Albums

$17.99
$14.99

Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Grammy Awards
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
$10.49

Reggae - Released January 1, 2001 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Uprising would be the final studio album featuring Bob Marley & the Wailers to be released during Marley's lifetime. Prophetically, it also contains some of the band's finest crafted material, as if they were cognizant that this would be their final outing. The album's blend of religious and secular themes likewise creates a very powerful and singular quest for spirituality in a material world. Although it is argued that an album's graphic design rarely captures the essence of the work inside, the powerful rebirthing image of a rock solid Marley emerging with his arms raised in triumph could not be a more accurate visual description of the musical jubilation within. Musically, the somewhat staid rhythms often synonymous with reggae have been completely turned around to include slinky and liquid syncopation. "Work," "Pimper's Paradise," and the lead-off track "Coming in From the Cold" are all significant variations on the lolloping Rasta beat. The major difference is the sonic textures that manipulate and fill those patterns. The inventive and unique guitar work of Al Anderson -- the only American member of the original Wailers -- once again redefines the role of the lead electric guitar outside of its standard rock & roll setting. "Zion Train" is awash in wah-wah-driven patterns creating an eerie, almost ethereal backdrop against Marley's lyrics, which recollect images from Peter Tosh's "Stop That Train" all the way back on Marley & the Wailers' international debut Catch a Fire. The final track on the original pressing of Uprising is "Redemption Song." Never has an artist unknowingly written such a beautiful and apropos living epitaph. The stark contrast from the decidedly electric and group-oriented album to this hauntingly beautiful solo acoustic composition is as dramatic as it is visionary. Less than a year after the release of Uprising, Marley would succumb to cancer. The 2001 "Definitive Remaster" version of Uprising contains the band version of "Redemption Song" and the 12" mix of "Could You Be Loved." ~ Lindsay Planer
$13.49
$10.99

Reggae - Released March 10, 2017 | Wagram Music - Chapter Two Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Reggae - Released October 5, 2018 | Yotanka Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Download not available
$10.49

Reggae - Released January 1, 2001 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
Containing what is considered Marley's most defiant and politically charged statement to date, Survival concerns itself with the expressed solidarity of not only Africa, but of humanity at large. The album was controversial right down to the jacket, which contains a crude schematic of the stowage compartment of a typical transatlantic slave ship. Survival is intended as a wake-up call for everyman to resist and fight oppression in all of its insidious forms. From Tyrone Downie's opening synthesizer strains on "So Much Trouble in the World" to the keyboard accents emerging throughout "Zimbabwe," the sounds of Survival are notably modern. The overwhelming influence of contemporary African music is also cited with the incorporation of brass, á la Fela Kuti and his horn-driven Africa '70. While "Top Rankin'," "Ride Natty Ride," and "Wake Up and Live" are the most obvious to benefit from this influence, there are other and often more subtle inspirations scattered throughout. Survival could rightly be considered a concept album. Marley had rarely been so pointed and persistent in his content. The days of the musical parable are more or less replaced by direct and confrontational lyrics. From the subversive "Zimbabwe" -- which affirms the calls for the revolution and ultimate liberation of the South African country -- to the somewhat more introspective and optimistic "Africa Unite," the message of this album is clearly a call to arms for those wanting to abolish the subjugation and tyranny of not only Africans, but all humankind. Likewise, Survival reinforces the image of Marley as a folk hero to those suffering from oppression. ~ Lindsay Planer
$18.99

Reggae - Released January 1, 2004 | Tuff Gong

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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
$8.99

