DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » Audio Reviews » Bob Marley and The Wailers - The Best of the Early Years
Bob Marley and The Wailers - The Best of the Early Years
Sanctuary Records // DVD Audio // November 5, 2002
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted December 5, 2002 | E-mail the Author
M U S I C
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
This collection of early Bob Marley and the Wailers music is really not something you'd think cries out for the DVD-audio treatment. The songs are outstanding, of course, but for all the instrumentational creativity and vocal mastery on display they are strictly lo-fi. Still, the mixing here brings the music a clarity that approaches the clean sound of modern recording technology without robbing these reggae classics of their earthy feel. The vocals sound less up-to-date, still sounding a bit muffled when compared to the latest mega-studio productions.

But all the extra studio gadgetry can't buy soul and these cuts have that in excess. Starting with the skanking groovy "Soul Shakedown Party," with its chugging organ and bouncy bassline, this is music that works just about anywhere: In headphones, for dancing, for serious thought. Marley, whose rough-edged voice was never as smooth as Jimmy Cliff's gorgeous croon, nonetheless did the most with a limited range. He pours his soul into these songs and it comes through loud and clear. The complex artistry of the musicians, which retains the ability to surprise, as in "Sun is Shining," adds to the mix. This is total music, with all elements weaving together to create one voice. Like James Brown's band or Stop Making Sense-era Talking Heads you can imagine that no words needed to pass between the musicians, that they felt their way through each groove.

The political element of Marley's lyrics is another side to this music. Since the sound is so beautiful that the messages ease their way into your brain. Lines like "So if you are the big tree/ we are the small axe/ ready to cut you down" from "Small Axe" portray Marley's worldview through simple, clear metaphors but without cloying or talking down to the listener. Any way you look at it, this is great, great music. Many of Marley's biggest hits came later (there's no "Buffalo Soldier," "Three Little Birds," or "No Woman No Cry") but the material here is universally excellent. Song List:
1. Soul Shakedown Party
2. Sun Is Shining
3. Duppy Conqueror
4. Small Axe
5. African Herbsman
6. Trench Town Rock
7. Lively Up Yourself
8. Try Me
9. Soul Rebel
10. Mr. Brown
11. Don't Rock The Boat
12. Dreamland
13. Kaya
14. Keep On Moving
15. Concrete Jungle
16. Keep On Skanking
17. Natural Mystic
18. I Know A Place

AUDIO:

The DVD's publicity material claims that the music is available in both 24bit/96kHz PCM and 24bit/48kHz Dolby Digital 5.1 options, although honestly I couldn't find where to make the switch. There is no option on the menu and the audio-on-the-fly option seems to be unavailable. Regardless, the 5.1 audio is impressive. Like I stated earlier, the music retains the lo-fi origins of the music while still delivering a dynamic, exciting sound. True audiophiles with reference level equipment might take issue with this remix but on a decent stereo it sounds quite nice.

EXTRAS:

Just some liner notes and a photo gallery.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Bob Marley's music is timeless. The songs here are from the earlier stages of his too-short career but they already display mature craft. This DVD-A may be a bit pricey and, frankly, most would benefit just as well from a low-priced CD compilation, but the material itself is pure inspiration.

Other Reviews:
Order "Bob Marley and The Wailers - The Best of the Early Years" now!
Popular Reviews
1. Godzilla 2000
2. Tinto Brass: Maestro Of Erotica Cinema
3. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla / Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
4. They Came Together
5. Graceland: Season 1
6. Wilfred Season 3
7. Last Man Standing Season 1
8. All That Jazz
9. Rebirth of Mothra / Rebirth of Mothra II / Rebirth of Mothra III
10. Legend of Hell House


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use