Album Review – Bob Marley & the Wailers

Bob Marley

Bob Marley & the Wailers -‘Easy Skanking in Boston ’78.’ (Universal)

February 6 marked what would have been Robert Nesta Marley’s 70th Birthday. This year there are rumours of all sorts of releases to coincide, and the first to come along is this excellent recording, previously unreleased of an American gig in June 1978.

There’s been previous live Marley albums over the years – Babylon By Bus, Live! (AKA Live At the Lyceum) and this joins them as an excellent album in its own right. Recorded around the time of the release of Kaya and not long after the still-astounding Exodus, what you have is a band at the peak of their powers, and an audience who are loving every minute.

It takes key album tracks and a number of the hits, but what is particularly exciting is the final three tracks of ‘War’/’No More Trouble,’ ‘Get Up Stand Up’ and the closing ‘Exodus’ where the passion and belief in Rastafarianism really shines through.

This really is no opportunistic cash in. Marley fans will be delighted, and if it’s not necessarily the starting point for those yet to investigate Marley (disturbing concept, but anything’s possible) it is a document of an excellent gig. Let’s hope further releases are of this calibre.


Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 is out now on Universal.

Born in the Seventies…


Driving into work this morning, there was a discussion on the local radio about which decade would you most have liked to have lived through.

The fifties were winning -but more to do with people’s perception of fifties America which has been shaped by Grease and Back To The Future, apparently; and absolutely sod all to do with living in a Britain where rationing was still in place, and austerity was the name of the game (don’t laugh folks, cos all cliches turn full circle).

I on the other hand, rang in -and got to hear my dulcet tones on air (apparently I sound much more scottish on air than in real life, according to my friend Keith who heard me) -and said the seventies.

Now, I’m well aware that the seventies had their downsides – and I don’t mean fashion either – but for music it would have been awesome.

Well, not Tony Orlando and Dawn or Peters and Lee or Demis Roussos (like duh) but this would have been awesome to see.

Sex Pistols -‘Anarchy In The UK.’ mp3

Althea and Donna -‘Uptown Top Ranking.’ mp3

Dead Kennedys -‘California Uber Alles.’ mp3

Bob Marley -‘Waiting In Vain.’ mp3

Chic -‘Good Times.’ mp3

Slits -‘Typical Girls.’ mp3

Cure -’10:15 Saturday Night.’ mp3

Clash -‘Complete Control.’ mp3

Cramps -‘Human Fly.’ mp3

Television -‘Marquee Moon.’ mp3

Mind you, there’s younger folk who are envious of me seeing Radiohead and Pulp at Glastonbury in the nineties, and Jeff Buckley…

A Sunny Saturday Afternoon


This shot is of the meadows in Edinburgh. It’s a Saturday in May and today the Meadows were full of people! Enjoying the hot weather! And playing cricket!!

We’d been invited to a Bar-B-Q round at Mr and Mrs. Toad’s, which we couldn’t go to, unfortunately, but it’s time for a few upbeat summery numbers here, I think.

Apart from the whinging about the taxman taking all his money (The Beatles spoil Revolver ever so slightly by whining about this, although otherwise it’s the greatest album ever), this is a classic summer tune:

The Kinks -‘Sunny Afternoon.’ mp3

You gotta have a bit of reggae for the summer…

Bob Marley -‘Waiting In Vain.’ mp3

…and some good quality American R’n’B. Apparently there are people in the world who do NOT like this song?! I pity the fools.

Beyonce -‘Crazy In Love.’ mp3

I don’t own a convertible, but if I did (ha!), this is exactly what I’d want to be playing on the stereo in hot weather.

Rockers Revenge -‘Walking On Sunshine (Extended 12″ mix).’ mp3

…and for a bit of contrast:

Miles Davis -‘So What.’ mp3

Other perfect summer sunshine tracks I’d have: Primal Scream ‘Higher Than the Sun;’ The Cure ‘Close To Me;’ The Orb -‘Little Fluffy Clouds;’ Saint Etienne ‘Only Love Can break Your Heart; Aztec camera ‘Somewhere In My Heart’; ‘Shanice -‘I Love Your Smile’ and ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ by Roy Ayers. Obviously

Where the hell are you?


Have been waiting for a delivery from a well known delivery firm including important things for 17 Seconds Records.

It is not here and I am well annoyed.

So…what fits?

A.R.E. Weapons -‘Fuck You Pay me.’ mp3

Bob Marley and the Wailers -‘Waiting In Vain.’ mp3

Thin Lizzy -‘Waiting For An Alibi.’ mp3

…cos it comes down to this:

Sebadoh -‘Gimme Indie Rock.’ mp3

I’m nearly on holiday!

One day to go…much as i love my job, I can’t wait for the break.

So, first up, there is discussion as to which Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Chile/Voodoo Child was no.16 in the inaugural Festive Fifty, so here is the other one. I have been in contact with Steve at Teenage Kicks, he reckons it was this one.

Jimi Hendrix – ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return).’ mp3 (1976 Festive Fifty no.16…possibly!)

Meanwhile, the first reggae superstar had only one entry, but it was a classic.

Bob Marley and the Wailers -‘No Woman, No Cry.’ mp3 (1976 Festive Fifty no.32)

Ten more!

Today when I got up, I received a very nice email from Matthew at Song, By Toad saying that he had got me listed at the Hype Machine. Thank you, sir, maybe people will actually read this blog now!

Anyway, just fancied posting some stuff I like, with no particular theme. Though it goes without saying: if you like what you hear, go and buy it!

Blur-‘Popscene.’ mp3 (Time this was available properly, guys)

Dizzee Rascal -‘Wannabe (feat Lily allen).’ mp3 (For everyone who is fed up with wannabe gangsters who just do not get it.)

Calexico -‘The Ballad Of Cable Hogue.’ mp3 (Still one of my favourite tracks of the decade)

Adam and the Ants-‘Cartrouble.’ mp3 (Why do so many Ants compilations leave off the pre Kings of the Wild Frontier stuff?)

Malcolm Middleton -‘A Brighter Beat.’ mp3
(A very serious contender for both album and single of the year).

Ghostface Killah featuring Amy Winehouse -‘You Know I’m No Good.’ mp3 (Well, actually i still love your music, Amy, but for God’s sake, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER).

Roisin Murphy -‘Overpowered.’ mp3 (Ace solo track from former Moloko frontwoman)

The Dream Academy -‘Life In A Northern Town.’ mp3 (Still gorgeous, all these years later…)

Bob Marley -‘Redemption Song.’ mp3 (Some things are better left unsaid)

Roll Deep -‘Celebrate(Instrumental).’ mp3 (GRIME rules over Gangsta, anyday)