Bob Marley – Keep on Moving


Release Date: May 95
Chart Position: 17

James B-C
Keep On Moving comes from Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On, the second volume of Bob Marley’s greatest hits and neggae’s answer to More Abba Gold. Where More Abba Gold had Ring Ring, Honey Honey and I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do (must have been an echo in there), Natural Mystic had a similar mix of album tracks, overlooked songs and a few modernising remixes.
Natural_Mystic
This is one of the remixes. I’d already heard Keep On Moving in its original form, somewhat underproduced by later standards, cropping up on one of the reggae compilations that were essential to any 90s household – clearly the compilers couldn’t afford Jammin’ or Buffalo Soldier so they scrabbled around for any old track they could get the rights to with the all-important Marley name on it. That version sounded a bit limp when crammed between Sweets For My Sweet and a dubbed out version of I Like To Move It Move It, but the remix has been beefed up to good effect with lots more percussion, trumpets, organ and a sax intro nicked from Baby I Love Your Way (though still preserving the obligatory old school reggae intro-drumroll).
Since there were 14 tracks on Legend, it stands to reason that the single from Legend part 2 would be the 15th best Bob Marley song. That sounds about right, and while it’s no Stir It Up, I certainly enjoyed revisiting it. The embellishments – even the Big Mountain tribute – add to the original song rather than drowning it out, helping Bob’s vocals and songwriting come across to the modern listener as they should – a good example of remixers using their powers for good instead of evil. Lyrically, it strikes me that this could be a sequel to I Shot The Sheriff – it’s a shame there wasn’t (to my knowledge) a third song to finish the story off, which would have been called either Damn They Caught Me or Living Under An Assumed Name In Costa Rica.
Extra note for Ed Sheeran fans only: The B-side to the CD single (which I bought at the time) was Pimpa’s Paradise. As a Bob Marley song that was a bit average, but there’s a brilliant update by his son Damien [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-6Qx8yIKC8] that I believe must have been the direct inspiration for Ed Sheeran’s The A Team. So without Keep On Moving, Ed might not have written the song that kick-started his chart career. Wonder if anyone read this paragraph.
Score: A pleasant, easy skankin’ 7 out of 10.

Vince
The Trombone. That is the key reggae horn instrument. The way it slides and bends is the sonic equivalent of the Yardie lean.
Then trumpets – always got to have trumpets. They parp and blast in unison to put some skank in your back as you move to the track.
But sax? Sexy, sophisticated saxophone?
I don’t know. Too Noo Yoik. Too much spiralling. And as Joey the Lips Fagan pointed out in the commitments to Brother Dean ” Soul has corners. You were spiralling. That’s jazz.”
Now we’ve seen a bit of saucy sax earlier on Baby I Love your Way, a song that is my Neggae guilty pleasure; my pressure point. It worked there, in that US Frat-Neggae, tie-dyed, listen-to-slightly-naff-music-because-you’re-a-bit-tipsy-on-holiday kind of way.
But here, stapling what it clearly a 1995 Sax solo onto the original Rasta prophet’s 1971 song of regret and redemption? Doesn’t quite work. It’s like Abigail’s Party with Denise Van Outen instead of Alison Steadman. Like Stevie Wonder duetting with Blue (oh, hang on).
Luckily, it’s a great song. So good that I’m able to forgive and forget the clearly cocaine-addled producer who decided it was a good idea to cover it in this horrid wailing.
It’s another Bob Marley old’un, regurgitated by Team Marley to cash in on the new found popularity thanks to the Neggae explosion.
And do you know what, if the Marley estate want to do that, then let them. He did invent the f*ckin genre. Let them do what they want. And that people, is why this year we should be allowed to win the World Cup. Make all the other teams play with their bad foot. Still probably beat us actually….
Anyway, the original was released in 1971 on the often overlooked and under-rated Soul Revolution LP. Produced by the Legendary Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, it is a beautiful Rock steady groover – telling the tale of Bob having to flee because of a crime HE DID NOT COMMIT. Happens quite a bit in Bob’s songs actually – I think the Rasta doth protest too much.
It was re-released here for Legend II and I think they just about get away with it. Listening to the vocals I assume these are from the same lost tapes as the Iron Lion Zion material (i.e. around 1980 just before his ascension to Zion) , and Sir Bob sounds as majestic as ever.
The I-threes are in fine fettle and when some horns proper finally arrive they sound just dandy. The beats are nicely electronic too without ruining the overall groove of the song.
The video couldn’t be any more 1995 if it tried. Watercolour animations, tie-dyed effects, Silhouettes of Bob dancing in the moonlight. And I swear at one point a magic eye effect revealed a dolphin shagging a unicorn.
This is the last we see of Bob on this list – he started it, he (more or less) finished it. Ta da mate, they don’t make ’em like you any more (welling up here I am.)
Score: 7/10, but I am also going to play my joker and go back and retrospectively change Iron Lion Zion to a 9.

