Bob Marley and the Wailers Complete Bob Marley and The Wailers 1967-1972, Part III

This is the final instalment of the retrospective of Bob Marley's post-Studio One, pre-Island career. After the sustained magnificence of the Wailers crucial Soul Rebels and Soul Revolution sets cut for Lee Perry during 1969-71, one would have lower expectations from the less-celebrated period of 1971-72. Disc one of the two collects odds and sods released at the very end of the Perry era and the first "mature" Tuff Gong self-productions. The best of the Perry material comes from Bunny Wailer (whose "Dreamland" is one of the greatest reggae tunes ever) and Peter Tosh. Also of note is a 1977 DJ/dub cut to the "Keep On Moving" riddim, showcasing Scratch's insane late '70s production style. The self-produced "Concrete Jungle" is wonderful and the Impressions knockoff, "Send Me That Love," is another gem. Disc two features self-productions only slightly removed from the style of the Wailers first Island LP, Catch a Fire. Unfortunately, because Island Records will not license important tunes from this period, such as "Trench Town Rock" and "Guava Jelly," the compilation presents mostly inferior alternate takes. However, the original "Lively Up Yourself" kicks butt, and by 1972 the "dub" productions finally start to be less instrumental and more experimental. The second half of the disc, produced by Johnny Nash, is shite. Fortunately, these tunes were the last artistic mistake Bob would make. On the whole, Part Three is uneven, but contains many highlights that make it a worthy addition to the Wailers' canon. (Jad)