The problem with most CD reviews is you only
get the opinion of the one critic doing the review. So we thought it might
be fun to try something new here by giving the exact same CD to two different
critics (or more) and see what they each come up with and just how much
difference a single critic's opinion can make.
Note: due to the nature of this series, the reviews
may tend to be more in the first person than you are used to with music
Bob Marley - Africa Unite: The Singles Collection
Zane Ewton kicks us off with his review.
He gave this collection a rating of
There is one essential Bob Marley compilation
that everyone owns. That record is one of the best selling greatest hits
compilations of all time. There are also countless other comps that are
less than stellar. Africa Unite is a worthy addition to the ever
growing discography of a man who passed 25 years ago.
Marley's songs ranged from spiritual to
political to just about getting some, but no matter what, they we always
emotional and powerful. All of the staples are here, "I Shot the Sheriff",
"Get Up, Stand Up", the complete live version of "No Woman, No Cry" and
many others that were found on Legend.
This comp offers a few of Marley's early
hits, before he was hailed as a mythical being in Jamaica. They include
"Soul Rebel", "Lively Up Yourself" and "Trenchtown Rock". The selling point
for this record though is a new song, "Slogans". Pulled from a demo recorded
before his death, Marley's sons draft Eric Clapton to help complete the
song. It's decent Marley but nothing revelatory.
For the few people that do not have Legend
this would be a great alternative that provides a wider span of the man's
career. Longtime fans won't find much that they don't already have though.
It is arguable that Bob Marley is reggae
music, but in reality he is one of the few artists that transcends genre
and is able to touch on the simple emotions that matter to every living
person. These emotions that make music the crucial life-sustaining force
that it can be.
Now Kevin Wierzbicki gives us his review.
He gave it a rating of
With the amount of ganja that Bob Marley
was known to consume, one has to wonder what shape his lungs would be in
now if he were still alive. Would he need to be hooked up to a canister
of oxygen just to lively-up himself? The much beloved reggae master would
have turned 60 this year and this set has been released in honor of that
milestone. With the exception of three cuts, you've heard all of these
songs before, although possibly not in the versions presented here. For
example, the version of "Concrete Jungle" included here is not the track
from Catch a Fire but the original take released on 7" vinyl on the Tuff
Gong label (this is after all a "singles" collection). None of this really
matters because all Bob is good Bob and should you stumble across a version
you've not previously heard then you'll really be feelin' irie. So the
last three cuts of this generous retrospective are special treats: A remix
of "Africa Unite" by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, the all new cut
"Slogans" featuring Eric Clapton and the Ashley Beedle remix of "Stand
Up Jamrock" featuring Damien and Stephen Marley. No doubt Marley's estate
will be re-issuing familiar tracks for decades; here's hoping his kids
will keep finding raw tracks to finish up like they did with "Slogans."
Lively Up Yourself
I Shot the Sheriff
Get Up, Stand Up
No Woman, No Cry
Roots, Rock, Reggae
Waiting In Vain
Is This Love
Sun is Shining
Could You Be Loved
Three Little Birds
People Get Ready
Africa Unite (will.i.am remix)
Stand Up Jamrock aka Get Up, Stand Up
vs. Welcome to Jamrock! (Ashley Beedle remix)
CD Info and Links
Bob Marley - Africa Unite: The Singles
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