31 Songs, 2 Hours 12 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

1976’s Rastaman Vibration is often cited as the album that finally broke Bob Marley into the American pop market. While this may be true from a sales standpoint, musically Rastaman Vibration is in fact something of a welcome stylistic digression for Marley, who paused to record this album of rough-hewn reggae in the midst of his metamorphosis from Rasta proselytizer to pop star. Since signing with Island Records in 1973 Marley had been inching away from the deep, dreader-than-dread sound of his early Lee Perry helmed recordings, crafting a brighter pop sound with more universal appeal. Rastaman Vibration, however, found Marley collaborating with veteran Jamaican producer Joe Gibbs, whose trademark heavyweight sound lends the album a welcome dose of bass-laden foreboding. On the thundering “War” Marley quotes Haile Sellassie over a stuttering, strangulated rhythm that drips with the threat of imminent violence, while the creeping drum machines of “Johnny Was” lend a sense of tragic inevitability to Marley’s tale of an inner city shooting. Rastaman Vibration is unquestionably one of Marley’s most accomplished albums, a welcome return to the rough and ready sound upon which he had built his reputation. This expanded reissue of Rastaman Vibration comes complete with a bonus album documenting Marley and the Wailers’ fiery 1976 performance at The Roxy in Los Angeles in support of Rastaman Vibration’s release.

EDITORS’ NOTES

1976’s Rastaman Vibration is often cited as the album that finally broke Bob Marley into the American pop market. While this may be true from a sales standpoint, musically Rastaman Vibration is in fact something of a welcome stylistic digression for Marley, who paused to record this album of rough-hewn reggae in the midst of his metamorphosis from Rasta proselytizer to pop star. Since signing with Island Records in 1973 Marley had been inching away from the deep, dreader-than-dread sound of his early Lee Perry helmed recordings, crafting a brighter pop sound with more universal appeal. Rastaman Vibration, however, found Marley collaborating with veteran Jamaican producer Joe Gibbs, whose trademark heavyweight sound lends the album a welcome dose of bass-laden foreboding. On the thundering “War” Marley quotes Haile Sellassie over a stuttering, strangulated rhythm that drips with the threat of imminent violence, while the creeping drum machines of “Johnny Was” lend a sense of tragic inevitability to Marley’s tale of an inner city shooting. Rastaman Vibration is unquestionably one of Marley’s most accomplished albums, a welcome return to the rough and ready sound upon which he had built his reputation. This expanded reissue of Rastaman Vibration comes complete with a bonus album documenting Marley and the Wailers’ fiery 1976 performance at The Roxy in Los Angeles in support of Rastaman Vibration’s release.

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