Jonny
Another disappointing track from Bob. Clearly in the mid nineties the ‘Dead Bob Fund’ was running a little light and they needed to squeeze a few more quid out of the archives. I feel they have sold Bob out a little bit, particularly with the cheesy intro which is a little bit Earth Song in its production. I think that he would have felt a little ashamed at what they had been up to. The track is a bit nothing really, listening to it I feel a little nostalgic, but more lethargic than anything as it sort of goes round and round without any real climax. From what I can tell the song tells the story of Bob being accused of murder. Although he claims his innocence instead of facing the judicial system and letting it runs its course he decides to go on the run from the law leaving his woman and two boys behind. Although he recognises that they will suffer he doesn’t seem that bothered as he hopes to find a piece real estate somewhere and when it all does down they will come a join him and they will all live happily ever after. Bullshit!! They will hate him for leaving them and never want anything to do with him. Do you really think that the real perpetrator will be found in his absence? No! Him going on the run will only fuel the fire of suspicion and result in everyone back home only even more sure of his guilt. I reckon that when he gets in contact his family they will simply inform the sheriff of his whereabouts and bring him to justice. Ah hold on! He shot the fucking sheriff as well! They’ll have to call the deputy! So lets get this right! He has admitted to shooting the sherif and is on the run for suspected murder. I highly doubt his Mrs will touch him with a barge pole! The more I think about it, he’s just a Caribbean Raoul Moat! Its just missing the verse when Michael Holding turns up and offers him a bucket of Jerk Chicken! So this is the second Marley track we have reviewed and they have been maybe two of the worst Neg hits on the list. His team had a shocker in the nineties! Average sound and a stupid tale being told – 3/10 from me.

Gouldy
It’s with a heavy heart I write this week’s review, another nineties rehash of a Marley classic. This for me started the mass commericalisation of his image which has culminated with headphones, Energy Drinks, coffee and Darren Reynolds tribute dolls. I hope Rita used the proceeds to buy a memory foam mattress and pillow because I don’t know how else she’ll sleep at night. The beauty of the original was the rawness of production, the simple catchy bass and understated guitar lick which gave the backing vocals prominence and an almost choral quality, it’s like a Gareth Bale run, simple yet effective.
The rehash starts with a terrible bit of sax which sounds like it should compliment a coffee advert, I can see it now, some bearded clunge dressed like a peaky blinder strolling through a Shoreditch market place greeting his zany unicycle riding mates he passes on his journey, all shot in sepia tinged black and white, I hate him already. Then with the vocals we’re also treated to a clunky artificial beat which has about as much groove as Ellie Goulding’s dancing. The backing vocals come in and they’re completely different to the original so in essence they’ve changed the best bit of the song and made it totes X-factor, all it needs are some pyrotechnics and Sharon Osbourne wittering on about her vagina at the end to complete the effect. The producer has decided to really overegg it as the song goes on and adds some unnecessary organ, horns and various other effects. All that’s missing is the bloke from Clock popping up and doing a rap midway through.
The video looks like something they’ve tried to pitch Enya and she’s responded badly;
‘Lads, dis is shoite, now feck off and and give it to Dana’
So they’ve gone back to the drawing board, cut out the Enya images and added in Bob to compliment this shameless cash in. The only thing this video would be useful for is if Marley Ltd decided to rival Crown and Dulux by bringing out a range of paints as it resembles a paint advert.
I’ve wasted enough time and energy on this so I’ll give it 1/10 for Bob’s vocals, however there is some positive neggae news this week

