For many, Natty Dread is Bob Marley’s finest album, the ultimate reggae recording of all time. This was Marley’s first album released as Bob Marley & the Wailers and the first album without former bandmates Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston The rhythm section of bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett and drummer Carlton “Carlie” Barrett remained in place and even contributed to the songwriting, while Marley added a female vocal trio, the I-Threes (which included his wife Rita Marley), and additional instrumentation to flesh out the sound. All of reggae’s signature forces are in full play on Natty Dread; it combines political and social commentary with religious paeans to Jah, addressing racism, greed, poverty, and hopelessness. The celebratory “Lively Up Yourself” is in the same vein as “Get Up, Stand Up” from Burnin’. “No Woman, No Cry” is one of the band’s best-known ballads. “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)” is a powerful warning that “a hungry mob is an angry mob.” “Rebel Music (3 O’Clock Road Block)” and “Revolution” continue in that spirit, as Marley speaks with the righteous indignation that had been abandoned by ’60s forebears like Bob Dylan.
REISSUED ON 180 gram Vinyl includes download code