Most underrated Bob Marley album

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by EchoStars24, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. EchoStars24

    EchoStars24 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    West Hartford, CT
    I was gonna make a "best Bob Marley album thread" but I knew there was already going to have been one so I decided to make this instead
  2. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger

    Survival? I'm crazy about it, it's tough stuff to be sure but there's a great sense of rage and unease that makes it great IMO.
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  3. 99thfloor

    99thfloor Forum Resident

    Rastaman Vibration and Survival are clearly the most underrated (I voted Survival), they don't have the big hit songs and they are not represented on Legend, their sales (and downlod, streaming, etc.) numbers are a significant step below the others, but i.m.o., even though they don't have the most famous songs, they have a very high and uniform level of quality all the way through and I think they are very important albums because they represent the more politically charged, socially aware side of Marley. (These albums instead, to balance out Legend, featured heavily on Rebel Music and Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On.)

    Out of the pre-Island catalogue it is definitely the Leslie Kong produced The Best of the Wailers which is the most underrated, people only zone in on the Perry productions, bit this album is superb, "Caution" is one of my absolute favourite Wailers tracks.
    My answer would have been the same, Survival, amazing high quality on the whole set of songs and as a unit a very strong statement, one of those "more than the sum of it parts" phenomenons. Also the first Island album that didn't rely on using re-recordings of older songs (they were trying an updated "Soul Shake Up Party", but that wouldn't have fit in).
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  4. Em.

    Em. Forum Resident

    SoCal, USA
    Rastaman Vibration.
    It's the pivotal Wailers album when Carly's playing really became exceptionally original and innovative.
    I'm biased toward this album, though. My dad used to have me take naps to it when I was 2 and 3 years old (1976/77).
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  5. ianuaditis

    ianuaditis Evil Twin

    Survival, because its the best, but you never hear about it being the best.
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  6. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Survival is my favorite but I'm going to say Kaya, because I notice it gets dismissed as too lightweight or whatever..and it's really a great record.
  7. 99thfloor

    99thfloor Forum Resident

    Here are some statistics based popularity analysis, can be useful: CSPC: Bob Marley Popularity Analysis - ChartMasters

    It may be dismissed by some critics, but not by the music listeners, it is his second most popular album according to the above analysis.

    When looking at that it actually seems that Catch a Fire, which is on the other hand critically acclaimed, is one that is a bit underrated by the public, since it's on the popularity level of Confrontation.
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  8. amoergosum

    amoergosum Forum Resident

    It's also my favorite Bob Marley album...just incredible.

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  9. A Saucerful of Scarlets

    A Saucerful of Scarlets Commenter Turned Viewer

    Catch a Fire because from the 4 I've heard it's easily the best and is one of my all time favourite albums.
  10. Rastaman Vibration for me. Interesting to note, that Roots, Rock, Reggae is the only US "hit" Marley had in his lifetime and it's not even on Legend!
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  11. rod sphere

    rod sphere Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA, USA
    i know....weird huh? really is his far as lps go....yet..wailing wailers equals.....but that's the wailers.......different group, in a wayler..............ha......i always liked survival as my fav and his best......but the "band"......???60's or early 70's....not so much albums maybe..but...
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  12. SirNoseDVoid

    SirNoseDVoid Forum Resident

    The live recording made at the Record Plant in 1973.. I think parts of this appeared on the 'Talking Blues' album, although cut up to bits. To me it beats both the 'Live' and 'Babylon by Bus' lps.
  13. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Yeah I know it's very popular. That's most likely why it's sometimes treated dismissively.
  14. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I though all Marley's Island albums were thought of very, very highly. I don't think any one of them is underrated, though I think Natty Dread, Burnin' and Catch a Fire are probably the best of 'em

    The Studio One and Leslie Kong and Lee Perry stuff is probably the most under appreciated, but I'm not sure any of the albums really are great. More of a singles thing.

    But the Marley stuff I find myself returning to most is the early '70s pre-Island or non-Island Jamaican stuff, like "Screw Face" and the original takes on "Soul Rebel" and "Duppy Conqueror" and "Small Axe" and "Trenchtown Rock," and records like "Craven Choke Puppy." I think that stuff, and especially the early '70s pre-Island Tuff Gong singles (a lot of the material Marley would re-record for Island through the early part of the decade), is the most under appreciated and even under heard Bob Marley stuff. Probably the easiest way to hear that stuff today is via the Songs of Freedom box I think, I wind up turning to the first two disks of that box more than any of the proper Marley albums these days.
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  15. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Kaya is a very accessible album, very easy for non-reggae fans to get into...kind of a gateway album. It was for me back in 1983-84 or whenever it was I got into it. Probably the very first reggae album I 'got' after maybe Labour of Love. I can't remember which I heard first.

    But Kaya was definitely one of the very first. I think it was for a lot of people. And because of the album's accessibility and its commercial success, sometimes when people get deeper into reggae they think of albums like this as too light, too mainstream...whatever.

    I have heard that expressed more than a few times about this album. Even right here on this forum. And I think it's a mistake to look at it that way because it is a really great record. That was my point.
  16. django68

    django68 Forum Resident

    I guess it depends on where you're coming from; I'm a hardened reggae fan, it's my main musical interest - so for me I guess I could say the Lee Perry stuff deserves more appreciation from a wider audience - but of course it's not aimed specifically at the commercial market. Of the Island era. I would actually suggest Confrontation. It wasn't a "genuine" album of course, but I really think Island did a good job creating a coherent set from the left overs and Jamaican singles. I do prefer the original mixes of those singles, but the album hangs together well. The only mis-step being the rather plodding anemic remix of Rastaman Live Up, that lacks the punch of the 1978 7" version. Give Thanks And Praises would probably have been a more fitting and poignant album closer too.
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  17. GuyDon

    GuyDon Senior Member

    IMO, Survival.
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  18. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Forum Resident

    My lab
    Catch a Fire, Burnin', Natty Dread, Live! and Uprising are all essential. I don't think the acclaim around those have ever diminished since their release, so I wouldn't call them underrated.
  19. TerpStation

    TerpStation "Music's not for everyone."

    washington, dc
    I'le go Survival too. And its good to see so many others think so too. Over the years i've come to believe its his best record.....yet, look at say "all music guide" and it gets only 3 stars. His worst rated record.....which is so wrong....
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