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4.8 out of 5 stars56
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 July 2001
Released in early 1973, this album was the Wailers first for Island records. Recorded in a very short period of time, in which tension was already beginning to show between Bob & Peter.
In my opinion this is still their best work, raw, fresh and uninhibited. Standout tracks include Concrete Jungle, Stir it up and Slave Driver but their are no bad tracks.
The familier 'Wailing Wailers' sound is here to enjoy with the classic bouncy reggae rhythems. For me a classic album of a classic period of time were reggae would reach heights never before accomplished.
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on 19 December 2004
If your up for a taste of Bob like you've never heard him before this is it. It was his first album with Island Records and probably his best. With Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer still in the band they created a master piece, it sounds more raw and simple than the later Marley albums with some beautiful male harmonys. The opening song 'Concrete jungle' is probably my favourte Marley tune ever with an awesome intro and beautiful groove throughout along with one of the best guitar solo's of all time.
High tide or low tide is the most under appreciated Marley song ever. Its soooo nice it deserves to be a world wide sing along and should have been on legend. The rest of the album is amazing, never over produced and always tasteful. A MUST have for any Marley fan, reggae fan or human being.
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on 26 March 2001
This is how all reissues should be done! A superb package consisting of a newly remastered CD of Bob Marley's groundbreaking Catch A Fire album, along with a previously unreleased version of the album recorded in Jamaica before Bob Marley and The Wailers re-recorded the album for Island Records, and all housed in a deluxe slipcase which replicates the original Zippo lighter LP sleeve. Like the packaging, the sound is also first-rate and it seems like a decent remastering job has been done here. The unreleased version of the album does not have the slick production of the later version but has a certain quality that was not captured for the re-recording. This is a must-have for casual or avid Marley fans alike.
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on 1 May 2001
Best price is here, because this marvellous double-act sells at a much higher price retail in other countries. Even at around 20 quid in Hong Kong its still worth every cent and penny. The re-master of the one you know and love sounds great to me. But what you really do need to buy is the original Jamaican release, remastered here with the original running order and two tracks removed for release elsewhere. Everyone will have their favourite comparison to draw. For me its "Stop That Train", now cut back to the Jamaican studio version and blows me away. The new track 3 "High Tide Or Low Tide" is a beautiful tribute to the mainstream black music the Wailers must have been listening to on their radio, is my guess. Chris Blackwell, in the also-superb "Classic Albums in Rock History" documentary, agrees this is a wonderful song but not what he wanted for the non-Jamaican release. Why the second new song - track 8 - didn't make Blackwell's cut is more of a mystery. Perhaps the harmonies were just a little too sweet, even though he used a fair amount of saccahrine in the overdubbs in London. "All Day All Night" however is another perfectly-welcome driving mid-tempo reggae beat. "The Feel" as various people on the documentary call it. Even if you are not a die-hard Marley/Wailers fan, this Jamaican version is an absolute gem that you should own. Every so often you may revert to the western release to check, but you'll be right back to Kingston afterwards.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2011
I don't know what grabs you most about CATCH A FIRE, the first studio album that Bob Marley and The Wailers made for Chris Blackwell's Island Records in 1973.

Was it the stripped-down, simple chords that ran through the album? Was it the choir-like harmonies and barely noticeable synthesizers that adorned this low key collection that makes it a painless, listening pleasure?

The original album was entitled, The Wailers: Catch A Fire and the graphics department decided to have some fun and create an album cover from the old, gun-metal cigarette lighters that was popular in the 50's & 60's. They were able to meet the initial printing of 20,000 copies before they discovered that it was not logistically possible to do so both financially and productively. But an even bigger problem was just beyond the horizon when Chris Blackwell decided that he need to have a name and face attached to the group. It was a music-industry practice that proved to be a bane and a boom if the group became a success. It was something no one was ever able to convince Peter Tosh of.

The original album is collection of 8 songs that cover the broad gambit of reggae themes such as protest songs, love songs and the celebratory pan-African themes. But, like every Bob Marley album and especially what makes Bob Marley's albums different from every other reggae album is that his songs go beyond--way beyond--the simple obligatory homage to reggae loyalist. His songs strike to the heart of what's universal. That's why when we hear a Bob Marley song or we sing a Marley song or ever see a picture of him, the themes that he so eloquently chanted comes rushing back to our present consciousness.

