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Lively Up Yourself: Marley’s Dub Mixes Released on CD by Island

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In a year which saw a new Bob Marley compilation with some rare material surface (to tie in with the recent Marley documentary film, due on DVD and Blu-Ray next Tuesday), Universal has again gone into the reggae legend’s vaults for a new compilation focusing on Marley and The Wailers’ dub mixes.

Dub, a subgenre of reggae with an emphasis on rhythm tracks, would enjoy heavy crossover appeal by the middle of the 1980s. But during The Wailers’ heyday, dub was consigned to some of the more innovative studio musicians of Jamaica, from King Tubby to Lee “Scratch” Perry. The Wailers’ dub mixes were often hard to find, rarely appearing outside of local dub plate singles on Marley’s Tuff Gong Records; some were never even released until the deluge of reissues and anthologies following Marley’s unexpected death in 1981.

As it stands, about seven of the 11 tracks on In Dub, Volume 1 have never been before released on a physical album. (This set was released as a digital download in 2010.) One newly-created mix, “Lively Up Your Dub,” has been created by noted reggae producer Scientist just for this set. And physical consumers rejoice! In Dub, Volume 1 (the promised first in a series) is available now on CD or vinyl. Hit the jump to order your copies and have a look at the track list.

Bob Marley & The Wailers, In Dub, Volume 1 (CD, vinyl) (Tuff Gong/Island/UMe B0015161-02, 2012)

  1. Roots, Rock, Dub (from Rastaman Vibration: Deluxe Edition – Tuff Gong/Island 440 063 446-2, 2002)
  2. Is This Love (Dub)
  3. Forever Loving Jah (Dub)
  4. Lively Up Your Dub
  5. Three Little Birds (Dub) (12″ B-side – Island 12 IS 236 (U.K.), 1985)
  6. Crazy Baldhead (Dub)
  7. Waiting in Vain (Dub)
  8. Jamming (Version) (from Exodus: Deluxe Edition – Tuff Gong/Island 314-586 408-2, 2001)
  9. One Love/People Get Ready (Dub) (12″ A-side – Island 12 ISX 169 (U.K.), 1984)
  10. She’s Gone (Dub)
  11. Smile Jamaica (Version) (single B-side – Tuff Gong (no cat. #), 1976)

Written by Mike Duquette

July 31, 2012 at 16:20

One Response

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  1. I’ve heard this. I’m a big fan of reggae and dub. This is fairly dismal. The Wailers’ music, for various reasons, doesn’t lend itself well to dub, and most of what’s here lacks the character or perversity or joy of great dub – it mostly plays it safe. (One of the reasons the Wailers did so well with non-Jamaican audiences is that their mixes were deliberately made similar to “rock” mixes, their rhythms generally took a deep backseat to the melody / guitar and they eschewed a certain claustrophobia that much reggae enjoys and much dub relies upon. Several of the tracks here were dubiously remixed sometime between Marley’s death and today, and most of the decent (and I stress “decent” – nothing here is great) tracks are on CDs most Marley fans would have already. “Smile Jamaica (version),” for instance, is on the remaster of “Kaya.”

    If you listen to as much reggae as you do “rock,” you will gradually realize that the Wailers are in many ways more like a (soft) rock band than roots reggae (lyrical concerns and semiotic musical motifs aside.) Dub can pretty fairly be considered the heaviest subset of reggae. In terms of results, Marley In Dub is roughly like James Taylor In Dub. That’s no diss to either artist, just a way of expressing the slim odds that anyone’s really going to enjoy this . . . it just doesn’t work well.

    Don’t bother with this one.


    August 1, 2012 at 01:28

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