It will be a sin not to recommend this soundtrack to the documentary biographical film directed by Kevin MacDonald. The story of the life of Bob Marley, the widely known and revered performer of reggae music is brought to life with this 2 CD set comprising of two dozen songs, a selection of the singer’s better known hits and harder edged political and spiritual material.
The Jamaican singer songwriter formed the reggae, ska and rocksteady band Bob Marley & The Wailers with like minded musicians in 1963, and for 18 years till the death of Marley in 1981, the popular band had brought the world countless memorable tunes, some of which can be found on this extraordinary soundtrack.
One can feel the love in putting this album together, considering that the decision was left in the hands of Marley’s immediate family members and former Island Records boss Chris Blackwell. Instead of releasing another obligatorily commercial “best of” album, the producers manage to connect listeners with Marley’s true form of music with this highly recommended soundtrack.
With 102 minutes of music to soothe your nerves, be ready to soak in the comforting vocals of the band in tunes like “Corner Stone”, “Simmer Down” and “Mellow Mood”. Elsewhere, get in the groove of things with flavourful tracks like “Crazy Baldhead”, “Natty Dread” and “Get Up Stand Up”.
Live recordings are also included on this album. Listen out for the soulful “Trenchtown Rock (Live at Roxy Theatre)” – you will strike a chord with the poignantly written lyrics “One good thing about music/ When it hits you you feel no pain/ So hit me with music/ Hit me with music”. There is also the previously unreleased nine minute “Jammin’ (Live at One Love Peace Concert)”, a gem which is worth the price of the album alone. “No Woman No Cry (Live at the Lyceum)” and “War (Live! At the Rainbow)” are also noteworthy tunes on the album.
Whether or not you are familiar with the influential artiste’s contributions to the music scene, you will fall in love with the sincerely selected songs on this soundtrack.
Recommended Track: Disc 2 (1) Jammin’ (Live at One Love Peace Concert)
Review by John Li