Round 9: WILD CARD
From Howard J:
The Wailers - Lively Up Yourself - Recorded LIVE at The Record
A few weeks ago, I began reviewing old tapes in an effort to dig up a rare
gem from the past. It was really amazing to get back into my tapes, which
I spent a considerable amount of time with 20 years ago. I found music
long forgotten. As I converted dozens of all but lost nuggets from tape
into my computer, I toiled late into the morning, searching for the killer
track that would stun and amaze my fellow Sound Clashers.
Exhausted, and with my best old tapes rolling, I finally sat back to
relax, and over the speakers roared an unexpected, astonishing revelation,
The Wailers – Lively Up Yourself LIVE from The Record Plant
Bootlegs. Recorded in Sausalito, CA on one of the Wailers first trips
though the US from 1973. There it was, like an 800 lb gorilla rights there
in the room.
I had considered Bob and the Wailers almost off limits in this Sound
Clash, but hearing the track stacked along side of literally dozens of
classic reggae selections, I could not deny the power of the Original
Wailers. The Record Plant bootlegs were one of those rare tapes that many
Reggae fans had a copy of. My first listening came by way
of Joe. Away at college, while I was still in High School, Joe returned
with strange and wonderful treasures one Christmas break, including tales
of new art forms, indigenous foliage, and a copy of the Wailers KSAN
broadcast on a gold Maxell XLS 90.
The Record Plant Bootlegs had captured The Original Wailers at a time when
they were hungry, and out to prove something. Still awash with Rastafarian
idealism and raw musicality of the Joe Higgs School; Bob Marley, Peter
Tosh, Bunny Wailer, along with Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo and the Barrett Brothers
(Familyman and Carlton) throw it down in unprecedented fashion. There is
something magical going on with Lindo’s working of the keyboards, and the
drum and bass are integrated in a way that perhaps only true brothers
could achieve. The Wailers harmony and vocal-play come off in synchronized
perfection that is, in my opinion, better than anything they actually captured in
the studio. This track is live, raw, tight, and downright perfect.
It's amazing that it was
never released to the public.
While a few tracks from The Record Plant Bootlegs were brought into the
mainstream on the Tuff Gong 1991 release of Talking Blues, this particular
track has remained hidden. My buddy Jeff from CT recently found this
pristine version of the 73 recording, and shared it with me. I had planned
on avoiding Marley altogether in this sound clash, but when it came over
the speakers, fresh, loud and with an electricity that none of my other
selections could touch, I felt compelled to put this lost gem ina de ring.