Dub - Released October 19, 2018 | Jarring Effects

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
$10.49

Reggae - Released January 1, 2001 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
For Bob Marley, 1975 was a triumphant year. The singer's Natty Dread album featured one of his strongest batches of original material (the first compiled after the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) and delivered Top 40 hit "No Woman No Cry." The follow-up Live set, a document of Marley's appearance at London's Lyceum, found the singer conquering England as well. Upon completing the tour, Marley and his band returned to Jamaica, laying down the tracks for Rastaman Vibration (1976) at legendary studios run by Harry Johnson and Joe Gibbs. At the mixing board for the sessions were Sylvan Morris and Errol Thompson, Jamaican engineers of the highest caliber. Though none of these cuts would show up on Legend, Marley's massively popular, posthumous best-of, some of the finest reality numbers would surface on the compilation's more militant equivalent, 1986's Rebel Music set. "War," for one, remains one of the most stunning statements of the singer's career. Though it is essentially a straight reading of one of Haile Selassie's speeches, Marley phrases the text exquisitely to fit a musical setting, a quiet intensity lying just below the surface. Equally strong are the likes of "Rat Race," "Crazy Baldhead," and "Want More." These songs are tempered by buoyant, lighthearted material like "Cry to Me," "Night Shift," and "Positive Vibration." Not quite as strong as some of the love songs Marley would score hits with on subsequent albums, "Cry to Me" still seems like an obvious choice for a single and remains underrated. Though record buyers may not have found any single song to be as strong on those terms as "No Woman No Cry," Rastaman Vibration still reached the Top Ten in the United States. ~ Nathan Bush
$20.49

Reggae - Released May 19, 2017 | VP Records

Distinctions Songlines Five-star review
Lee Perry is generally acknowledged as a production genius, but on occasion that genius can be destructive, and while there's no disputing his talent, sometimes the results can be less than aurally satisfying. This is especially true when it comes to albums, where Perry's efforts were often erratic. On Heart of the Congos he was brilliant, and across the record's original ten tracks Perry created a masterpiece of music. Many critics consider this 1977 album one of the best roots records of all time, and at the very least, it was Perry's apex -- only Junior Byles' Beat Down Babylon is an equal contender. Which is why it's all the more shocking that the record was turned down by Island, and even back in Jamaica it received only a limited release. It took nearly two decades for Heart of the Congos to reappear, finally reissued with a clutch of period bonus tracks by Blood and Fire. The Congos themselves seem the least-likely contenders to record an exceptional album with Perry. The duo of Cedric Myton and Roy "Ashanti" Johnson had a unique sound, revolving around the former man's crystalline falsetto, which was set off by the latter's rich tenor. The pair composed deeply cultural songs, but both men's vocals had a gentle quality that would wither under a typical deep roots arrangement. Still, Perry had proved his worth working with the soft, husky tones of Byles, but few expected him to be able to repeat this feat. In fact, if anything, the producer was even more sympathetic to the Congos' styling and exhibited a musical self-restraint that astonished even his hardcore fans. Every track on the original album is worthy of classic status, and all presented the group and their songs in the best possible light. To this end, Perry was aided by a phenomenal group of sessionmen and guest backing vocalists which included Gregory Isaacs, a pair of Heptones, and the mighty Meditations. But beyond the Congos' superb songs and performance, the superb musicianship, and the exceptional vocal talents, it's Perry's arrangements that brought these numbers to life. Each one was carefully tailored, taking into consideration the mood of the piece and the vocalist. The tribal beats of "Congoman," for example, are just the song's launch pad; its the way the vocals and harmonies weave in and out that makes the piece extraordinary. The 12" and "Chanting" versions give further evidence of Perry's genius. "Ark of the Covenant" is stuffed to the brim with instrumentation, with the vocals soaring overhead, and brings the album to a religious fervor. In contrast, "Solid Foundation" is stripped back, a showpiece for Myton's marvelous falsetto. There's the stirring roots of "Open the Gates" and "Sodom and Gomorrow," while rocksteady echoes across the deeply affecting "Children Crying" and "La La Bam Bam." Every track offers something new: a unique sound, an unforgettable melody and rhythm, an unexpected arrangement. As much work went into the remastering as the recording, and the album sounds as good as it must have at the time it was recorded. Revel in the moment. ~ Jo-Ann Greene

Reggae - Released October 14, 2013 | Jarring Effects

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Download not available
$16.49

