I am sure all people here know who Robert Nesta Marley is. He is the Jamaican Rastaman who came to represent Reggae music and the spirit of his native land. LIVE! was released in 1975 and recorded in London at the Lyceum that same year. Though the album only contains a short number of songs, it does represent the energy and vibe of a live Marley show.
On the album, the first thing that is heard is the intro of Marley & the Wailers. "This, I tell you, is the Trenchtown experience. All the way from Trenchtown, Jamaica, Bob Marley & the Wailers, C'MON!"
Trenchtown Rock - After the introduction, Marley blasts right into song. "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain." The album, like much of Marley's music and much of roots reggae, is built around the bass line. It's a perfect opening song, and it gives you a brief view of what is coming without fully revealing it to you.
Burnin and Lootin' - Again, without wasting any time, Marley and the group launch directly into another song. This song is much groovier than the light "Trenchtown Rock", and also a change in mood. It's a political song with and extremely infectious chorus. I think this is a fair reflection of the spirit of Jamaica. Instrumentally, the song is superb. The wah-wah guitar is brilliantly in tune with the bass here.
Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) - Another political protest, though not composed by Marley this time, "Them Belly Full.." really shows the divisions in Jamaica that were apparent when the song was written and still are today. It's another musically brilliant song, with beautiful, soulful backing vocals and a rigidly menacing guitar line.
Lively Up Yourself - This song has a much happier, carefree mood than the others. Again, it rides on the bass with the freeform guitar and reggae chording. It's a great change in mood.
No Woman, No Cry - Here, Marley and the band launch into their most beautiful song, the soul ballad "No Woman, No Cry". This song, to me, seems to be a social love ballad, and is also one of Marley's most acclaimed. It leaves the listener absolutely breathless. The line "everything's gonna be alright" truly shows Marley's optimistic viewpoint. This definitely beats the album version.
I Shot The Sheriff - Another change in mood, this song is a happy go lucky on doomsday tune. I'm sure that most people are famailiar with this tune, which has both some of the coolest and funniest lyrics I have ever heard. If you were to mention this to a random person on the street, they would know what you were talking about. I think a good live recording makes a person wish that they were there. That's what this does.
Get Up, Stand Up - I think this might be my favorite Marley song, albeit presently. The lyrics were cowritten with former Wailer and reggae legend Peter Tosh, and the convey a very social messsage, telling the people to get off their feet and stop taking this bull***. THe music also reflects the message of the song. It is considerably up-tempo for the material played at this particular concert, which shows Marley's great ability to change mood and speed fluidly. This song fades out, which is the end of the original release of the album.
Kinky Reggae - This is an absolutely brilliant bonus track on the album, in which Marley introduces the Wailers as his "brother"s and "sister"s. It has a great groove and really is a great closer for the show. It doesn't move too fast or too slow, it goes just right. Marley's unique vocal styling is on great display all throughout. The song ends with thunderous audience applause and fades out.
I gave the album a five star rating, as you can see. I truly hope you completely read the review, especially those who are not presently into Marley. I believe this is the first Bob Marley review on the site.