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Customer Review

on 10 March 2009
The Wailers made some great albums and this is one of the very best. The grooves are tight with melodic hooks and excellent harmonies. I have all their albums and consider this to be lyrically one of Bob's best. There are some real classics on this album and it is a massive disappointment to me that Legend contains no songs from it whatsoever, big mistake by Island Records in my opinion. There are no love songs here, just pure roots, albeit in more mainstream friendly arrangements than any other roots reggae artists. This fact often gets The Wailers a lot of criticism for being too pop or soft somehow. Bob spent quite a bit of time working in America before hitting the big time and along with the extended world tours that they went on and the fact that they were signed to a major record label, meant that their musical horizons were expanded and they no longer only looked inwards at the Jamaican scene to develop their sound. This immersion in world music had a knock on effect on their music and that is the reason why they had more mainstream appeal and hence are the only reggae act to get any real commercial success. They did not sell out, but they did want their music to be heard around the world. It is just unfortunate that all the other great reggae artists like Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Prince Alla, Wailing Souls, The Royals, Little Roy, Jimmy Cliff, The Congos, Israel Vibration, Mighty Diamonds, Bob Andy, The Abyssinians etc didn't get the recognition and record sales they deserved. But don't blame The Wailers for that, just enjoy this music for what it is. A great band spreading the message of the greatest lyricist in modern music.

"To divide and rule, could only tear us apart
in everyman chest
there beats a heart
so soon we'll find out
who is the real revolutionaries
and i don't want my people
to be tricked by mercenaries."

"We refuse to be
what you wanted us to be
we are what we are
that's the way it's going to be."

"They say what we know
is just what they teach us
we're so ignorant
every time they can reach us
through political strategy
they keep us hungry
when you gonna get some food
your brother got to be your enemy."

They're just a few samples of the amazing lyrics off this album. Like all of Bob's best lyrics, they sum up complex problems or situations so anyone can understand them. It's hard to pick favourites but if forced I would choose So Much Trouble In The World, Zimbabwe, Babylon System, One Drop and Ride Natty Ride but they're all tremendous songs and that is what makes Survival so good. If you have any interest at all in The Wailers or reggae then buy this now. If you're feeling adventurous or want more reggae to listen to then get some albums by the artists I mentioned above. They won't let you down.
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Product Details

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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