Living - Burning Spear
Marcus Children Suffer
Marcus Say Jah No Dead
|The four studio albums that Burning Spear
(Winston Rodney) made for Island Records during 1975 / 1978,
Marcus Garvey (1975). Man In The Hills (1976), Dry And Heavy (1978)
and this current reissue of Marcus Children aka
Social Living (1978) - represent the true cornerstone of his
In them Spear delivered the definitive versions of songs first recorded for Clement S. Dodd's Studio One label during the period 1969 / 1974, when he was working under the musical tutelage of such great Jamaican artists as Larry Marshal and Leroy Sibbles. He also evolved the musical foundations upon which all his subsequent work has rested, and by the time he came to record Social Living he had become both artist and producer of his work.
Taken together (or indeed separately), these albums constitute an intense and moving articulation of his abiding themes - black history and culture resistance and struggle against oppression - all expressed via a lyrical synthesis of Garveyism, Rastafarianism, and universal love. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that for many people outside of the Afro-Jamaican community, their first introduction to Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the great Pan-Africanist who had been born in Spear's home parish of St. Anns Bay on August 7th 1887, came from the music of Burning Spear. Since these recordings were made Burning Spear has continued his career, regularly recording and touring worldwide, displaying an admiral and unwavering commitment to the ideals expressed herein. This album is a near-perfect realisation of those ideals by an undisputedly major artist.
Steve Barrow - September 1994
A note on this recording.
This album has been digitally remastered from the original analogue tapes. Overall this has enhanced the sound of the music, revealing greater depth and subtlety in the mixes. We believe that due to today's technology this re-issue captures the sound quality of the original mixes more faithfully than any previously available version.
There is a downside however, slight imperfections that exist on the original masters are also faithfully reproduced. In particular there are a number of clicks at the beginning of Marcus Senior. While it is theoretically possible to remove these using sophisticated digital technology, in practice this means compromising the quality of the sound. We decided therefore, in keeping with the spirit of reggae as a 'vibes' music, to leave the clicks in and keep the feel of the track uncompromised. We have also sequenced the album in the running order of the original Jamaican release and we feel that this, together with the improved sound quality, makes this re-issue the closest to the artist's original intention.
Bob Harding - September 1994
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