Monday, May 6, 2013

Bob Marley and The Wailers - Live Forever - review!

One of the best parts of my daily routine is getting an email from notifying me of the music deal of the day. If you haven’t discovered this site yet, you are in for a treat. Pop Market has daily and weekly deals on vinyl, CD’s, and music blurays/DVD’s. These are private sales that come to the company from various distributors, so you never know what they are going to have. For example: Monday there can be a half-price sale on a deluxe edition of Fleetwood Mac Rumours and then Tuesday it is replaced by a discounted price on David Bowie’s newest vinyl release The Next Day. They give you a hint of what will come each day of the week but no details, only what artist. This mystery is a part of the fun. Words of warning, there are only limited quantities of each item and they often sell out so don’t wait until the last minute.

I recently took advantage of their sale on the Bob Marley and the Wailers Live Forever box set. This is a live recording of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ final concert on September 23, 1980 at The Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bob and his band were touring to support their final studio album called Uprising. Nearing the end of the tour and after two sold out shows at Madison Square Gardens in New York, Bob collapsed while jogging in Central Park. Two days later, even though he was still feeling very sick, Bob decided to play this final show in Pittsburgh.

When this album came in the mail, I immediately played it before I read the liner notes explaining how sick he was and the significance of this being his final performance. Even before knowing these details, I was completely happy with the performance. I loved the raw-ness of the recording/performance, hearing tape hiss and feedback. I didn’t feel it was as great a live album as Babylon By Bus but definitely enjoyed hearing new performances of all of my favorite Bob Marley songs. Once I read the liner notes and really understood how he was feeling and the significance of this recording, I enjoyed it at an entire new level. He was far from sounding like a sick man performing, his voice full of energy and character. There wasn’t a bad performance in the entire set. It’s hard to imagine what was going through Bob’s head at this point, just visiting the doctor after his collapse days prior who likely gave him his death sentence. The fact that he could portray such a positive vibe in his music regardless of his circumstances amazes me.

The packaging for this album is beautiful. The three 180 gram albums are housed in a hard cover book, with the record sleeves forming the pages full of liner notes and pictures. Three beautiful discs are housed in poly lined paper sleeves, before being placed in the pages for added protection. I really felt like I was getting a quality product. Also included was the entire show on two CD’s and a reproduction of the program from the tour. I would be satisfied with this album paying full price, but getting it shipped to my door from for only $42 made me one happy customer.

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