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Let's face it, the 'Bob Marley & the Wailers' accreditation is a slightly misleading marketing ploy. This is really no more than an interesting compilation of some very well known - and several completely obscure - tracks by a variety of artists, the common factor being that assorted combinations of the Wailers feature somewhere in the mix. For instance, although it is always a pleasure to hear Bob Andy's sublime 'I've Got To Go Back Home', it is only included here because Bunny Wailer and Constantine Walker are singing "ooh" and "aah" in the background.

So, we also get tracks by Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, Jackie Opel, Lord Brynner and Lee Perry, all featuring harmony vocals by the Wailers, as well as four titles by Rita Marley and the Soulettes, and just two by Bob Marley & the Wailers.

However, Heartbeat should be applauded for their commitment to researching and releasing the rich legacy of the Wailers’ early recordings at Studio One. That Ain’t Right by Rita and the Soulettes is previously unreleased in any format, and several titles appear here for the first time on CD or LP. This is a very worthwhile release by any standards, and a ‘must buy’ for any Wailers’ completists.

The sleeve notes, and a very informative track by track commentary, are once again provided by Wailers' expert Leroy Jodie Pierson, and, as evidence of Heartbeat's attention to detail, the design on the CD is a very effective pastiche of one of the earliest Studio One labels.

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Bob Marley & the Wailers (1999)

Heartbeat HB 201


I've Got To Go Back Home (Bob Andy); Jerk All Night (Delroy Wilson); That Ain't Right (Soulettes); The Train Is Coming (Ken Boothe); Oh My Darling (Bob Marley & Marcia Griffiths); One More Chance (Soulettes); Tell Them Lord (Bob Marley & Wailers); Where's Sammy Gone (Lord Brynner); Ice Water (Jack Sparrow); Friends And Lovers (Soulettes); Rude Boy (Bob Marley & Wailers); Pussy Galore (King Perry); Bless You (Bunny & Rita); A Time To Cry (Jackie Opel); A Deh Pon Dem (Soulettes); I Want Justice (Delroy Wilson); The Mill Man (Jackie Opel); Don't Cry Over Me (Joanne Dennis)