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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 criticism.

Bob Marley - Africa Unite: The Singles Collection
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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."

Track Listing:
Soul Rebel
Lively Up Yourself
Trenchtown Rock
Concrete Jungle
I Shot the Sheriff
Get Up, Stand Up
No Woman, No Cry
Roots, Rock, Reggae
Exodus
Waiting In Vain
Jamming
Is This Love
Sun is Shining
Could You Be Loved
Three Little Birds
Buffalo Soldier
One Love
People Get Ready
Africa Unite (will.i.am remix)
Slogans
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 Collection

Label:Island Records

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