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Chant Down Babylon
     

Chant Down Babylon

4.6 5
by Bob Marley
 
Nearly two decades after his death, Bob Marley's mystique has grown only stronger. Now, with the arrival of CHANT DOWN BABYLON, expect Marley's mass appeal to grow ever larger. Originally titled A REBEL'S DREAM, the new disc aims to bridge the gap that Marley perceived between American R&B fans and his music by using studio trickery to create "duets" between Marley

Overview

Nearly two decades after his death, Bob Marley's mystique has grown only stronger. Now, with the arrival of CHANT DOWN BABYLON, expect Marley's mass appeal to grow ever larger. Originally titled A REBEL'S DREAM, the new disc aims to bridge the gap that Marley perceived between American R&B fans and his music by using studio trickery to create "duets" between Marley and hip-hop stars such as Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu and others. While the technique (deployed on works by Patsy Cline and Nat King Cole) may seem ghoulish, reggae, which revels in technological tinkering, is the natural home for such studio "versioning" and the mixing of past and present. At any rate, the tracks here, produced by Marley's son Stephen, are uniformly excellent. From the retro organ bark of "No More Trouble," the younger Marley proves to be a tasteful and innovative remixer, wrapping his father's voice around Badu's harmonies, creating vocal ad libs, and retaining a vintage, soulful feel amid the street beats. Emcees like Guru, Rakim, and Chuck D draw fire from Marley's rebel legend, igniting "Johnny Was," "Concrete Jungle," and "Survivors," and Busta puts his Jamaican heritage to good use with a patois delivery that only he could get away with. Only "Roots, Rock, Reggae" with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, comes off forced, and Lauryn Hill's beautiful way with "Turn Your Lights Down Low" would have made a better ballad than a Mary J. Blige-style hip-hop-soul jam. Of all the directions CHANT DOWN BABYLON could have taken -- the sterile crooner/rapper "combinations" of current dancehall reggae, or Marley karaoke -- Stephen Marley's picked the winner. Equal parts rap and reggae, new and old, CHANT DOWN BABYLON fulfills a rebel's dream after all. Somewhere, Bob is smiling down at Babylon.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Sometime during the '90s, overdubbing classic recordings with new instruments and vocals became an accepted practice, since the intent was to introduce legendary artists to a contemporary audience. Evidently, these good intentions made these albums better than, say, overdubbing strings on Hank Williams' spare recordings after his death, since that was just crass commercial pandering and this was noble missionary work. Chant Down Babylon -- an attempt to refashion Bob Marley recordings as urban and hip-hop (and, in the case of "Roots, Rock, Reggae" with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, rock) for a new generation, based on the presumption that, since Marley never reached the broad African-American audience he desired during his lifetime, there was no time like 1999 to try it again -- is arguably the most extreme reworking to date. Unlike many of these sort of recordings, the original musical base is not completely discarded, as the resulting vocal and instrumental overdubs are meshed with the originals. There are a few tracks, such as the Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill contributions, that work particularly well.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/1999
Label:
Island
UPC:
0731454640428
catalogNumber:
546404
Rank:
18467

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Marley   Primary Artist
MC Lyte   Track Performer
Busta Rhymes   Track Performer
Chuck D   Track Performer
Rakim   Track Performer
Roots   Track Performer
Lost Boyz   Track Performer
Erykah Badu   Track Performer
Lauryn Hill   Track Performer
Black Thought   Track Performer
Krayzie Bone   Track Performer
Flipmode Squad   Track Performer
Cheeks   Track Performer
Marley Brothers   Track Performer
Ghetto Youths Crew   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Joe Perry   Producer
Bonzai Jim Caruso   Engineer
Stephen Marley   Executive Producer
Steven Tyler   Producer
Maxine Stowe   Executive Producer
John Platt   Executive Producer
Amy Guip   Collage
Marley Boyz   Producer
Comissioner Gordon   Producer,Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Chant Down Babylon 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to say that chant down babylon is the most fattest music in the face of earth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is by far the best gathering of amazing artists, that have remixed and interpented bob marley classics!!! EVERY song is outstanding!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is mixed exceptionally well, It is an amazing mesh of bob's souls, talent, and piercing voice, with new artists and all done with the signature of approval of tuff gong and the marley family. This cd is incredible, thats all there is to it, best cd in the world, and I am not biased it is incredible