Just the name “Bob Marley” still stirs excitement in the hearts of fans all over the world. For these fans, a new live recording from the height of the late great Marley’s career with excellent sound quality is a real blessing, and all of them will feel blessed by Easy Skanking in Boston ’78. It is part of the celebration of (would what have been) Marley’s 70th birthday year and the music comes from two shows that took place on June 8, 1978 at Boston’s Music Hall.
The title is available as a CD/DVD package and a Blu-ray/DVD package, but this review is for the audio CD, which includes six more songs than there are on the DVD or Blu-ray.
Marley was a hero to many for his social consciousness and a musical icon for many more who were introduced to reggae through his music. As a performer, he had amazing chemistry with his audience and, with his wonderful backing band, The Wailers, he brought such joy to any venue he graced. All of this is very evident in this new release, which sounds as fresh and vivid now as it did all those years ago. While listening, it is easy to envision the packed hall rocking with dancing, shouting, sweating people and Marley and The Wailers taking that energy and reflecting it back through the music. It is hard to comprehend that this was less than four years before cancer claimed Marley’s life.
Many of Marley’s best-loved songs are here, including a haunting version of “No Woman, No Cry” and the ebullient “I Shot the Sheriff,” as well as “Jammin’,” “Exodus,” and “Get Up, Stand Up,” which is particularly stellar here. But there are other numbers that have not appeared on so many other collections, included “Easy Skanking, ” “Burnin’ and Lootin’,” and “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry).” There are 13 numbers altogether, and they flow as smoothy as the ocean and let the listener float through the ups and downs of the music and Marley’s voice like it’s a lazy Caribbean summer day. The only thing that would make it better would be if the set had included “Three Little Birds,” this reviewer’s favorite Marley song.
As long as material like this continues to surface, Bob Marley will continue to inspire and invigorate his fans through the music that keeps him alive in our ears and in our hearts.
[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00R8SN6SK]