Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Vibration

Dear Reader,

We have just recently moved our record business to our new Shopify store. None of the links to the old site will work anymore. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to be able to rectify the situation soon. For now please check out Better Records, Mach II, home of the ultimate vinyl pressing, the White Hot Stamper.

Tom Port – Better Records

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  • Strong Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides, excellent from start to finish
  • Big and rich, with the kind of full-bodied sound that this music needs to work its magic
  • Big bass is of course key to the best copies – this one has the deep punchy bass we love on Marley’s music
  • 4 Stars in Allmusic and Marley’s first Top Ten Album

When a record like this sounds right it’s not hard to what “right” is — the music just works. Up against the other copies we had on hand this one was pretty much doing it all.

What are the criteria by which the album should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, presence, frequency extension, transparency, Tubey Magic, texture (also known as freedom from smear), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and on and on down through the list.

With Super Hot Stamper sound you will have a very hard time finding a copy that can compete with the sound of this one, guaranteed.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Positive Vibration
Roots, Rock, Reggae
Johnny Was
Cry To Me
Want More

Side Two

Crazy Baldhead
Who The Cap Fit
Night Shift
War
Rat Race

AMG  Review

For Bob Marley, 1975 was a triumphant year. The singer’s Natty Dread album featured one of his strongest batches of original material (the first compiled after the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) and delivered Top 40 hit “No Woman No Cry.” The follow-up Live set, a document of Marley’s appearance at London’s Lyceum, found the singer conquering England as well.

Upon completing the tour, Marley and his band returned to Jamaica, laying down the tracks for Rastaman Vibration (1976) at legendary studios run by Harry Johnson and Joe Gibbs. At the mixing board for the sessions were Sylvan Morris and Errol Thompson, Jamaican engineers of the highest caliber.

Though none of these cuts would show up on Legend, Marley’s massively popular, posthumous best-of, some of the finest reality numbers would surface on the compilation’s more militant equivalent, 1986’s Rebel Music set. “War,” for one, remains one of the most stunning statements of the singer’s career. Though it is essentially a straight reading of one of Haile Selassie’s speeches, Marley phrases the text exquisitely to fit a musical setting, a quiet intensity lying just below the surface. Equally strong are the likes of “Rat Race,” “Crazy Baldhead,” and “Want More.”

These songs are tempered by buoyant, lighthearted material like “Cry to Me,” “Night Shift,” and “Positive Vibration.” Not quite as strong as some of the love songs Marley would score hits with on subsequent albums, “Cry to Me” still seems like an obvious choice for a single and remains underrated. Though record buyers may not have found any single song to be as strong on those terms as “No Woman No Cry,” Rastaman Vibration still reached the Top Ten in the United States.

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