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 fan

Overview

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/1999
Label:
Island
UPC:
0731451443220
catalogNumber:
514432
Rank:
12428

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

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

Disc 2

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

Disc 3

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

Disc 4

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

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Marley & the Wailers   Primary Artist
Joe Higgs   Percussion,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Bob Marley   Guitar,Vocals
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

Customer Reviews

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Songs of Freedom 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bob Marley's music is a part of his soul. Every song on this CD is performed like it is his last peformance. The power of Bob Marley and his music will last an eternity. This collection is a must have. For those that are just getting into Bob, his more recent songs are astounding. For more seasoned Marley fans, the early ska music and the early times with the wailers sinks into the soul.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have had the original release of this collection since it came out. It is utterly amazing, comprehensive look at Marley's music. Packaged like earth, fire, water, air, each of the 4 discs paints a picture with the songs. Unbelievable. Listen to them sequentially, or put them all in and hit random, either way it's worth the investment. You will get years of pleasure from this purchase. Makes an excellent gift or perfect treat to yourself. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the song which was sang by bob during so many africans people were under the burden of colonisation and it showed them the light to strengthen their struggle against white ;this was the song which cost'S THE LIFE OF BOB
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Recieved this as a gift. Now, I couldn't imagine my life without. Best gift I ever got. The Essential Bob Marely
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a great album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've listen to every single Bob Marley song that he has made.Bob Marley saved my life spirtually,$ emotionally.When i listen to the music i fell his message through my heart and espically in my soul.He has brought me peace within and brought me closer to god.I personally thank him for reaching me in so many ways.Thank you Bob
Guest More than 1 year ago
These four discs are necessary! Drink a little brew, smoke a little chronic--whatever you like to do, this music makes it even better!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I bought this set I was astounded at the presentation of the music. With this set, you really have the opportunity to see how Bob's music transformed and inspired the raggae music movement. Going through all of the CD's is definatley like a walk through time. Starting with the first CD(sixties) and ending with the fourth (late seventies), Song of Freedom truly give you a deeper appreciation for his music and his love for life. Get this, I had to buy it a second time because I left my bag in a Taxi in Boston. Unfortunately this holy set fell victim of my stupidity and that won't ever happen again. No CD collection is complete without it. I promise you that!!!!!! These are just some of the great songs included in the set: Comming in from the cold, Zimbabwae, Simmer down, Mellow mood, Africa unites, Redemption song (his last live recording of the song)
Guest More than 1 year ago
How can a definitive collection not include ''Buffalo Soldier''? Especially since it's a song about freedom? Without this track, this CD set is worthless. Stick with Legends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago