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Bob Marley - Exodus [Definitive Remasters Collection] (Cover Artwork)

Bob Marley

Bob Marley: Exodus [Definitive Remasters Collection]Exodus [Definitive Remasters Collection] (2001)
Tuff Gong

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
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Wailers still be there The Jam, The Damned, The Clash Wailers still be there Dr. Feelgood too, ooh No boring all farts will be there Yeah, it's the punky reggae party" - Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Punky Reggae Party" It's really a shame that reggae has been so easily co-opted by modern-da.
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Wailers still be there
The Jam, The Damned, The Clash
Wailers still be there
Dr. Feelgood too, ooh
No boring all farts will be there
Yeah, it's the punky reggae party"
- Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Punky Reggae Party"

It's really a shame that reggae has been so easily co-opted by modern-day hippies since the decline of the third wave. Virtually gone are the days of "Take Warning," "Racist World" and "The Guns of Brixton." The current popular conception of reggae seems to compel a foundation of cliché and caricaturistic themes of peace, love, and a fundamental obsession with marijuana. Acts like Wookiefoot, Jah Roots and John Butler Trio have hijacked the upstroke and watered down the message of rebellion and upheaval the genre's originators so actively promoted. But it hasn't always been hemp and dreadlocks at the root of the attraction. Black Culture, White Youth: The Reggae Tradition from JA to the UK by Middlesex University professor Dr. Simon Jones chronicles the link and camaraderie between punk pioneers like Joe Strummer, Johnny Rotten and Patti Smith and reggae greats like Bob Marley, Lee Perry and Junior Murvin, brought about by a common feeling of alienation, fed up with poverty and ready to do something about it, all under the watchful control tower of DJ Don Letts.

And that, my friends, is exactly why it's such a travesty that there are no reviews of Bob Marley and the Wailers on PunkNews. In 1998TIME magazine decorated Exodus as the "best music album of the 20th century." And since the first music record was released in 1909, that effectively makes Exodus the greatest album of all time…according to TIME. But what does PunkNews think?

In many ways, Exodus is Bob Marley's most accessible album. Following Rastaman Vibration, which had no major hits, Exodus packed instant classics like "Three Little Birds," "Jamming," "Waiting in Vain" and a retooled form of "One Love," which was initially a ska tune from the Wailing Wailers' debut singles collection, meant to unite Jamaicans and the African independence movement. By the time it made it to the Exodus sessions, the song had taken on more of a global connotation as the Cold War, apartheid and worldwide economic downturn loomed overhead. The song's upbeat melody and stirring message stood in stark contrast to the political landscape of the time, and by the turn of the century, the BBC chose "One Love" as its Song of the Millennium. Relatively light on the surface (except for perhaps "Waiting in Vain," which exerts a level of aggravation and the frustrated crooning of "Ooh girl" later picked up by Brad Nowell for Sublime's "Boss DJ"), these songs helped propel Exodus to the top of the charts both in the U.S. and the U.K., and helped secure Marley's role as an international superstar. Interestingly enough, all the hits are found on side two.

The first side shows a much more spiritually-involved Marley, anchored by the eerie calm of "Natural Mystic" that opens the album with Carlton Barrett's trademark one-drop rhythm and clean upstrokes while Marley whispers, "There's a natural mystic blowing through the air / If you listen carefully now you will hear / This could be the first trumpet / Might as well be the last / Many more will have to suffer / Many more will have to die / Don't ask me why." This is certainly a bleaker picture painted than the eternal optimism of tracks like "Three Little Birds," and is perhaps why the former precedes the latter. Another of side one's gems is "So Much Things to Say," which transcends the barrier between politics and religion, as Marley professes his spiritual convictions while mourning the persecution of black rights activist Marcus Garvey. But perhaps the cornerstone of the first side -- or even the album as a thematically unified whole -- is the nearly eight-minute title track, "Exodus," anchored by Aston "Family Man" Barrett's funky, soulful bass groove under Marley's call for sacrosanct passage to a better life: "We're leaving Babylon / We're going to the fatherland."

Flush with the bonus tracks "Punky Reggae Party" and an extended version of the hit "Jamming," as well as noticeably improved sound quality, the 2001 Definitive Remasters Exodus only makes a perfect album even better. Don't let hippies, frat boys or mediocre Will Smith movies ruin it for you; Exodus is a musical masterpiece.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
AlChron77 (February 2, 2010)

"Also, never never NEVER listen to the Marley children. The one exception might be Damien, but the rest of them are so inauthentic it hurts."