Norm
Bob Marley, a welcome change from some of the skank we’ve had over the last few weeks or dare I say months…. The beauty of Marley is his simple delivery and unique vocals that are instantly recognizable. You know, the same instantly recognizable vocals that Shabba has but instead of that warm feeling you get from listening to a Marley song, with Shabba you get that empty feeling in the pit of your stomach when your feeling queasy. Enough of that, we are her to talk Bob and that’s what we shall do. This is very soothing and song to listen to, however when you dig a little deeper into the lyrics, it doesn’t seem that he’s all too comfortable. Lot’s of looking over his shoulder. I don’t know what he did or what people thought he did but the turmoil is front and center for us to see (similar to the turmoil I’ve experienced recently from the Neggae elders who are far more disciplined than I am and can get a review drafted and finished in a timely manner) Anyway, Bob seems to make the best of it and sends a positive message in his lyrics. Essentially he’s saying “Keep you chin up old boy, things will be alright” The slower pace of this gem is not rushed, just the Bob Marley that we’ve all come to love over the years. His delivery is second to none. I’ve been head bobbing from start to finish. That’s a good thing for my soul (it takes my mind off not only being late with my review but the another polar freeze that’s on the way) In closing, this is a proper choon, excellent delivery, lyrics that mean something, a head bobbing beauty that has me pining for more. Thank you Robert Nesta Marley and please forgive my low score that I gave you for Iron, Lion, Zion. I know nothing (in Manuel from Fawlty Towers speak) A really enjoyable 8.5/10

NEGGAE SCORE: 5.3

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Inner Circle – Sweat (A La La La La Long)


Release Date: May 93
Chart Position: 3

Vince
I just want to remind everyone how bloody good the JB Conspiracy’s cover of this was at Jamrock this summer:

For those that weren’t there, Jamrock was our kid Jamie’s reggae-inspired 30th birthday shindig. If Jamrock was Live Aid, then The JB Conspiracy were Queen. And Matt Carson was our very own Neggy Mercury. Their rendition of this song brought back a lot of fond memories for everyone that was there, and kickstarted the need in me to start documenting Neggae for future posterity (so thanks Matt.)
The proof is in the pudding though. This is a pop-reggae classic and a summer holiday anthem all rolled into one. OK, so on the one hand it practically created reggae cheese (or ‘i-brie’) and was therefore responsible for abominations such as Mysterious Girl and Uncle John from Jamaica. But what marks this out from these other cheap facsimiles is the craft and skill of Inner Circle. Friends with Bob Marley, Sly and Robbie and Third World, these boys knew their way around a reggae melody. Dolly Parton famously once said “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap”, and I think a little of that sentiment applies here. There are lots of great touches. I completely forgot about the drumbreak and keyoard glissando intro and outro which bookend the song nicely. The squelchy synth bassline is a delight, and wonderfully compliments the song’s, let’s face it, bawdy content. The chorus is of course huge. And my favourite bit of all is the hint of a dancehall riddim at “A little bit o’ this and a little bit of that“, Coffie and the boys showing they can bring the ruckus if they want to.
This song shifted some serious units in the UK, principally among the working classes. I have a vivid memory of being in the Woking Working Men’s club on a Friday night with my folks, this coming on and the place basically erupting. Bacardi Breezers were tossed into the air, men in with tattoos of Popeye on their biceps bogled and grinded with ladies that wore their necklaces outside their Celtic away shirts. It was a beautiful moment. The floodgates had opened and the Neggae had landed.
The video is basically just an advert for Sandals resorts, aside from a couple of standard Neggae sorts nothing much to report back. So I won’t.
Score: Would have been 7, but because the B-side was Bad Boys (the better song) Im going to give it a VFM 8.

