Catch a Fire [Deluxe Edition]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Catch a Fire was the major label debut for Bob Marley and the Wailers, and it was an international success upon its release in 1973. Although Bob Marley may have been the main voice, every member of the Wailers made valuable contributions and they were never more united in their vision and sound. All the songs were originals, and the instrumentation was minimalistic in order to bring out the passionate, often politically charged lyrics. Much of the appeal of the album lies in its sincerity and sense of purpose -- these are streetwise yet disarmingly idealistic young men who look around themselves and believe they might help change the world through music. Marley sings about the current state of urban poverty ...
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03/27/2001 CD Original recording reissued, Ori ITEM IS BRAND NEW! ! ! NO EXCUSES 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE! ! ! ALL PURCHASES 100% GUARANTEED! ! ! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE! ! !

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Catch a Fire was the major label debut for Bob Marley and the Wailers, and it was an international success upon its release in 1973. Although Bob Marley may have been the main voice, every member of the Wailers made valuable contributions and they were never more united in their vision and sound. All the songs were originals, and the instrumentation was minimalistic in order to bring out the passionate, often politically charged lyrics. Much of the appeal of the album lies in its sincerity and sense of purpose -- these are streetwise yet disarmingly idealistic young men who look around themselves and believe they might help change the world through music. Marley sings about the current state of urban poverty ("Concrete Jungle") and connects the present to past injustices ("Slave Driver"), but he is a not a one-trick pony. He is a versatile songwriter who also excels at singing love songs such as his classic "Stir It Up." Peter Tosh sings the lead vocal on two of his own compositions -- his powerful presence and immense talent hint that he would eventually leave for his own successful solo career. More than anything else, however, this marks the emergence of Bob Marley and the international debut of reggae music. Marley would continue to achieve great critical and commercial success during the 1970s, but Catch a Fire is one of the finest reggae albums ever. This album is essential for any music collection. -- Vik Iyengar
All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
This two-disc set heralds the beginning of the overdue reassessment of Bob Marley & the Wailers' Island Records/Tuff Gong CD catalog -- and where better to begin than the beginning? Catch a Fire Deluxe Edition actually goes one better -- issuing the original as well as a non-overdubbed aka "Jamaican" version of the album. Disc one contains the latter version -- which has been previously unissued until this point. It also tends to overshadow the brilliant sonic restoration done on the standard issue -- featured on disc two. The early "Jamaican version" of Catch a Fire consists of the album as it was first delivered to Chris Blackwell -- talent scout/owner/operator of Island Records. While pleased with the results, Blackwell convinced Marley & the Wailers that sonic enhancements might be in order. The "Jamaican version" was then remixed with added lead guitar work by Nashville cat Wayne Perkins, as well as various keyboards textures from John "Rabbit" Bundrick. The ironic thing is that the changes and augmentations made by the session pros ultimately suppressed the organic and otherwise uncomplicated nature of Marley & the Wailers music. This very quality became the thing that propelled Marley -- and ultimately his message -- globally as well as spiritually, allowing him to join the ranks of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Marvin Gaye. Also included on the "Jamaican version" are two additional tracks: "High Tide or Low Tide" and "All Day All Night" recorded for inclusion on the original Catch a Fire. While they have been released in various forms over the years, they have been returned to their place in the Catch a Fire running order. The second disc contains Catch a Fire the way it was originally issued. While not as historically significant, it has never sounded better.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/27/2001
  • Label: Island
  • UPC: 731454863520
  • Catalog Number: 548635

