Originally issued in 1970, Soul Rebels was the first album credited to Bob Marley & the Wailers, and it was also the band's first full-length collaboration with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, for whom they had already recorded a string of fairly successful singles. Working with the newly configured Upsettersband, Marley and crew delivered a strange and wonderful set of early reggae that at times plays fast and loose with the already established conventions of the genre -- on "My Cup" the beat sounds inside out, while "It's Alright" sounds like a slightly Jamaicanized version of Motown soul. Other songs, such as the beautifully harmonized "Try Me," show their deep roots in rocksteady. One of the most arresting tracks on the album is the Peter Tosh sung "Four Hundred Years," on which Tosh unburdens himself of some of his typically dread pronouncements in his rich, chesty voice. AMG.
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