Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

100 Records That Shook The World, #36

Catch A Fire (LP)

The Wailers

Not 'Bob Marley and The Wailers'. Just 'The Wailers'. Sure, Bob was the principal singer and songwriter, but it was still a triumvirate, with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh doing just as much as Bob. Bunny and Tosh would appear on just one more Wailers album, Burnin', the following year before both departing for solo careers. Catch A Fire was their first major-label release. The original master tapes were flown from Jamaica to England where Chris Blackwell twiddled some more knobs, added some more guitar and keyboard parts, released it and made a heap of money. After that, everyone knew the name of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, and Bob Marley and The Wailers.

The first 20,000 pressings of the LP came in a silver Zippo-lighter sleeve with just the band's name and title on it. The sleeve worked just like the lighter, with a hinge on its edge so the top half could be flipped back to reveal the record.

 However, these had to made by hand and it was just too expensive. So the more familiar sleeve with the portrait of Bob smoking a joint replaced it, and this actually said 'Bob Marley and The Wailers' on it.

The album itself is a classic, containing as it does the songs "Stop That Train" and "Stir It Up", which went on to become a worldwide smash for Johnny Nash. Catch A Fire was the album that turned Bob and The Wailers into international reggae superstars, and nothing would ever be the same again.


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