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Bob Marley & The Wailers (1999)

Heartbeat HB191 (LP & CD)

Destiny; Wages Of Love; Do You Feel The Same Way Too; Your Love; Don't Ever Leave Me (take 1); Don't Ever Leave Me (take 2); I Need You So; Rock Sweet Rock; Another Dance; I Stand Predominant; Where Is My Mother (acoustic version); Where Is My Mother (band take); Dance With Me; What's New Pussycat; Treat Me Good; Jerking Time (aka Jerk In Time); Do It Right; Let The Lord Be Seen In Me

CD bonus track: White Christmas

Latest in Heartbeat's continuing series of Wailers' archive material, this compilation includes some of the most rare and sought-after tunes from the Wailers' sojourn at Studio One. But, be warned, the subtitle 'Rare Ska Sides...' is a bit of a misnomer, as, althought all the tracks date from the 'ska' era, many of the titles presented here are R&B or Doo Wap in nature rather than pure 'ska'.

I must admit that I was a little apprehensive about this release after initial reports seemed to suggest that Heartbeat might be 'scraping the barrel' in terms of Wailers' catalogue. However, my initial doubts were quickly dispelled - this is an excellent compilation by any standards. It is simply fascinating to hear the embrionic Wailers exploring and experimenting with a variety of musical forms and combinations of vocal harmonies.

The presentation of the CD booklet is exemplary in every respect, with informative sleeve notes by Roger Steffens and Chris Wilson, and a track by track commentary by Leroy Pierson.

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