Somewhere around 1991, when I owned a small pickup truck, I was helping a coworker move and was listening to some Bob Marley when “I Shot the Sheriff” came on the radio. She looked at me with a quizzical face and said, “That’s a terrible cover of the Eric Clapton song.” As you can imagine, I was a bit mortified by her miscue, although I was polite about it. To be fair, back in the infancy of my classic rock days in the early 1980s, I probably could have made the same mistake. I left Florida to the same music I entered it last night, listening to the album “Burnin’” by The Wailers. This album is #10 on rateyourmusic.com’s Top 10 Reggae Albums of all time, although I will say right now, I prefer it to “Catch a Fire”, also by Bob Marley and the Wailers, which was rated #5 a few days ago, and was released earlier in 1973.
This record opens up with the militant anthem “Get Up, Stand Up”, and my favorite part in this song is the vocal contrast Peter Tosh adds late in the song. I really love his voice a lot, and this song has always been a favorite of mine. After the slower “Hallelujah Time”, we have the ORIGINAL version of “I Shot the Sheriff”, another Bob Marley classic. “Burnin’ and Lootin’” is another excellent track on the first side of the album.
My favorite track on side two is “One Foundation”, this might be my second favorite song on the album. It has a great vibe and feel, and as written and sung by Peter Tosh, I just love the depth and tone of his smoky reggae voice. Overall, this an excellent album, and a great further dive into the extended catalog of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and The Wailers.