Marcus Garvey is the third album by reggae artist Burning Spear, released in 1975 on Fox Records in Jamaica and then internationally on Island Records later in the year. The album is named after the Jamaican National Hero and Rastafari movement prophet Marcus Garvey. A dub version of it was released four months later as Garvey's Ghost.

Marcus Garvey
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 12, 1975
ProducerLawrence Lindo
Burning Spear chronology
Rocking Time
Marcus Garvey
Garvey's Ghost
Alternative cover
Jamaican release cover

This was the first album by Burning Spear recorded for producer Lawrence Lindo, better known by his handle taken from the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby. Apparently, Lindo and Burning Spear realized the opening track to this album, "Marcus Garvey", on their first meeting.[1] Island Records, whose founder Chris Blackwell had been instrumental in breaking Jamaican reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, and Bob Marley to an international audience, then made a deal to release it internationally, but believed the original Jamaican mix of the album to be too threatening, or at least too commercially unviable, for white audiences and therefore remixed it into what they considered a more palatable form,[2] outraging him.[3] The Jamaican release also does not include the final track, "Resting Place",[4] which had only been issued as a single there.[5] The backing musicians, whom Lindo named the Black Disciples, had been assembled from the Soul Syndicate and the Wailers.[6]

On July 27, 2010, this album was remastered and released by Universal's Hip-O Records reissue imprint in tandem with the dub version on one compact disc.

The album was listed in the 1999 book The Rough Guide: Reggae: 100 Essential CDs.[7]

Track listing edit

All tracks written by Winston Rodney and Phillip Fullwood except as indicated.

  1. "Marcus Garvey" — 3:27
  2. "Slavery Days" — 3:34
  3. "The Invasion" (W. Rodney, Carl Paisley, Fullwood) — 3:22
  4. "Live Good" (Marcus Rodney, Mackba Rodney, Winston Rodney) — 3:14
  5. "Give Me" (W. Rodney) — 3:11
  6. "Old Marcus Garvey" — 4:03
  7. "Tradition" (D. Hines, R. Willington, W. Rodney) — 3:30
  8. "Jordan River" (W. Rodney, M. Lawrence, Fullwood) — 3:00
  9. "Red, Gold & Green" (A. Folkes, W. Rodney, Fullwood) — 3:14
  10. "Resting Place" (W. Rodney) — 3:10 (not on original Jamaican LP release)

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA−[8]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide     [9]

Ed Ward in a 1976 review in Rolling Stone felt that the music was rootsy and compelling, but that it wouldn't be understood by American audiences, and that the lead song about Marcus Garvey wouldn't make sense to anyone who didn't know Jamaican culture.[10]

Robert Christgau felt that it was the most African-sounding and most political reggae album to be released in America at the time.[11]

Legacy edit

Jo-Ann Greene in an Allmusic retrospective summary feels that the album was a significant recording in roots reggae, though regrets that Island subsidiary Mango remixed the album too commercially, diluting some of the "haunting atmospheres" of producer Jack Ruby's original mix.[12]

The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die where Jim Harrington commented that he felt it had "a poignant blend of religious aspirations and cultural concerns".[13]

Musicians edit

The Black Disciples edit

Production credits edit

  • Engineers: George Philpott and Errol Thompson
  • Recorded at Randy's Recording Studio, North Parade, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Mixed at Joe Gibbs Studio, Retirement Crescent, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Special thanks to Lloyd Coxone

References edit

  1. ^ Katz, David. Marcus Garvey/Garvey's Ghost. Hip-O Records B0014272-02, 2010, liner notes.
  2. ^ "Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic" – via
  3. ^ "Burning Spear | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey". Discogs. 1975.
  5. ^ "Burning Spear - Resting Place / Shady Tree". Discogs. 1975.
  6. ^ Katz, liner notes.
  7. ^ Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (1999) Reggae: 100 Essential CDs, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-85828-567-4
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: B". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 22, 2019 – via
  9. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 56, 597.
  10. ^ Ward, Ed (April 8, 1976). "Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (2012). "Robert Christgau: CG: Burning Spear". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  12. ^ Greene, Jo-Ann (2012). "Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear | AllMusic". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  13. ^ Harrington, Jim (2005). 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. p. 342. ISBN 9781844037148. Retrieved 18 April 2012.

External links edit