Songs of Freedom

Songs of Freedom

4.6 10
by Bob Marley & the Wailers

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It might be slimmer, but the repackaging of Bob Marley's epic box set only means that it's now worth twice its weight in gold. Originally released in 1992 as a limited-edition 6-by-12-inch longbox, the new SONGS OF FREEDOM is a four-CD, storage-friendly brick with a 95-page color book. And then as now, it's indispensable to the Marley fanSee more details below


It might be slimmer, but the repackaging of Bob Marley's epic box set only means that it's now worth twice its weight in gold. Originally released in 1992 as a limited-edition 6-by-12-inch longbox, the new SONGS OF FREEDOM is a four-CD, storage-friendly brick with a 95-page color book. And then as now, it's indispensable to the Marley fan or reggae aficionado. There's no shortage of posthumous Marley material out there -- from the Wailers' exuberant ska days to Bob's radio interviews to dub collections -- but unlike so many box sets, SONGS OF FREEDOM isn't interested in obsessive overkill; instead it celebrates the first truly worldwide star with an overview that digs deep into a rich and varied career. Marley's biggest hits, collected on the perennially popular LEGEND, bristle with such bright arrangements and undeniable grooves that it's easy to lose sight of his songwriting. But the oft-made comparisons to Bob Dylan are borne out on SONGS's rarities, alternate takes, and live versions. Marley was a master of many things: Rastafarian redemptive philosophy, Jamaican folk idioms, and, of course, American R&B. Plus, he could trade Biblical allusion with a Talmudic scholar. But his greatest skill was, he could get his musical vision across with an easy, disarming sensuality. Disc Two's 12-minute "Acoustic Medley" encapsulates Bob's facility with the simple love lyric ("Stir It Up"), the gospel-inflected redemption song ("This Train"), and the lusty rub-up ("Guava Jelly"). These rare moments, interspersed with standards of the Marley canon such as "No Woman No Cry," "Get Up, Stand Up," and "I Shot the Sheriff," create a portrait of the Gong as a working artist. Even those who credit Lee Perry as the architect of Bob's mystique through his collaborations with the Wailers will be persuaded by the power of Marley's songwriting gift. And by digging up pristine-sounding demos, SONGS rights the wrongs of LEGEND and NATURAL MYSTIC, which presented reconstituted versions of "Could You Be Loved" and "Iron Lion Zion." Top all this off with beautiful sequencing, lovingly restored sound, and literate, informative notes by Timothy White, Derrick Morgan, and others, and you have one of the greatest box sets ever assembled.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Originally released as a limited-edition box set in 1992, Songs of Freedom presents an alternate history of Bob Marley's career, tracing his progression with outtakes, rare singles, alternate mixes, live tracks, and album tracks instead of the songs that formed the bulk of his legacy, as it were. The question is, is this a reasonable track to take? For the most part, yes it is, even if it tends to be a little misleading. That problem isn't too great, since Songs of Freedom isn't targeted at the audience that would want just the basics -- Legend already exists for them, and that sums up everything they need to know about Marley, the ambassador of reggae. The remainder of Marley's audience realizes this box exists just to get rarities to the diehards, and they're thrilled that it exists for that purpose. Because of its nature, Songs of Freedom isn't especially compelling to anyone that isn't a hardcore fan -- although the first disc of ska and rocksteady material will be delightful to anyone that likes early reggae and isn't thrilled by Marley's rock-star posturing in the '70s -- but for those very fans, it's a valuable addition to their collection, since it rounds up rarities with ease and purpose. What Songs of Freedom should not be seen as is a definitive overview of Marley's career -- it's just for collectors and hardcore fans, the kind of listener who has memorized the original studio albums. For those listeners, it's hard to resist Songs of Freedom, but everybody else will be able to safely pass it by.

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Disc 1

  1. Judge Not  - Bob Marley
  2. One Cup of Coffee  - Bob Marley
  3. Simmer Down  - Bob Marley
  4. I'm Still Waiting  - Bob Marley
  5. One Love/People Get Ready  - Bob Marley
  6. Put It On  - Bob Marley
  7. Bus Dem Shut (Pyaka)  - Bob Marley
  8. Mellow Mood  - Bob Marley
  9. Bend Down Low  - Bob Marley
  10. Hypocrites  - Bob Marley
  11. Stir It Up  - Bob Marley
  12. Nice Time  - Bob Marley
  13. Thank You Lord  - Bob Marley
  14. Hammer  - Bob Marley
  15. Caution  - Bob Marley
  16. Back Out  - Bob Marley
  17. Soul Shakedown Party  - Bob Marley
  18. Do It Twice  - Bob Marley
  19. Soul Rebel  - Bob Marley
  20. Sun Is Shining  - Bob Marley
  21. Don't Rock the Boat  - Bob Marley
  22. Small Axe  - Bob Marley
  23. Duppy Conqueror  - Bob Marley
  24. Mr. Brown  - Bob Marley

Disc 2

  1. Screwface  - Bob Marley
  2. Lick Samba  - Bob Marley
  3. Trench Town Rock  - Bob Marley
  4. Craven Choke Puppy  - Bob Marley
  5. Guava Jelly  - Bob Marley
  6. Guava Jelly/This Train/Cornerstone/Comma Comma/Dewdrops/Stir It up/L'M  - Bob Marley
  7. I'm Hurting Inside  - Bob Marley
  8. High Tide or Low Tide  - Bob Marley
  9. Slave Driver  - Bob Marley
  10. No More Trouble  - Bob Marley
  11. Concrete Jungle  - Bob Marley
  12. Get up, Stand Up  - Bob Marley
  13. Rastaman Chant  - Bob Marley
  14. Burnin' and Lootin'  - Bob Marley
  15. Iron Lion Zion  - Bob Marley
  16. Lively up Yourself  - Bob Marley
  17. Natty Dread  - Bob Marley
  18. I Shot the Sheriff  - Bob Marley