Reggae - Released January 1, 2013 | Tuff Gong

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
The second half of the 1970s was a prolific era for Bob Marley, at the peak of his glory days, during which he was releasing an album a year. After Rastaman Vibration in 1976, Exodus in 1977, the Jamaican artist released this Kaya in 1978, with tracks originating from the same session as Exodus, recorded during the first few months of his exile in London, in early 1977. The album is widely considered as his lightest, no doubt because of its theme, as Kaya means marijuana in Jamaican slang. The album starts off with Easy Skanking’s “Excuse me while I light my spliff”, as if Marley was totally at ease with the B-side nature of these songs. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the hit machines that were the Wailers, as this album features two of their discography’s biggest successes, Is This Love and Satisfy My Soul – certified double platinum in France and gold disc in the USA. Bob Marley also used these sessions to revisit his Lee Perry period, first with the title song Kaya, for which he wrote a chiselled version without Scratch’s wacky flamenco guitar, like a symbol of Island’s influence – some would say to the detriment of romanticism… –, while Sun Is Shining, more ethereal than its original, rose to new heights and spiciness with Junior Marvin’s electric guitar. On the B-side at the time, one could find She’s Gone, a song about an ousted lover, Crisis, which sounds like a spin-off born out of a rehearsal for Is This Love, or the “rastaman chant” Time Will Tell, cadenced by Nyabinghi drumming. The album ends in a deadpan way with Smile Jamaica, a title composed for its namesake concert on December 5th, 1976 at the National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica, in which Bob Marley took part two days after being shot… © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
$14.99
$9.99

Dub - Released October 27, 2014 | Yotanka Productions

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
$9.99

Dub - Released September 24, 2012 | Zenzile

Distinctions Sélection FIP

Reggae - Released December 5, 2007 | Baco Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Download not available
$7.49

Dub - Released January 1, 1979 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
If Dread Beat An' Blood brought Johnson and initial flush of notoriety, then Forces of Victory was the record that cemented his growing reputation as a major talent. Bovell and the Dub Band swing hard on this set, especially on the album's opening track "Want Fi Goh Rave." This contains some of Johnson's most memorable songs/poems, such as the heartfelt prison saga "Sonny's Lettah" and the confrontational "Fite Dem Back," which he delivers in his trademark sing-song Jamaican patois. Dramatic and intense to the point of claustrophobia, Forces of Victory is not simply one of the most important reggae records of its time, it's one of the most important reggae records ever recorded. ~ John Dougan
$8.99

Reggae - Released July 11, 1995 | Virgin Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$9.99

Ska & Rocksteady - Released October 18, 2014 | Gorgon Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$12.99

Reggae - Released June 15, 2018 | Trojan Records

Distinctions Songlines Five-star review
$10.49

Reggae - Released January 1, 2001 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
The second half of the 1970s was a prolific era for Bob Marley, at the peak of his glory days, during which he was releasing an album a year. After Rastaman Vibration in 1976, Exodus in 1977, the Jamaican artist released this Kaya in 1978, with tracks originating from the same session as Exodus, recorded during the first few months of his exile in London, in early 1977. The album is widely considered as his lightest, no doubt because of its theme, as Kaya means marijuana in Jamaican slang. The album starts off with Easy Skanking’s “Excuse me while I light my spliff”, as if Marley was totally at ease with the B-side nature of these songs. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the hit machines that were the Wailers, as this album features two of their discography’s biggest successes, Is This Love and Satisfy My Soul – certified double platinum in France and gold disc in the USA. Bob Marley also used these sessions to revisit his Lee Perry period, first with the title song Kaya, for which he wrote a chiselled version without Scratch’s wacky flamenco guitar, like a symbol of Island’s influence – some would say to the detriment of romanticism… –, while Sun Is Shining, more ethereal than its original, rose to new heights and spiciness with Junior Marvin’s electric guitar. On the B-side at the time, one could find She’s Gone, a song about an ousted lover, Crisis, which sounds like a spin-off born out of a rehearsal for Is This Love, or the “rastaman chant” Time Will Tell, cadenced by Nyabinghi drumming. The album ends in a deadpan way with Smile Jamaica, a title composed for its namesake concert on December 5th, 1976 at the National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica, in which Bob Marley took part two days after being shot… © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz

Dub - Released September 22, 2017 | Subatomic Sound

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Download not available