Album: Bob Marley & The Wailers

Fy-ah, Fy-ah, JAD / UNIVERSAL
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The Independent Culture

Fy-ah, Fy-ah is the second three-CD set culled from material made available through the JAD label's acquisition by Universal, after the Grooving Kingston 12 compilation released this year. It documents more of The Wailers' often overlooked pre-Island period. The first disc includes recordings made for the group's Wail'n Soul'm label, and affirms the potency of Bob Marley's collaboration with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, whose assertive temperament is represented on songs such as "Dem A Fi Get A Beatin'" and "Steppin' Razor". The second disc features sessions with the producer Leslie Kong, whose slick, infectious sound for Desmond Dekker and The Pioneers brought Jamaican music to an international market. The style suits the itchy groove of Bob's "Soul Shakedown Party" especially well, while Tosh's "Stop the Train" perhaps reveals his first misgivings at Marley's dominant role. International success was the primary aim of the JAD team, who brought in top US session players such as Bernard Purdie and Eric Gale for the material on the third disc. It is the weakest of the three, lacking the bite of the earlier recordings, but interesting as a document of the crossover process that would lead to greater success once Marley had signed to Island.