Disc 3

  1. No Woman, No Cry  - Bob Marley
  2. Who the Cap Fit  - Bob Marley
  3. Jah Live  - Bob Marley
  4. Crazy Baldhead  - Bob Marley
  5. War  - Bob Marley
  6. Johnny Was  - Bob Marley
  7. Rat Race  - Bob Marley
  8. Jamming  - Bob Marley
  9. Waiting In Vain  - Bob Marley
  10. Exodus  - Bob Marley
  11. Natural Mystic  - Bob Marley
  12. Three Little Birds  - Bob Marley
  13. Running Away  - Bob Marley
  14. Keep on Movin'  - Bob Marley
  15. Easy Skanking  - Bob Marley
  16. lS This Love  - Bob Marley
  17. Smile Jamaica  - Bob Marley
  18. Time Will Tell  - Bob Marley

Disc 4

  1. Africa Unite  - Bob Marley
  2. Survival  - Bob Marley
  3. One Drop  - Bob Marley
  4. One Dub  - Bob Marley
  5. Zimbabwe  - Bob Marley
  6. So Much Trouble In the World  - Bob Marley
  7. Ride Natty Ride  - Bob Marley
  8. Babylon System  - Bob Marley
  9. Coming In from the Cold  - Bob Marley
  10. Real Situation  - Bob Marley
  11. Bad Card  - Bob Marley
  12. Could You Be Loved  - Bob Marley
  13. Forever Loving Jah  - Bob Marley
  14. Rastaman Live Up!  - Bob Marley
  15. Give Thanks and Praise  - Bob Marley
  16. One Love/People Get Ready  - Bob Marley
  17. Why Should I  - Bob Marley
  18. Redemption Song  - Bob Marley

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Marley & the Wailers   Primary Artist
Bob Marley   Indexed Contributor,Guitar,Vocals
Joe Higgs   Percussion,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Rita Marley   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Judy Mowatt   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ras Michael   Percussion
Melba Liston   Trombone
Hugh Masekela   Trumpet
Don Drummond   Trombone
Eddie Quansah   Trumpet
Timmy Thomas   Keyboards
Doris Troy   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Count Ossie   Percussion
Richard Ace   Keyboards
Glen Adams   Keyboards
Gladstone Anderson   Keyboards
Aston Barrett   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Carlton "Carly" Barrett   Drums
Noel Benbow   Drums
Mikey Boo   Drums
Arnold Brackenridge   Trumpet
Junior Braithwaite   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Lloyd Brevett   Bass
Baba Brooks   Trumpet
Cedric Brooks   Saxophone
Hux Brown   Guitar
Lennox Brown   Saxophone
John "Rabbit" Bundrick   Keyboards
Ska Campbell   Saxophone
Chico Chin   Trumpet
Mikey Chung   Guitar
Fred Crossley   Bass
Glen DaCosta   Saxophone
Santa Davis   Drums
Lloyd Delpratt   Keyboards
Val Douglas   Bass
Tyrone Downie   Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Bobby Ellis   Trumpet
Jerome Francique   Trombone
Luther François   Trombone
Dean Fraser   Saxophone
Brinsley Forde   Guitar
Angus Gaye   Drums
Marlene Gifford   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Vin Gordon   Trombone
Cherry Green   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Marcia Griffiths   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Raymond Harper   Trumpet
Harry T.   Percussion
Gordon Hunt   Guitar
Lee Jaffe   Harmonica
Jah Jerry   Guitar
Esmond Jarrett   Drums
Beverly Kelso   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
King Sporty   Percussion,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Donald Kinsey   Guitar
Lloyd Knibbs   Drums
Denzel Laing   Percussion
George Larnyoh   Saxophone
Earl Lindo   Keyboards
David Madden   Trumpet
Hugh Malcolm   Drums
Herman Marquis   Saxophone
Tommy McCook   Saxophone
Joe McCormack   Trombone
Larry McDonald   Percussion
Danny McFarlane   Keyboards
Peter Tosh   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Melodica,Vocal Harmony
Candy McKenzie   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Trummie Miles   Trumpet
Jackie Mittoo   Keyboards
Johnny "Dizzy" Moore   Trumpet
Johnny Nash   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Lloyd Parks   Bass
Lascelles Perkins   Percussion
Wayne Perkins   Guitar
Dwight Pinkney   Guitar
Ernest Ranglin   Guitar
Roy Richards   Harmonica
Lloyd Robinson   Drums
Nambo Robinson   Trombone
Carlton Samuels   Baritone Saxophone
Santa   Drums
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass
Lloyd Spence   Bass
Keith Stirling   Keyboards
Lyn Taitt   Guitar
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson   Percussion
Constantine Walker   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Seymour Walker   Saxophone
Lloyd "Gitsy" Willis   Guitar,Keyboards
Ian "Willy" Winter   Keyboards
Sydney Wolfe   Percussion
Winston Wright   Keyboards
Cat Coore   Guitar
Rico Rodriguez   Trombone
Jackie Willacy   Trumpet
Danny Simpson   Trombone
Anthony "Sangie" Davis   Guitar
Stanley Ribbs   Saxophone
Tony Wilson   Saxophone
Junior Marvin   Guitar,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
"Deadly" Headley Bennett   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone
Bryan Atkinson   Bass
Jackie Jackson   Bass

Technical Credits

Rita Marley   Composer
Aston Barrett   Composer
Carlton "Carly" Barrett   Composer
Allen Cole   Composer
Vincent Ford   Composer

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