"Inauthentic"? What the fuck does that even mean? They are Jamaican Rastafarians and most of them make exceptional reggae music. How in the hell are they "inauthentic"? Stephen Marley is one of the greatest reggae vocalists of all time, right up their with Gregory Isaacs and David Hines. Ky Mani is vastly underrated and emmensly talented. Ziggy's solo career is overrated but the Melody Makers made Conscious Party, one of the best reggae records of all time. Julian is fantastic too. In fact, the most inauthentic of them all is Damien, but he still makes good music.

Just because you know a few of the more popular reggae artists doesn't mean you know the genre. And just because you know a few hippies who play hacky sack and wear Bob Marley shirts doesn't mean you know jack shit about the fans.

paulrulzdood (February 27, 2009)

"i would never listen to the Marley children"

Stephen Marley's "mind control" is a great album, as is Damian's "welcome to jamrock"

i feel bad for people that don't love reggae music and Bob Marley. What a cancerous opinion to have.

This album is amazing and flawless. Bob Marley is probably my second or third favorite artist ever. he was genious, in a league with the Beatles IMO. I had the DJ play "waiting in vain", "is this love" and "3 little birds" at my wedding.

Paul

eazyd2 (February 26, 2009)

hey Cos you fuckin cocksuckin bitch. You make me sick.

nocigar (February 26, 2009)

Perfect album.

Not getting into Marley and the Wailers because you don't like a lot of their fans is a pretty lame excuse.

danperrone (February 25, 2009)

perfect album. i'll take marley's discography over almost anyone else's, save bruce springsteen.

sumwon (February 25, 2009)

Thanks for reviewing Marley, specifically, a Marley album. People seem to forget that he actually put out real, legitimate albums, not just greatest hits collections. I agree completely about the tragic hippie takeover of reggae.

I think his best is Natty Dread followed by Survival. This might be around 4th or 5th IMO. But still, it's undoubtedly great.

Cos (February 25, 2009)

I never got into Marley for the same reason I never got into Morrissey--his fans are some of the most annoying people on the planet.

I have my copy of "Legend" but I think Peter Tosh's version of "Get Up, Stand Up" or "Steppin Razor" smokes just about anything on it. My heart goes more towards Toots, probably because he has more funk and soul in his music than anyone else in reggae.

Also, never never NEVER listen to the Marley children. The one exception might be Damien, but the rest of them are so inauthentic it hurts.

mikexdude (February 25, 2009)

i'll take this ANY day over the ridiculus "straight-edge" culture so prevalent in punk and hardcore

I wouldn't chose either over the other, 'cause they fail for the same reasons.

fallingupwards84 (February 25, 2009)

The current popular conception of reggae seems to compel a foundation of cliché and caricaturistic themes of peace, love, and a fundamental obsession with marijuana.

i'll take this ANY day over the ridiculus "straight-edge" culture so prevalent in punk and hardcore

loreng (February 25, 2009)

Please tell me wookiefoot aren't known outside of mpls.

jazzyfella08 (February 25, 2009)

Hey, everyone loves Bob and the Wailers. Given, they are great.

But, if you want to listen to a great reggae band that lives and carries on the message, check out Steel Pulse.

LinoleumMagazine (February 25, 2009)

Let's try that link again...
http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Greatest Hits At Studio One:1921961716

LinoleumMagazine (February 25, 2009)

This record is good, but my favorite Wailers stuff has always been the ska sutff they did in the early sixties.

http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Greatest Hits At Studio One:1921961716
Anyone that likes tradtional ska should pick this up ASAP!

brown (February 25, 2009)

Its so difficult for me to pick a favourite bob marley and the wailers album, but this one is most definitely up there.

sleepwalker (February 25, 2009)

While Exodus is a great album and no doubt a classic, the four albums prior to it are so much better.

overdefined (February 25, 2009)

Great intro, great review.

Banger (February 25, 2009)

This is a good but overrated album. Burnin', Catch a Fire and Natty Dread are all better, IMO.

mikexdude (February 25, 2009)

Also, the extended verion of "Jamming"? If I didn't think it was tedious and worthless enough. I've never wished death upon myself so violently.

mikexdude (February 25, 2009)

Great review. Of course, Marley's music fails to leave any sort of good impression in me. My friend states that I should "smoke more weed," but I highly doubt that's the case. Score's for the album.

scorpiondeathlock (February 25, 2009)

micheal phelps digs it.

as do i.

sugarfull (February 25, 2009)

This was an excellently written review, and I like how it really made me think about the genre as a whole.

That being said, I am kind of glad that the connection between punk and reggae is less pronounced than it was in the seventies.

freesandwich (February 24, 2009)

one love mon

Torgo (February 24, 2009)

Great review for a great record BlackLung

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