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At the same time that Neville ‘Bunny Wailer’ Livingston recorded his debut solo long playing masterpiece. ‘Blackheart Man’. he was also creating a series of singles for his own Solomonic label. These records were every bit as good. at times even better. but they have never been released outside of Jamaica. Until now ...
It is next to impossible to ever overstate the importance of The Wailers to the history of Jamaican music and, as the last surviving member of the group, Bunny Wailer rightly regards himself as the sole keeper of their history ever mindful of the group's exalted position in the story of reggae music and the importance of their legacy. In 2010 Dub Store were proud to be able to work with Bunny on re-releasing a selection of his earliest recordings for the Solomonic label, lovingly restored and presented in reproduction sleeves and labels, on limited edition seven and twelve inch singles. Now, taking another step forward, we are more than proud to present Bunny's timeless music on two beautifully packaged CD's and double LP's.
Bunny's first solo album, 'Blackheart Man' originally released in 1976 on his own Solomonic label in Jamaica and on Island in the UK, is one of the undisputed all time classics of Jamaican music and established Bunny Wailer as a highly respected, world renowned artist in his own right. During this period Bunny also produced a series of singles released in Jamaica and the UK in strictly limited quantities without the benefit of international distribution, that are every bit as good and, in some cases, even better than this awesome debut long player. Original copies have subsequently become highly prized, and highly priced, collector's items. "Classic rarities" is an overused and abused term too often employed to describe average records that failed to sell on their initial release but both 'Tread Along' and 'Rise & Shine' are packed from beginning to end with a searing selection of some of the greatest and hardest to find reggae records ever produced.
'Tread Along' opens, naturally enough, with 'Tread Along' from 1969, one of the last singles for The Wailers' own Wail N Soul M label, and runs through the first release on the Solomonic label, 'Searching For Love' also known as 'Search For I', 'Bide Up' released as 1974 drew to a close, a radical reworking of 'Pass It On' and a marked contrast to the version on The Wailers' 'Burnin'', album, 'Life Line' and the prophetic 'Arabs Oil Weapon' kept the pressure on as Bunny began outlining the flawless 'Blackheart Man' album. Each release was a certified classic in its own right.
Peter Tosh's melodica version to Bunny's 'Amagideon' ('Armageddon'), the first track on 'Rise & Shine', is followed by 'Love Fire', an update of another Wail N Soul M track, 'Fire Fire'/'Babylon Burning', through to one of the deepest roots records ever created, 'Rise & Shine', on to 'Riding' from the 'Bunny Wailer Sings The Wailers' sessions (but not featured on the album) and a huge hit in the UK in 1981, and closing with 'Rule Dance Hall' from 1985. No idle boast...,
The liner notes feature the story of The Wailers, as told to Dub Store by Bunny himself in Kingston in an enlightening 2012 interview, and rarely seen contemporary photographs complete these essential releases. The music of Bunny Wailer was not only a medium for change and protest but also to elucidate and educate and 'Tread Along' and 'Rise & Shine' finally complete the canon of un-compiled Wailers music.
"I'm quite satisfied, you know, reggae music is the kind of music that although sometimes you would look at it and say..., boy, it's hard..., then again you look at what it has done for the people of the world you know that that couldn't be locked up in a little place like Jamaica!" Bunny Wailer
(added: 2016-08-02 10:01:02 )