Album #334 – Marcus Garvey

Album #334

Marcus Garvey was an album filled with songs about the political tensions in Jamaica. The sound on this reggae classic were more traditional and less accessible than Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytalls and Jimmy Cliff. In fact, Marcus Garvey felt like one thirty five minute song instead of ten shorter ones. While I enjoyed the rhythm and feel of the music on this album, I felt bored easily. When critics reviewed Marcus Garvey upon its release in 1975, they said that this album would not be as accessible to white audiences as Marley. They were right. I hate to say this but, Marley’s music is so different. Marley’s voice is strong and easier to understand. His songs are catchier. The lyrical content between these two artists is the same though. Burning Spear is actually the stage name of Winston Rodney. Bob Marley actually gave Rodney his big break. Even members of the Wailers, “Chinna” Smith and “Family Man” Barrett make appearances on this album as does Robbie Shakespeare, who would go on to more fame as a part of the duo Sly and Robbie. This album is pivotal in the spread of reggae and I do recognize it’s importance. It just didn’t feel as soulful as Marley’s music. Overall, I give Marcus Garvey, 3 out of 5.

Next: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

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