- A superb copy of Peter Tosh’s debut album with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
- You won’t believe how big, rich and full this album can sound on a copy this good
- Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl they’re making – the Tubey Magic, size and Reggae Roots energy of this very special vintage pressing are going to be hard to beat
- 4 1/2 stars: “The album’s highlight is ‘Why Must I Cry,’ a multi-layered song (co-written with Bob Marley) that conveys a sense of personal failure when fighting an uphill battle, whether it be against injustices of the world or within the confines of a relationship. Legalize It cemented Tosh’s position as a giant in reggae, and the album is one of the best albums of the genre.”
This vintage Columbia Red Label pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the Tosh, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the best sides of Legalize It have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1976
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We Listen For on Legalize It
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Whatcha Gonna Do
Why Must I Cry
Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)
Till Your Well Runs Dry
Brand New Second Hand
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
After years of being overshadowed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh left the Wailers to pursue a solo career. Released in 1976, Legalize It is a bold statement that Peter Tosh had arrived and was a creative force in his own right. Although he explores some issues of spirituality, this is Tosh’s most lightweight album in the sense that it is his least political. This is not meant as a criticism — in fact, Tosh’s playfulness and joy only add to the album’s charm.
He does make political statements (the title track celebrates and promotes the use of marijuana), but they are done with a sense of humor and a melodic infectiousness that belie his sincere concern for the issues. Tosh incorporates many instruments and mixes slower ballads with upbeat grooving tunes.
Legalize It cemented Tosh’s position as a giant in reggae, and the album is one of the best albums of the genre.