Bob Marley and the Wailers Wailers and Friends

Absolutely ska-ndalous! A compilation of 18 songs from Studio One greats like Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe, Bob Andy, Lee Perry, Rita, and the Wailers themselves, this album features the Wailer’s singing harmony with several of the era’s (June 1964 to August 1966) leading ska artists. At the time of these songs original release, the Wailers were recording exclusively for Clement Dodd at Studio One and this is the sixth release in the series from the excellent folk at Heartbeat who have been steadily re-releasing S1’s almost impossible to find early works. Wailers and Friends showcases three number-one hits, my favourite being Bob Marley’s “Rude Boy” (do you know how hard I had to look to find under its later title of “Walk the Proud Land” in Jamaica?); amazingly danceable songs like Jackie Opal’s “I want Justice” and worthy previously unreleased material from Rita Marley and Joanne Dennis. Also, gracing the compilation is “Pussy Galore,” a hilarious old song by Lee “Scratch” Perry, sure to please early Scratch fans who seem to eat up all his albums from early ska to recent jungle and dub releases with the Mad Professor. Marley collectors should note that there is an early track from a group called the Soulettes that Clement Dodd had asked the Wailers to mentor; three young ladies featuring Rita Anderson who married guess who? And became guess who shortly afterwards. Anyhow, the song “One More Chance” is backed by the Skatallites, lead by Rita with harmonies by Bob, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Yummy. (Heartbeat)