Gouldy
Yes, this is what it’s all about.
As soon as I put this on the sun came out, bearing in mind it’s October in England that’s some serious neggae voodoo at work. I remember this coming out, I was a young man studying specific aspects of Jamaican culture at one of the top technical colleges in the Addlestone area. After a hard morning of Horticulture in the woods we’d climb into my friend’s Ford Orion and make our way to Walton McDonalds with the windows down and this blasting out as loud as Virgin 1215am would allow before the static became unbearable. The first thing I have to do is pay homage to lead singer Calton Coffie, who despite suffering crippling arthritis in his hands meaning they resemble Twiki from Buck Rogers, carries on with a smile on his face throughout, what a trooper.  The video, has white sand, bikinis, sun, the sea, a red, green and yellow flag, a jeep with ‘rubadub’ printed on the side and as a tip of the hat to mod culture, Espressos. It’s basically ticked every box, flawless stuff.
Lyrically I think it’s the most successful song about personal training recorded, at least I’m guessing that’s what the lyrics ‘Girl I want  to make you sweat, sweat til you can’t sweat no more, and if you cry out, I’m going to push it, push it some more’ is referring to. If there were Jamaican remake of ‘Rocky’ with a female lead, this would make the perfect accompaniment to the training montage scene. The music and production is pure, sun kissed goodness (although admittedly I don’t remember the prog intro, I blame the Horticulture studies), tight reggae musicianship combined with some acid tweak effect at the end of some of the lines makes this the blueprint for the neggae formula.
The only slight misgiving I have about this song is that if you close your eyes and imagine the lead singer is your cell mate singing this to you on the first day of a ten stretch it takes an altogether more sinister bent.
Score: 8/10. It’s the musical equivalent of ‘Cool Runnings’, never fails to put a smile on your face.

Jamie
“Aaahhve been watching yooooou!!!!”
Sweat by Inner Circle is definitely at the happy go lucky end of the Neggae Spectrum. So infectious is the Mario Kart come Simon and the Witch musical arrangement, that most people just hum along contently rather than stop to consider the song’s explicitly graphic sexual content.

Beginning with some standard courtship folly, the song seems friendly enough:
“Standing across the room, I saw you smile (awwww),
Said I want to talk to you-oo-oo, For a little while. ( what a charmer)
But before I make my move, My emotions start running wild (bless him)
My tongue gets tied And that’s no lie…( how sweet)

From there on however the tone changes somewhat…
Looking in your eye, Looking in your big brown eye (Ambiguous).
Girl Im gonna make you sweat ( that’s lewd)
and If you cry out ( this is quite pornographic),
I’m gonna push it, push it some more (good god that’s just down right filthy).

This pure grot is somehow masked by the fact that the song is catchy; it’s a foot tapper. It takes people back to good times. My Mum sings along to it, blissfully unaware of the sexual nature of Carlton Coffie’s chorus. Its like someone playing Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye at your Nan’s 60th Birthday Party. A great track but there’s always something slightly unsettling about it once you know what its about. ESPECIALLY if you are in the presence of family.
You need to appreciate Sweat for what it is. A great slice of Sunshine Neggae with a cracking feel good video. Good drums, nice reggae base line and good use of some very cheesy sounding organs. All washed down with some very cheeky lyrics. Its never going to heralded as a pioneering piece of music. It wont incite riots or stop civil wars, but it may well make you tap your feet turn up the corners your mouth and think back to the Summer of 1993. It didn’t change the face of Reggae, but it does deserve its place at the very epicentre of the Neggae hall of fame.
Score: With a little bit of this and a little bit of that… 8 from me.

