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The Wailers - Burnin'

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Burnin'

The Wailers

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The Wailers' fourth album overall, Burnin', was their second for Island Records, released only six months after its predecessor, Catch a Fire. Given that speed, it's not surprising that several tracks -- "Put It On," "Small Axe," and "Duppy Conqueror" -- are re-recordings of songs dating back a few years. But they fit in seamlessly with the newer material, matching its religious militancy and anthemic style. The confrontational nature of the group's message is apparent immediately in the opening track, "Get Up, Stand Up," as stirring a song as any that emerged from the American Civil Rights movement a decade before. The Wailers are explicit in their call to violence, a complete reversal from their own 1960s "Simmer Down" philosophy. Here, on "Burnin' and Lootin'," they take issue with fellow Jamaican Jimmy Cliff's song of the previous year, "Many Rivers to Cross," asking impatiently, "How many rivers do we have to cross/Before we can talk to the boss?" "I Shot the Sheriff," the album's most celebrated song, which became a number one hit in the hands of Eric Clapton in 1974, claims self-defense, admits consequences ("If I am guilty I will pay"), and emphasizes the isolated nature of the killing ("I didn't shoot no deputy"), but its central image is violent. Such songs illuminated the desperation of poor Jamaican life, but they also looked forward to religious salvation, their themes accentuated by the compelling rhythms and the alternating vocals of the three singers. Bob Marley was a first among equals, of course, and after this album his partners, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, quit the group, which thereafter was renamed Bob Marley and the Wailers. The three bonus tracks on the 2001 reissue are all by Tosh and Wailer, though recorded at the album's sessions, suggesting the source of their frustration.
© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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Burnin'

The Wailers

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1
Get Up, Stand Up
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:18

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Hallelujah Time
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:29

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

3
I Shot The Sheriff (Album Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:04:41

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

4
Burnin' And Lootin'
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:04:14

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Put It On
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:58

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

6
Small Axe
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:04:00

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

7
Pass It On
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:35

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Duppy Conqueror
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:44

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

9
One Foundation
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:41

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

10
Rastaman Chant (Album Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:45

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

11
Reincarnated Soul
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:43

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 1973 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

12
No Sympathy (Remastered Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:08

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 2001 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

13
The Oppressed Song (Remastered Version)
Bob Marley & The Wailers
00:03:16

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Bob Marley & The Wailers

℗ 2001 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

Album Description

The Wailers' fourth album overall, Burnin', was their second for Island Records, released only six months after its predecessor, Catch a Fire. Given that speed, it's not surprising that several tracks -- "Put It On," "Small Axe," and "Duppy Conqueror" -- are re-recordings of songs dating back a few years. But they fit in seamlessly with the newer material, matching its religious militancy and anthemic style. The confrontational nature of the group's message is apparent immediately in the opening track, "Get Up, Stand Up," as stirring a song as any that emerged from the American Civil Rights movement a decade before. The Wailers are explicit in their call to violence, a complete reversal from their own 1960s "Simmer Down" philosophy. Here, on "Burnin' and Lootin'," they take issue with fellow Jamaican Jimmy Cliff's song of the previous year, "Many Rivers to Cross," asking impatiently, "How many rivers do we have to cross/Before we can talk to the boss?" "I Shot the Sheriff," the album's most celebrated song, which became a number one hit in the hands of Eric Clapton in 1974, claims self-defense, admits consequences ("If I am guilty I will pay"), and emphasizes the isolated nature of the killing ("I didn't shoot no deputy"), but its central image is violent. Such songs illuminated the desperation of poor Jamaican life, but they also looked forward to religious salvation, their themes accentuated by the compelling rhythms and the alternating vocals of the three singers. Bob Marley was a first among equals, of course, and after this album his partners, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, quit the group, which thereafter was renamed Bob Marley and the Wailers. The three bonus tracks on the 2001 reissue are all by Tosh and Wailer, though recorded at the album's sessions, suggesting the source of their frustration.
© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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