Africa Unite: The Singles Collection Import
In the year Bob Marley would have turned 60, the past, present, and future of his music are celebrated--not only with the first Bob Marley & the Wailers greatest-hits package to include both his early sides and his Island Records hits, but also a new recording and two new remixes. Along with 17 vintage tracks, Africa Unite: The Singles Collection spotlights "Slogans," the first new official Marley track released in more than a decade. It is believed Marley recorded the song in a Miami bedroom in 1979. The tapes were kept at Marley's mother's house and in 2004 the reggae legend's sons Stephen and Ziggy revisited the acoustic demo. In 2005, Stephen overdubbed the tracks with other instruments, including guitar by Eric Clapton. Stephen and Ziggy produced "Slogans" specifically for this release.Another new recording is a remix of "Africa Unite," whose original was heard on the 1979 album Survival. The song is presented here in an anthemic remix by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, who was personally invited to create the remix by Rita Marley, Bob's wife. Also new is the Ashley Beedle remix of "Get Up, Stand Up vs. Jamrock," a mash-up of Bob's classic and "Welcome To Jamrock," the 2005 hit from youngest son Damian.Africa Unite: The Singles Collection commemorates Marley's life on record just as the 2005 Africa Unite concert in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on his 60th birthday (February 6) commemorated it on stage.
Africa Unite is a somewhat expanded version of Legend. And it is ahead in some regards. It has the bulk of the core classics featured on Legend ("Get Up Stand Up", "I Shot The Sheriff", "Roots Rock Reggae", "One Love", the brilliant live version of "No Woman No Cry" and so on). It also has the previously unreleased "Slogans" featuring some guitar work from Eric Clapton and the early track "Soul Rebel" which wasn't on Legend.
Unfortunately it also drops a couple of the core Marley classics. Where's "Stir It Up" and "Redemption Song"? Both of those would have been far better choices than the pointless Will I Am remix of "Africa Unite" and the mash-up "Stand Up Jamrock". Had those songs been on here instead of the remixes, this would be heaven.
So when you boil it down to it, both Legend and Africa Unite work well as Bob Marley starter discs. Either one will do the job as an introduction or if you just want one Marley album. If you want to dig deeper the original albums are wothwhile as is the box set Songs Of Freedom. Either way, Africa Unite is definitely worth getting.