Jonny
Now I don’t think we can have the normal debate about whether or not this is neggae, not this week. This is as authentic as neggae gets. Its all there, every bit of it!
The song is out of this world. The synthesizer intro is maybe one or two bars too a la la la la long for my liking, but when it drops we go right into that beautiful chorus that captivates you and immediately you are singing a la la la la long to it without even noticing. The song develops well and we feel his pain as he explains to us how he sees a girl that is so beautiful he struggles to find the words or courage to speak to her. When he finally does and he manages to get the words out, boy is he going to make her sweat and if she cries he’s only going to push it push it some more. Pure romance!
I have no idea how this only made it to number 3 in the UK, no justice at all and I am not sure what else they could have done to make the song better? Maybe made it longer so that we could listen to it for some more?
Does it pass the BBQ test? Put it this way, I went to a friends BBQ that summer where it wasn’t played – we don’t speak anymore. You get my point, you know who you are you berk!
Now what can you say about the video? I beg anyone out there to come up with a video that sums up neggae better than this. Lets tick them off the list shall we?

  • Slow mo of beach babes frolicking in the water (damn right, opening scene Mo Fo)
  • big guys play fighting with beach babes
  • massive dreads
  • colour/B&W/psychedelic combos
  • general happy go lucky islanders enjoying life, open air concert
  • beach party
  • camera tilts
  • big over eager dance moves
  • lots of skin on show
  • chatting up ladies, hands in the air

Finally, booty, booty and more booty. Tick, tick, tick, Boom! This is not shot in a studio in London peeps, Shinehead take note!
Score: it’s a la la la la la 9/10 from me

Norm
This is one of the all time classics and is the definition of Neggae in my book. Maybe Treggae (true neggae) No pretenders here. These boys have been at this for a while now and deserve some recognition. Inner Circle have put together a clinical performance and production from start to finish. A true island song that spread globally and is instantly recognizable to this day. It’s the type of tune that if you turn on half way through, you sing along and turn it up.. loud!
The simplicity of it works and works well. We have all the necessary ingredients for this to work: beach, dreadlocks, island ladies, island beats and one hell of a catchy hook; a-la-la-la-la-long-long-long-long-long-long!
The video is light-hearted, chilled and quite amusing. I especially like the opening frames where our lead singer is in the ocean (fully clothed) trying to perform Bruce Lee type roundhouse although I don’t quite think he has Bruce’s technique or training and doesn’t quite pull it off. The rest isn’t overly complicated but it’s effective, not losing my attention and keeping me singing this one long after it’s finished.
I’m pretty happy with this one it’s a nice change from All that she wants.
Score: 9/10. Get me a Malibu and pineapple with a damn umbrella in it… now!

NEGGAE SCORE: 8.4

Apache Indian Feat. Maxi Priest – Fe Real


Release Date: Nov 92
Chart Position: 33

Vince
This is so close to being a carnival anthem, just a shame (like Iron Lion Zion) that from the get-go the song is ruined one by poor production choice. The bontempi keyboard facsimile of a horn section completely cattles the groove. When it’s not there on the verses the groove is tight; the sliding breakbeat will always curry favour with me, as do the fleshy Hammond chords.