His brilliance was that he could use simple metaphors and sing them in such a soft almost passive way but we understood the anger, the frustration, the delusion, the euphoria of being a human being. In these songs, we clearly see the complexities of our lives and our relationships.

Since this deluxe edition has two versions of Catch A Fire, it should be mentioned that when The Wailers and subsequently, Bob Marley & The Wailers produced their albums they made two version of each album. There was an international version and there was a "Jamaican" version. If you've ever traveled down to Jamaica and listened closely to a Wailers song, you'll think it was some kind of remix, but it is the standard version that the Jamaica people know and would think that the cd versions we have outside is the "strange" version.

In addition to the more well-known songs that have been covered umpteen times by as many artists over the years like "Concrete Jungle," "Slave Driver," "Stir It Up," and "No More Trouble," you also have two songs where Peter Tosh sings lead and it is a refreshing break to hear him man such songs as "400 Years," and "Stop That Train."

But in addition to Tosh's songs, you have two catchy ballads "Kinky Reggae" and "Baby, Baby We've Got A Date."

In 1996, Mobile Fidelity, the premier audiophile remastering company, produced the second of only two (2) Bob Marley albums for their catalog. Mobile Fidelity (or "MoFi" or "MFSL") presses select albums from the master copies and places the `cleaned up" sound on 24-karat gold discs. The sound reproduction is unparalleled. If you're able to get a hold of the MoFi edition of Catch a Fire and Exodus, it is well worth the investment, especially if you have high end stereo equipment.

CATCH A FIRE: The 5th Greatest Reggae Album of All Time.
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on 2 November 2013
Island Records' 1973 release Catch A Fire is a good album, arguably the best album released by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh during their illustrious careers. But the original Jamaican recordings with Lee "Scratch" Perry at the controls offer a glimpse of musical heaven. They continue what they started with such trailblazing recordings as Small Axe, Soul Rebel, Downpressor, Mr Brown, African Herbsman and Trenchtown Rock and go one better. Many recordings are new versions of previously recorded songs (Concrete Jungle, Stop That Train, 400 Years) but these recordings are on a different planet to the original versions. Perry's production is first rate allowing the Wailers' vocal melodical brilliance to shine above a strong Barrett brothers drum and bass foundation. It is for reggae music what The Beatles' Revolver and Sgt Pepper were to rock music - it redefines the genre. It is just a shame that this great Jamaican version of the album is not currently available on vinyl. Sadly, The Wailers would produce only one more album before going their separate ways. This is their finest hour.
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on 2 February 2005
No matter what type of music your in to this record have at least one song that you fall in love with. Its that good. For all you reggae/Marley fans out there you'll love it all. My personal favorites are the blissed out 'high tide low tide' and the edgey 'concreate jungle'. I think they're the best song he ever recorded! A real gem of a record.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 February 2014
There are two versions of this album. Do yourselves a favour and choose the Deluxe Edition, as this comprises the Island version and the Jamaican cut. Both are also available as an AutoRip download when you buy the CD's, of which there are two in one package.

I've got some of these songs on other albums, but not all of them. I absolutely adore the earlier style of Marley's music, having been introduced to it by accident! So these albums reveal some of Bob's exquisite style before Chris Blackwell (Island Records) changed it, apparently to 'suit Western tastes in music'.

The original style works, and it works well.
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2015
Easily one of the best albums ever made. It is right up there with the all-time greats.

Bob Marley and Peter Tosh wrote wonderfully poetic lyrics. Marley sang everything with such a serious face and with great intelligence.

One classic song after another: Concrete Jungle, Four Hundred Years, Stop That Train, Funky Reggae, Midnight Ravers. I like it. I like it. I like it.

In the background we have marvellous keyboards and "wailing" backing vocals.

Outstanding. A record of great stature and merit.
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on 13 July 2004
This version of 'Catch A Fire' by the legendary Bob Marley & The Wailers has been digitally remastered which means that the sound quality is better but the music speeded up a little which may, or may not, please you... The tunes are varied and some such as 'Stir It Up' may be more recognisable to the more commercial listener yet there are several tracks here that haven't gained as much commercial success despite their classic sound. 'Kinky Reggae' and 'No More Trouble' become instant classics when you listen to this CD and the rest are all presented in the harmonious style that Bob Marley & The Wailers are renowned for. Those seeking a more original style (or should I say original recording...) may do well to try and hunt down those Bob marley albums that have not been digitally remastered where as those who prefer these fresher productions, and all those who want an introduction to the great reggae singer and his trusty support should look no further.....
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