Bob Marley & the Wailers – Burnin’

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  • An A++ side two — big and rich, open and transparent
  • A+ to A++ sound on side one, balanced and natural with a punchy low end
  • One of the better Bob Marley recordings
  • A 5-star album in the AMG, and a true reggae classic

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES for this Island pressing! We’ve been auditioning quite a few Bob Marley records lately and this is one of the better sounding recordings he ever made. Both sides here are big and lively, with the kind of energy this music absolutely demands.

Side One

A+ to A++, big and rich with a punchy low end and balanced, natural tonality. With just a bit more smoothness in the upper mids this would have easily earned its second plus!

Side Two

A++, big and rich with a huge bottom end! There’s superb presence and transparency here as well, making this a KILLER way to hear this great music!

This is widely regarded as one of the most essential reggae albums out there. Two big hits on here — Get Up Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff — but there’s plenty of other great songs as well.

We’re always searching for more copies, but it takes time to acquire enough for a good shootout. Bob Marley vinyl tends to get snatched up pretty quickly no matter where you are, probably because he’s one of those artists who seems to endear himself to each new generation of music lovers. You can see teenagers wearing Bob Marley shirts in just about every part of the world to this day, so it’s no wonder that his records don’t last long in the bins.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Get Up, Stand Up
Hallelujah Time
I Shot the Sheriff
Burnin’ and Lootin’
Put It On

Side Two

Small Axe
Pass It On
Duppy Conqueror
One Foundation
Rasta Man Chant

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

The confrontational nature of the group’s message is apparent immediately in the opening track, “Get Up, Stand Up,” as stirring a song as any that emerged from the American Civil Rights movement a decade before. The Wailers are explicit in their call to violence, a complete reversal from their own 1960s “Simmer Down” philosophy. Here, on “Burnin’ and Lootin’,” they take issue with fellow Jamaican Jimmy Cliff’s song of the previous year, “Many Rivers to Cross,” asking impatiently, “How many rivers do we have to cross/Before we can talk to the boss?”

“I Shot the Sheriff,” the album’s most celebrated song, which became a number one hit in the hands of Eric Clapton in 1974, claims self-defense, admits consequences (“If I am guilty I will pay”), and emphasizes the isolated nature of the killing (“I didn’t shoot no deputy”), but its central image is violent. Such songs illuminated the desperation of poor Jamaican life, but they also looked forward to religious salvation, their themes accentuated by the compelling rhythms and the alternating vocals of the three singers. Bob Marley was a first among equals, of course, and after this album his partners, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, quit the group, which thereafter was renamed Bob Marley and the Wailers.

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