Natty Dread (Digitally Remastered) - Bob Marley

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Natty Dread (Digitally Remastered) - Bob Marley

1 CD(s) - Roots Reggae - Label: Island, Tuff Gong - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 25/06/2001 - 731454889520

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Review of "Natty Dread (Digitally Remastered) - Bob Marley"

published 26/04/2007 | j088659
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 21
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About me :
Super
Pro Great tracks, great lyrics, original, its Bob Marley.
Cons They only include one extra track. No need for remastering. Its too short.
very helpful
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"Great album, but why a remastered edition?"

This is Bob Marley's third album on the Tuff Gong label and has been digitally remastered and made up to ten tracks with the addition of ‘Am-A-Do’, a track that fans might recognise from the ‘Talkin’ Blues’ album. Natty Dread is the first album to be released after the original the ‘Wailers’ split, leaving Bob to form partnerships with his three backing singers the I-Threes. Released in 1974 after former band members Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh had left, the album was supported by the Natty Dread Tour of USA, Canada and England, including dates at the famous Roxy Theatre in LA and the Lyceum in London.

Natty Dread is a change from the previous ‘Burnin’ and ‘Catch A Fire’ albums with a few lighter tracks to make you smile. Maybe not as groundbreaking as Catch A Fire, the album does contain the studio version of the all time hit ‘No Woman No Cry’, which is interesting and makes a great change from the over-played live version that is always on the radio.

The first track ‘Lively Up Yourself’ can often be heard as the opening song at Bobs live performances in this era. The additional voices of Rita, Marcia and Judy complement the track and really do give it a lively feeling. Followed by ‘No Woman No Cry’, listeners might be surprised to hear this song so bare and simple, yet it sounds particularly nice, and arguably the sweetest track on the album. Changing moods a bit, ‘Them Belly Full’ and ‘Rebel Music’ are more tougher, protesting tracks that take on chanting and use that call-respond sound still alive from the days of slavery. Both tracks are heavily influenced by Bob’s day to day life and reveal the more moral and political messages being portrayed in the album. On to track 5 -‘So Jah Seh’ is an unusual song, dealing with suffering and poverty in the ghetto. The lyrics are interesting, and carry a hint of sadness, along with hope and self-belief. My personal favourite ‘Natty Dread’ is a catchy tune celebrating the culture and day-to-day life of dreads in Jamaica. Apart from ‘Revolution’ the remaining four tracks are easy listening, pleasant reggae vibes and sound particularly good on a sunny day. Track 9 is another interesting one, and before the addition of ‘Am-A-Do’ after it, used to make a good outro to the album. ‘Revolution’ however carries deep political messages as you can see in the lyrics from this extract of the third verse:

Never make a politician grant you a favour;
They will always want to control you forever, eh!
So if a fire make it burn,
And if a blood make ya run,
Rasta de 'pon top, can't you see?
So you can't predict the flop. Eh!

It would be hard to recommend this album over other Tuff Gong releases, not because it lacks in anything, but because all Marley’s releases between 72 and 81 are original and worth more than just a listen. The album is thoroughly enjoyable but after being remastered I thought that it could have been released with more than just one extra track – it’s still less than 45 minutes of listening time. The sound quality is great, but the original versions were never poor. I don’t really see the benefit to the customer by the re-release of all Tuff Gong’s albums with the odd extra track on them. A whole new album or two with previously unreleased material might have sold better and been more worthwhile. Two tracks – ‘Lively Up Yourself’ and ‘Bend Down Low’ were recorded earlier when the Wailers teamed up with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, but they both benefit from the re-recordings with Chris Blackwell and Tuff Gong.

Compared to other reggae albums of the time, Natty Dread is unique (as with all of Bob’s albums) and differs from other sounds coming of Kingston during this time. It is ahead of the real roots-reggae explosion of the late seventies and should definitely be on any Marley fan’s shelf. Perhaps the originality is its success, and it was only really after the supporting tour for this album that Marley’s voice became truly international.

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Comments on this review

  • ilaskey published 26/04/2007
    good review but I'd have liked a bit more on the sonic improvements from the remastering, assuming you had the original to compare.
  • kineticspade published 26/04/2007
    good informative review
  • eve6kicksass published 26/04/2007
    Good op there...Bob Marley is awesome...Chris :)
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Product Information : Natty Dread (Digitally Remastered) - Bob Marley

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Roots Reggae - Label: Island, Tuff Gong - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 25/06/2001 - 731454889520

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EAN: 731454889520

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