Robert Nesta Marley, the most popular, the most influential, the best (?) and every other positive superlative man in reggae and pretty much the face of reggae and Jamaica overall. A musical genius passed away before his time, something modern days reggae fans regret, partly because of the impossibility to attend his amazing live show. Well this album is the next best thing. Babylon by Bus, recorded in '78 on the Kaya
Marley didn't only release brilliant full length albums, together with The Wailers
he put up an amazing live act. The production on this album is amazing and everything one could hope for concerning live albums. I would go as far to say that his studio material becomes even better live. The atmosphere is amazing, it all sounds warm and thick, like the marijuana smoke that will have surrounded the concert, no doubt. A true hybrid of sounds, yet every instrument is perfectly audible.
Bob Marley steers the songs very energetically, melodically backed up by the female singers. The songs are more powerful than on the regular albums, the keyboards are louder and give more depth to the song. The guitar playing is some of the best I've heard in reggae and the bass is highly head movement inducing, to say the least.
You can hardly complain about the track list either. Some popular songs like 'I Shot the Sheriff'
and 'No Woman, no Cry'
are missing but the songs on the album are nowhere near subpar Marley tracks. Positive Vibration
, and Exodus
, just to name a few. War
and No more Trouble
were even smoothly mixed together and pretty much every song sounds fuller than their respective studio versions.
All in all, a must have for Bob Marley fans and reggae fans in general and one of the best live albums I've heard.