Music with a message from Rasta/reggae legend...
If so-called 'white reggae' is enjoying continued popularity (with artists from Atomic Kitten to The Strokes having a go) some commentators bemoan this bastardisation.
Those who seek the real thing might want to check out this splendid DVD of 'the master', Bob Marley, who created the genre’s commercial blueprint before his untimely
death in May 1981. Marley cleverly retained authentic aspects of reggae’s heritage (Jamaican ska music and American rhythm and blues) but married it to a populist
sensitivity and a more accessible rock approach . Marley’s work is characterised, also, by a strong spiritual and social awareness, and a love of ganga.
During the late seventies Marley was an ambassador for peace and was feted in the Third World during a period of great political upheaval. Marley’s live work was extensive
and took him across the globe to promote his commercially successful albums. In 1979, promoting his album ‘Survival’, Marley and his band made their debut in Zimbabwe.
This November 1979 concert in the USA shows that his was an infectious live act and this edition is bolstered with an additional 7 tracks not included in the original video
release. There is also previously unseen interview footage. Soon after the concert featured here, Marley became seriously ill and was diagnosed with cancer.
This DVD is an excellent document of one of rock’s strongest voices, who fashioned a unique mix of devotion and emotion in his music and philosophy, and fuelled a legacy that
still pervades even when in diluted form.
Review by David Randall
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