Mellow Mood


 

So lo-fi. This rare 1967 single is barely demo quality by any big label standard. Bob Marley and The Wailers didn’t have access to cutting edge audio equipment in those days, and most of their early recordings sound like this. But the brilliance shines through. You can hear the tunefulness that just needed a little polish. In fact, these scratchy old songs may be even more interesting than the more professional later ones. Before the forcefulness of Marley’s charisma turned him into a global superstar, he was just the leader of a doo-wop influenced reggae band. The songs from that time sound of that time. Of their time and of their place, not of the world. Bob Marley’s face has become a marketing image, which his enterprising offspring have slapped on everything from clothing to energy drinks to an upcoming line of high grade marijuana. He’s his own corporate mascot now. That development may squick you out for a variety of reasons, although you kind of have to give it to the Marley family for being so smart at business. Whether you loathe the commercialization of Bob Marley’s image or enjoy every bit of it, it’s still refreshing to go back and hear the bare bones of where that legacy came from.

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