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Music / Live!

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One good thing about music: when it hits you, feel no pain!

Live! is a 1975 Live Album by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It's notable for being his first official concert album and one of the best in its genre. There's a magical, spiritual and moving atmosphere in many of Marley's live performances and this album captured it like no other. Even his other official live album released during Marley's lifetime, Babylon by Bus (1978), never reached the same legendary and superlative status as Live! did.

Live! was recorded in the Lyceum Theatre in London. This already showed how popular Reggae had become by his point and its success would only grow. Live! would become Marley's international breakthrough, driven by his Top 10 hit single "No Woman, No Cry". His Signature Song had already appeared earlier on Natty Dread (1974), but in an Early-Installment Weirdness studio version that pales in comparison to the much more epic and moving version here. Aside from tracks that had appeared on his Island albums, Marley threw in a treat for old fans with a new version of the old Wailers classic "Trenchtown Rock". Many fans hadn't heard the song at the time.


Side One

  1. "Trenchtown Rock" (4:23)
  2. "Burnin' and Lootin'" (5:11)
  3. "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" (4:36)
  4. "Lively Up Yourself" (4:33)

Side Two

  1. "No Woman, No Cry" (7:07)
  2. "I Shot the Sherrif" (5:18)
  3. "Get Up, Stand Up" (6:28)

The remastered edition from 2001 also adds a live version of "Kinky Reggae" as a bonus track.

Trenchtown tropes:

  • Audience Participation: During "Lively Up Yourself" and "Get Up, Stand Up" Bob and the audience sing back to each other with a few "yeah's" and "woyo's".
  • Dutch Angle: The album cover photo is slightly canted.
  • Epic Rocking: "No Woman, No Cry", which sounds far more epic and moving in the live rendition than the studio version from Natty Dread. It's also much longer: 7:07 to be exact, making it the longest track on the album.
  • Feedback Rule: During "No Woman, No Cry" you can hear one of the microphones give some feedback after he sings: "good friends we had or good friends we lost...", just during the pause before he continues "...along the way."
  • The Future Will Be Better: That fantastic moment during "No Woman, No Cry" when Bob sings "everything is gonna be alright" and you hear this massive cheering response from the crowd.
  • Greatest Hits Album: At the time of its release it was essentially the best collection of Bob's hits around. All the material is from his three studio albums Catch a Fire (1972), Burnin' (1973) and Natty Dread (1974). The album also includes a version of The Wailers' 1971 classic "Trenchtown Rock", enticing fans to check out older recordings (the original most famously appears on the Trojan compilation "African Herbsman").
  • Location Song: "Trenchtown Rock", which describes the poverty and misery of the people in Trenchtown, Jamaica, but also how music keeps their spirits up. The streets he mentions in "Trenchtown Rock" do exist in real life.
  • Live Album: Bob's first official live album. Widely considered to be one of the best in its genre.
  • Motion Blur: Bob is photographed on the album cover while dancing on stage and is thus blurry and slightly out of focus.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The word live is never uttered, except in the word "lively" from "Lively Up Yourself".
  • One-Word Title: "Live!"
  • Pep-Talk Song: Due to audience participation songs like "No Woman, No Cry", "Lively Up Yourself" and "Get Up, Stand Up" sound even more uplifting than their studio counterparts.
  • Spiritual Successor: "Trenchtown" from Confrontation is very similar in its theme and message to "Trenchtown Rock". Both songs are about how the slums there are a Crapsack World, but music makes the people keep their spirits up.
  • Take That!: For some reason, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer interpreted Bob's solo version of "Get Up Stand Up" as an indication that he didn't need them around. Because of this, both Tosh and Wailer recorded their own solo versions, on Equal Rights and Protest respectively. Both added their own new lyrics.