Things moved fast in the music business of 1973. Less than six months after the Wailers released their first international album, Catch A Fire on 4 May, the conflagration continued with the release of Burnin’ on 19 October. Still billed only as the Wailers, and still led by the three-man vocal front line of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, the band was now moving through the gears with an increasing sense of mission.
The album’s opening track ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ became an enduring anthem of people power, adopted by civil rights activists the world over. Marley and Tosh are said to have co-written the song while touring Haiti, where they encountered extremes of poverty that were the equal of anything in Jamaica. Interestingly, the lyric specifically criticised religious teachers for creating a smokescreen with promises of a paradise to come, thereby distracting people from claiming their rights as human beings here on this world. “Preacherman don’t tell me heaven is under earth,” Marley sang with evident disdain. The song would be re-recorded on subsequent solo albums by both Tosh and Wailer and would remain a key number in Marley’s repertoire to the end of his career; indeed it would be the last song he ever performed on stage (in Pittsburgh in September 1980).
An album full of revolutionary fire and fervour, it was also the last, heroic distillation of a line-up that had taken the teenaged Wailer, Tosh and Marley on a journey from the streets of Trenchtown to the brink of global stardom. Henceforth it would be Marley who was very much the man in charge.
To celebrate in style we will be joined in London by Don Lett’s who was largely responsible for merging punk rock and reggae in London in the late seventies, as he said himself: “The only white people you would see at a Jah Shaka dance in Dalston would be The Sex Pistols, The Clash… my friends.”
Join us at one of our worldwide events to hear this album as never before.
Time & Date: Sunday April 29th 2018 16:00 – 19:00
Venue: Brilliant Corners, 470 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AE
Tickets: £10 plus booking fee in advance here
Presenter: Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and Don Letts
Audio Menu: Dynavector D17D3 MC Cartridge, Rega P9 Turntable, Rega IOS Phono Stage Audio Note Jinro Integrated Amp, Chord Signature Speaker Cable, Chord Signature Tuned Aray interconnects, ISOL-8 Substation Integra Power Conditioner and Klipschorn Loudspeakers