12. "Try Me"
13. "My Cup"