Both Maxi Priest and Apache Indian are great vocally, and surely only the John Terrys of the world wouldn’t enjoy the sense of multicultural unity the song creates. Maxi’s cod-punjabi crooning towards the end (“Curiar look so nice in o them sari”) is I think a great British pop moment. The song is like Ebony and Ivory’s cooler, less showbizzy younger brother. Can’t help but think about that horrible clip when Darcus Howe was started on by Asian yout’ on a channel4 documentary. The complete opposite of what this song is appealing for. Very sad.
I honestly think this is crying out for a Nextmen remix (I hear similarities in this recorded 15 years later). Fe Real could easily be this good!
Score: 7/10

Gouldy
I see this as the first original neggae tune, although Iron, Lion, Zion charted first it was an old song remixed, this was a true mould breaker. I love some of the production on this, the bassline and beat sound like they’ve been nicked off Teddy Riley and having the tabla in the background is nice touch. Apache Indian is fairly pony as MCs go but he gives it a go and doesn’t offend whilst Maxi Priest’s vocals are as sweet as ever.
Not one for the purists, but that’s the whole point, this is just a feel good summer pop song which has been influenced by other genres which were popular at the time. I can’t find the video and the mists of time have clouded my memory of it but if I were making one now it would include a multi cultural street party, children dancing and some kind of water fight, like a Benetton advert with added Vimto. One to stick on at your Gran’s barbeque.
Score: 7/10

Norm
Now, we’re on to something here. This song is FE REAL. I like it, for me this is where it begins and is the epitome of chilled out summer music. For me it is essential to have a fast paced rap intro that you can’t really understand until the last couple of words then transitioning into chilled vocals. This qualifies.
Apache Indian has a unique voice and for some reason I like the cheesy rap with Maxi’s vocals. The song has a good blend and it doesn’t take too much effort to listen to it.
Thumbs up for me.
Score: 7.5/10

Jonny
I simply don’t get how this only got to number 33 in the charts, especially given how early it was during the neggae movement. It was new, it was fresh, it was the future (for the next four years anyway) and has everything that makes neggae great. Simply a brilliant summer tune that is dead easy to listen to – both must have’s when it comes to basic Neggae requirements.
I am trying to find weaknesses, but keep on thinking of more positives….the horn style intro, the chorus line, Maxi’s vocals…..I like it all even the Apache Indian MC’ing (which typically I struggle to warm to). This was the catalyst and although I feel there were better tunes in the years to come this paved the way for neggea artists to follow in.
A must have for the record collection!
Score: 8/10 (purely as I know that there are bigger tunes coming)

Jamie
Is it reggae ? Is it Neggae? Remove the bass line and this sounds like the demo track on the keyboard I got for my 10th Birthday. As much as I enjoy listening to Maxi Priest I don’t think that is one of his finer moments. The “Bontempi” horn section sounds a bit like a karaoke backing track. It does give this one a “music by numbers” feel.
In later years other Afro-Asian Neggae acts would follow in the footsteps of this single. As much as I would like to rank this up with China Black’s Searching (guilty pleasure) , I cant seem to help but draw comparisons to the UK’s 1995 Eurovision song contest entry from Love City Groove.
Although there were some bad decisions made in the production process, there are a few nice touches. The subtle tabla gives it Indian character. The break is solid and the bass line carries it home. Apache Indian is Apache Indian and Maxi Priest gives a complementary variation on vocal styles.
A for Ambition yet D for delivery on this one for me.
Score: An indifferent 5/10

NEGGAE SCORE: 6.9

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Iron Lion Zion


Release Date: Sept 92
Chart Position: 5

Vince
I have mixed feelings about this song. Structurally it’s standard Marley fare, lovely melody, big chorus, simple rhymes. Great pop music basically. But the production! Ruined it!
Tinny drums, obvious beats. And who’s idea was it to smother the song in that awful sax solo? Ugh.
The I-threes are in fine voice though, I love their ‘running like a fugitive’ refrain (similar to the end of ‘Could you be loved?’). Bob too sounds great. Good video also, loads of him playing footy (no Danny Baker though?). I also liked the cartoon bit where the lion turned into Bob; that was rude.
It was a big hit with the owners of the market stall I worked on (they’d often belt out the chorus on a Saturday afternoon) and my Dad, although he changed the words to “Iron, like a Lion, la-la Lion.”
Score: 7/10

