Saturday, October 6, 2007

Video: (Bob Marley and) the Wailers - Catch a Fire

Dubroom (DUB) Reggae Video Review

WWW, September 2007 - This must-see documentary reveals to great detail, just how Bob Marley's Reggae Music was transformed to make it acceptable for the European and American markets.

When Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley formed their vocal harmony group The Wailing Wailers and started recording for Sir Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, it would mark the start of an incredible story.

Not in the least, because the story of the (Bob Marley and the) Wailers is synonymous with the story of the world-wide popularization of Reggae Music.

And "Catch a Fire" plays a crucial role in this story!

When the album was produced, the Wailers were still together and Reggae Music was still seen as some local form of what is disdainfully called "World Music", a term that yet to be invented in the early 1970's.

Chris Blackwell, then owner of Island Records, loved Reggae and came in contact with the Wailers. He gave them money to record their album in Jamaica, and then flew Bob Marley to the UK to work on the recordings.

Chris Blackwell is interviewed, as is Bunny Wailer. Peter and Bob enter in, and a whole host of well-known names in Reggae and Rastafari donate some information too. The musicians who worked on the album in the UK enter into the video as well, telling their part of the story.

The whole idea behind the album was to market Reggae to a new audience.

Therefore, this video is much more than just the story behind the making of the album. If only, because the video reveals to great detail just how the raw Jamaican Reggae was smoothed and changed to make it acceptable for the Rock audiences of Europe and the USA.



  1. Thanks for this insight into Bob Marley, the change in the message from pleasing man to pleasing God.

  2. Thank you. I think that indeed this is kind of a crucial docu.


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