Even though I enjoy listening to a lot of great dead musicians, there aren’t that many that I would have REALLY liked to have seen live. Fela Kuti is cool, but I don’t necessarily have to see him perform; Frank Sinatra has some great material, but I think his records serve him just as well. But Bob Marley would have been amazing to see. Maybe I’m making it bigger than what it would have been, but I think it still would be wild. Not only was the music that he and the Wailers were making filled with the most positive vibes, but his spirit was also one of the people for the people.
Anyhoo, enough about that; lets pay attention to Africa Unite: The Singles Collection. From the jump I have mixed feelings about the project. I want to support it because it’s the first release from Bob in many, MANY years, but that right there is also my gripe with it. This is another record that comes more from the boardroom than from Trenchtown. And so when I listen I can only feel that this is the disk for someone who is looking just to make a buck or the purchase for someone looking for the easy way to discover Bob and The Wailing Wailers.
As if this was not bad enough, when I heard Will I. Am from the Black Eyed Peas’ interpolation of “Africa Unite” I almost threw myself in front of the 65 bus. This song is absolute trash, and it pains me to read that Rita Marley sought out this fool to mix this garbage. If someone reads this review and sees Will, slap the shit out of him. As if this was not bad enough, the now quickly getting old “Mash Up” of “Stand Up Jamrock” is fine technically, and I’m really happy that Damian Marley is finally getting some love, but I have to hate this on principle. This song is unnecessary and out of place with the rest of the project. But hey, I guess that’s what the kids want these days. That being said, if you are looking for classics like ” Lively Up Yourself,” “Sun Is Shinning,” “Concrete Jungle,” and the previously unreleased “Slogans” then run, RUN, RUN to HMV Music, Amazon.com or whatever web portal you use to buy your music. But honestly I think you would be better off saving a few pennies on this one.?