Gouldy
Although this was the beginning of Neggae, I still can’t bring myself to like it. For a start someone’s let a wannabe Kenny G loose all over it and cheapened the whole song into Coffee Table reggae, I’m sure it went down a storm in Godalming but this is supposed to be the King of political reggae, not something you can giveaway free with the Mail on Sunday magazine. Obviously the vocals are great but that’s the least you should expect. It’s basically the type of song Glenn Hoddle would play whilst telling Gazza he wasn’t in the World Cup squad. Now the video, the archive footage is great, then suddenly it turns into a Twinings tea advert, with Monet inspired animation of a Lion bounding round the globe, I preferred Willy Fogg. At the time I didn’t mind it when it popped up on Top of the Pops, I never anticipated the cultural tidal wave this little swell of Reggae would produce.
Score: 5/10 (the mark’s only that high because it was the spark that ignited the fire.)

Jonny
Sorry to start this great journey on a negative, but I am not a fan. I know I should like it, its Marley, it’s in tune with everything else great from that era, good base line, etc……but I just don’t. I feel it is simply not strong enough versus some of the great tunes we need to cover. As said it has the ingredients to be a great song, however it feels repetitive after just 30 second and goes nowhere. Instead of developing as the song goes on I find it bores me.
I am undecided about the video. I think it works but then on reflection it feels as if it is something a Visual and Performing Arts student has knocked together at the last minute for their dissertation. They are clearly desperately trying to gain extra credit by demonstrating their strength in using multiple media types however this turns it into a lazy mish mash of nonsense. They deserve an ‘F’. Having said that though some of the old footage of Marley is pretty cool.
Marley has given us some of the greatest pop tunes of all time however this is not his best. Presumably that is why he never shared it with us and left locked up in a cupboard somewhere until somebody else found it and released it 11 years after his death…….they should have left it there getting dusty!
Score: 3/10

Jamie
It kind of says something about a song and a video when the only plus points you can draw are Sir Bob having a kick about with his chums (he did have some tekkers). The live concert footage is also nice but sadly, I’m not a fan of this one.
I remember it being released and I’m sure it charted well, but much like any posthumous release this cannot be seen as anything more than a marketing exercise. When a song is released in a new format 11 years after the death of the artist it is always going to sound false when tampered with. This was clearly a money spinner to promote the Songs of Freedom greatest hits CD.
Songs released immediately on death always seem to be left in their original format. Probably because there is no time to re hash a classic and meet public demand. George Harrison’s My sweet Lord for example, straight in at number one the week of his passing on respect, nostalgic value and Itunes downloads alone. Songs that are released years later from beyond the grave are a completely different animal. The Beatles Free As A Bird for example, same musicians, some producer, John Lennon’s eerie vocals. Different era, different technology at their disposal, different sound altogether.
Even with the same musicians, the same producer and an original master tape of Bob Marley’s vocals it would be near impossible to catch the essence of the Wailers well into the 90s.  Lets not forget that, unlike Free as a bird,  Iron Lion Zion was actually finished when Bob Marley and the Wailers were in their prime, yet not released as a single. I actually prefer the original.  Then there’s that god awful Sax that seems to have been chucked in for good measure. Who’s idea was that?
The proof’s in the pudding and if you listen to the original I’m sure that you’d agree that some things are just best left alone.
Score: 3/10 for me (purely for the start of the neggae trend that followed).

Norm
As the years go by listening to Marley is an extremely easy and enjoyable thing to do. I look for the positives, however, this particular song and video almost have me lost for words. I get the song but it never seems to get out of first gear. Very repetitive and if I have a choice on the cd this song gets skipped. The sax doesn’t bother me, gives it an island stylie maan! The best part of the video was Marley dancing on stage to begin…that sums up who he is and that’s what I love about his style. I could do without the cartoons and more football. Maybe a lion playing with an iron football in Zion?
Score: 5/10

NEGGAE SCORE: 4.6