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Perhaps the most reissued of all the compilations of The Wailers’ work with Lee Perry, African Herbsman appears here in its completely unmissable bonus track version, a whopping 26- tracks of sheer brilliance.
When Marley first met Lee Perry, they weren’t sure what to make of each other, Perry being notoriously eccentric, Marley the leader of a trio renowned for their streetwise rude boy ways. But they soon sensed kindred spirits. “I gave Bob a room there in my yard, that’s where I have my genie. He was living in the genie room and absorbing the power of the genie to do the job,” Perry later told writer Bruno Blum. Mystical powers or not, the work produced in that two-year period stands equal with the greatest reggae ever made. Raw, but sharp, fearsome but soulful, songs like ‘Soul Rebel’, ‘Small Axe’ and ‘Duppy Conqueror’ were mainstays of Marley’s career, tracks he’d return to over and over again. This is the music that turned reggae upside down and where the legend truly begins.