Tag Archives: Marley

Marley’s well-assorted shop

SetUpShopVol3For the third year in a row Ghetto Youths International – the label spearheaded by Damian, Stephen and Julian Marley – has launched a new volume in the Set Up Shop series. This third and latest installment was put out in late December – two days before Christmas – with virtually no marketing or PR. Not even a press release was distributed.

The compilation features tracks from the Marley brothers together with their usual collaborators, including Black-Am-I, Christopher Ellis and Stephen Marley’s eldest son Jo Mersa Marley along with a few new additions to the roster, such as Kabaka Pyramid, Bunji Garlin, J Boog and Skip Marley, son of Bob Marley’s daughter Cedella Marley.

Several of the tracks have previously surfaced – Morgan Heritage & Jo Mersa’s Light It Up was featured on the band’s Grammy nominated latest album and Kabaka Pyramid’s ironic smash hit Well Done, Julian Marley’s Lemme Go, Stephen Marley & Bounty Killer & Cobra’s Ghetto Boy, Skip Marley’s Cry To Me and Damian Marley & Bunji Garlin’s The Message have been released as a singles.

Set Up Shop Vol 3 is like a well-assorted store with one isle with dancehall, like album opener The Message, and another with some rootsier cuts, such as Rude Bwoy with its all-star cast and Eek-a-Mouse influenced hook. Then you also have a shelf with sweets, where you’ll find Christopher Ellis’ Glory.

As usual with releases from Ghetto Youths International they are not available for streaming, only purchasing via iTunes. But this edition has a highly competitive price though – roughly only $2 or €2 for the full album which comes with 16 tracks.

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Reggae highlights 2012

Last week I published my 50 favorite tunes from 2012 and when compiling the list I was struck by the strong output. But 2012 is more than just great reggae singles, and this year has been strong on so many levels.

There has been stunning reggae and dancehall singles, excellent albums, hip-shaking riddims, fierce mixtapes, interesting books, fascinating documentaries, clever mash-ups and some nice albums from other genres.

If you want to know what I mean, check the list below for some of my favorite moments from 2012. Some of the tastiest bits are yet to come though, since the best albums 2012 and the best reissues 2012 are not completed.

Hopefully those lists will be published in early January 2013. I can however assure you that Busy Signal’s Reggae Music Again will be on the albums list and so will Beres Hammond’s One Love, One Life. Those are the safe bets.

Best albums
Coming on United Reggae in early January.

Best tunes
Separate article.

Best riddim
Rudebwoy be Nice (Maximum Sound)

Best mixtape
Major Lazer Presents: Chronixx & Walshy Fire – Start a Fyah Mixtape

Best book
Reggae Soundsystem – Original Reggae Album Cover Art

Best documentary

Best mash-up
The Rolling Stones Meet Bost & Bim – Gimme Shelter

Best EP
Ziggi Recado – Liberation 2.0

Best non-reggae albums
Nomad CarlosMe Against the Grain
Michael KiwanukaHome Again

Best reissue
Coming on United Reggae in early January.

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A thorough testimonial of the Marley legend

Ask the man in the street to name a reggae musician and he will answer Bob Marley. Ask the next man to name a reggae tune and he’ll probably give you Redemption Song, Could You Be Loved or No Woman, No Cry.

Bob Marley IS reggae music. No doubt about it.

His appeal 31 years after his death from melanoma at age 36 remains incredibly powerful. And this is despite his relatively short career in the global limelight, spanning from the Island debut album Catch a Fire in 1973 to his untimely death in May 1981.

Marley is the latest documentary about the man and his music. It has taken almost four years in the making and is meant to be the definitive story of the singer, and was created in cooperation with the family.

Super director and producer Martin Scorsese was originally attached to the project in 2008, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. The film was finally completed under the direction of Oscar and BAFTA winner Kevin Macdonald, of The Last King of Scotland fame.

It contains interviews with Bob Marley himself as well as his friends and family, including Ziggy Marley, Neville Garrick and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald of the Wailing Souls. It also includes concert footage and unique photo material courtesy of the Marley family.

The story of Bob Marley has been told many, many times before in both books and motion pictures and those hoping Marley will add new and never been told fascinating details will probably be disappointed.

But Marley is however the best documentary of the singer yet, since it digs deep during its more than two hours worth of running time. It’s a truly fascinating story of a son rejected by his father determined to be a musician. A story of a generous, unfaithful and focused human being who found a father figure in Haile Selassie and became an activist and a role model to people in Asia, in Europe, in the Caribbean, in the U.S., in Australia, in the Middle East and in Africa.

I’m not sure there will be another artist of the Bob Marley caliber ever again. An artist whose music speaks all people irrespective of class, gender or race.

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