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bob Marley & the Wailers Primary Artist, Track Performer
Bob Marley Indexed Contributor, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Rita Marley Vocals, Background Vocals
Aston Barrett Bass, Bass Guitar
Carlton "Carly" Barrett Drums
John "Rabbit" Bundrick Organ, Synthesizer, Clavinet
Tyrone Downie Organ
Marcia Griffiths Vocals, Background Vocals
Chris Karan Percussion
Bunny Livingston Bongos, Conga, Vocals
Wayne Perkins Guitar
Robbie Shakespeare Bass
Winston Wright Percussion
Peter McIntosh Organ, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Technical Credits
Bob Marley Composer, Producer
Chris Blackwell Producer
Arthur Gorson Inlay Photography
Ted Jensen Mastering
Carlton Lee Engineer
Bill Levenson Executive Producer
Lee "Scratch" Perry Composer
Tony Platt Engineer
Adrian Boot Inlay Photography
John Hoernle Art Direction
Richard Gene Williams Liner Notes, Essay
Jane Hitchin Tape Research
David Lascelles Tape Research
Zoe Roberts Tape Research
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Reggae Classic, But ...

    Universal Music, the mega-company that seems to have eaten and digested dozens of other labels, has issued an expanded and remastered versions of the landmark reggae album ''Catch A Fire'' by the Wailers. While the music has never sounded better, there are some significant and fundamental problems with this release. Except perhaps for the soundtrack album to the film ''The Harder They Come,'' the Wailers' ''Catch A Fire'' (1973) was the first reggae album that most listeners outside of Jamaica ever heard. The group had been together in some form for a decade and had enjoyed a long series of Jamaican hit singles. They had also moved easily from r&b to ska before becoming one of the earliest reggae acts. Although Bob Marley wrote and sang most of the songs, it was by no means his band. Peter Tosh also was a major contributor, and Marley, Tosh and Bunny Livingston (a/k/a Bunny Wailer) had been bandmates from the beginning, and their vocal blend was striking and beautiful. Island Records' founder and president Chris Blackwell had long followed the Jamaican music scene. When he heard the powerful results of the Wailers' '72 sessions he was ready to spring reggae on the rest of the world. Between this decision and the music's actual release, though, Blackwell got cold feet, and altered most of the tracks in London by judiciously and tastefully overdubbing rock keyboards, guitar and backing vocals in an apparent attempt to make the tracks more accessible to rock-oriented listeners. Whether these alterations were necessary, or even a good idea, ''Catch A Fire'' found an audience in England, the U.S. and elsewhere and became a modest hit. Although the original band broke up a year or so (and one album) later when Tosh and Livingston left, Bob Marley & the Wailers were on their way to international stardom. ''Catch A Fire'' (Deluxe Edition) makes available for the first time the original unadulterated recordings from the 1972 sessions, and they are really a revelation. These versions are rawer but more powerful; its as if a sonic gauze has been removed, revealing the true nature of the music for the first time. These tracks have an immediacy that was lacking in the originally released versions, and long-time fans of Marley and the Wailers will feel as if they've stumbled upon the Holy Grail of reggae. There are also two previously unreleased songs that fans will find worth hearing and owning. The remastered version of the original album, overdubs and all, is also here and sounds better than ever. Such Marley classics as ''Concrete Jungle'' and ''Stir It Up'' still retain their appeal. Its worth noting, though, that two of the album's most powerful songs, ''400 Years'' and ''Stop That Train,'' are written and sung by Peter Tosh. Tosh was one of reggae's greatest artists, and its a shame that his reputation seems diminished largely because he was so overshadowed by badmate Marley. The major problem with this release, and one that may make you think twice about purchasing it, is that there is barely eighty minutes of music on this two-disk set, which sells for the full price of two CDs. The Wailers recorded extensively in the period before ''Catch A Fire,'' and perhaps some of those tracks (many of which are excellent) could have been licensed by Universal for inclusion here. Another option would have been dropping one of the two outtakes and fitting it all on one disk. Serious fans of Marley and the Wailers will purchase this package without a second thought, but more casual fans might do better to seek out the earlier, budget-priced CD issue of ''Catch A Fire.'' The booklet of the Deluxe Edition includes all the original artwork and some nice and rare photos, as well as song lyrics, but the essay is second-rate and disappointing. In the last few months Universal has issued such classics as ''Blind Faith'' and Marvin Gaye's ''What's Going On'' in similar ''Deluxe Editions'' at a premium price. While there was a significa

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