Bob Marley & The Wailers: Best of the Early Years
5.1 Entertainment // DVD Audio // $24.98 // October 11, 2002
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 8, 2003
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Graphical Version

The Music:

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


The DVD

SOUND: Silverline presents "Bob Marley & The Wailers: Best of the Early Years" in 96khz/24-bit DVD-Audio 5.1 (for DVD-A compatible players) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (for DVD-Video players). Those seeking a DVD-Audio presentation up to the kind of remastered quality that many other older releases have been presented in on the format will likely be disapointed.

Likely due to the original recording, the audio quality presents both the instruments and vocals clearly, but this is not at all a dynamic sounding recording and often, it sounds flat and lacking in finer detail and clarity. Marley's rich, emotional vocals still are clear and easily heard throughout much of this album, although there are times here and there when the instruments seemed to overshadow the vocals slightly. Given that this is a "best of" whose songs were recorded on different dates and at different locations, the audio quality can vary between tracks - some tracks do sound crisper and warmer than others.

As for the surround mix, there really isn't much of one. More a stereo presentation than anything, the surround use is either made of very minor reinforcement or nothing at all (or so minimal as to be barely audible).

Final Thoughts: I hope that someday someone will go back and really work to remaster and restore the original elements of Bob Marley's recordings in order to create and enveloping, high-quality multi-channel release. This, however, is not that release. While the audio quality is okay considering the age of the recordings, I can't imagine the quality is that far away from the CD version, which is also available. Although this is billed as a 5.1 presentation, there's really very little - if any - rear speaker use. While this is certainly great music from a legendary artist, this recording doesn't exactly translate well to DVD-Audio, providing little that the CD probably doesn't already offer.



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