Peter Tosh Live At The One Love Peace Concert

This performance is Peter Tosh at his absolute best, harder than hard in front of an uneasy crowd. This recording smokes anything Tosh ever did in the studio. The One Love Peace Concert was intended to signify an end to the bloodshed that had marked the 1977 elections in Jamaica. It was attended by Jamaica's Prime Minister, Michael Manley, and his bitter rival Edward Seaga. Tosh was in a decidedly non-peaceful speech-making mood. Backed by Word, Sound and Power, he tore through some of his best known songs with a passion that eclipses even the famed originals. A rockers update of "400 Years" is propelled by Sly Dunbar's masterful drumming. Guitarist Al Anderson swoops in with guitar heroics that in lesser hands would be totally self-indulgent. Tunes stretch out into heavy jamming in the best live Sly and Robbie tradition, with percussionist Skully chipping a crucial Nyabinghi drum solo into "Burial." The weird vibes of an audience being provoked come through this re-mastered board tape, loud and clear, during a 12-minute music-less speech. The effect is reminiscent of the Stones at Altamont, where the audience is reacting to more than just music. But this was a much more charged situation than Altamont. The ferocity of Tosh's performance would lead to him getting a deal with Rolling Stones records (Mick Jagger witnessed this show), but also to his arrest and savage beating at hands of Jamaican cops five months later. Live at The One Love Peace Concert contains wonky harmonies, muffed backing vocals and the odd aimless jam, but its importance is undeniable. Easy skankin' it isn't, but it's one of the best live recordings I've ever heard. (Jad)