An Amazing Documentary!
Kenneth A LaBarre | Madison, WI | 07/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having already seen the "The Grateful Dead:From Anthem to Beauty" episode of the "Classic Albums" series I knew what to expect from this DVD. This series is about retracing history, and documenting the process of creating the classic albums of the past 30 years before the creators pass from the earth and their words are lost forever. Short on "features" that we've been spoiled with on other DVDs , on the surface this is a straight forward 60 min. doc on the making of the "Catch A Fire" album by The Wailers. The strength of this production, and in fact the whole series, is that the producers went to Jamaica and London to interview the people who wrote, recorded, engineered, produced and played on this seminal album. Recent interviews with Bunny Wailer, Rita Marley, Chris Blackwell, and surviving members of the Wailers live and studio bands are very insightful. Add to that the fact that the DVD features archival interviews with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. These further deepen the viewer's understanding of their musical and social philosophies and how it was expressed in their music. Through all of these people you get a very complete picture of the commercial, religious, social, and economic pressures on the band to bring the message of Reggae Music from the Third world to the First. Finally, the highlight of the disc has to be the rare and some never-seen-before footage of the original Wailers live in England in the early '70's. You finally see Bob, Bunny and Peter sing those amazing harmonies live which,IMHO, has more impact now because NOBODY sings their own harmonies live anymore without some sort of pre-recorded assistance. This is a tribute to the "old-skool", where the musical worlds of Kingston, Motown, Memphis, and London blended together over a 16 track mix in such a simple yet expressive way to create a deeply spiritual and mystic sound. If you really love music, especially Reggae music, then you should pick this one up. Amazon's price. . . is very reasonable, considering I paid $19.99USD at a bricks and mortar video chain for this DVD. Enjoy!"
J. Benedetti | Santa Cruz, CA USA | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful video for anyone interested in the technical aspects of the creation of a classic album, and the efforts of the production team to translate a "new" musical style to the masses. With a strong focus on the music-- especially the drum and bass-- and indispensible interviews with the original Wailers as well as the session musicians who contributed to the album. Bass Players will love the priceless interviews with "Family Man" Barrett and Robbie Shakespeare. This is not a concert video, but a great look behind the scenes at the making of a breakthrough record, including a track-by-track breakdown of some of the original studio tapes. Highly recommended for musicians. May bore the heck out of non-musicaians."
Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 05/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One in the continuing series by Rhino called "Classic Albums," this documentary of the Wailers' classic lp "Catch a Fire" will serve as a perfect compliment to the recently issued 2 cd set of "Catch a Fire" which contains the original Jamaican version of the lp.For me personally, the reason to get the dvd is not Marley himself- there are many documentaries and concerts of Marley on the market that can be had- but the interviews with Bunny Wailer and the late, great Peter Tosh, as well as the vintage footage of the 3 original (and only, in my book) Wailers in concert. As one frustrated reviewer pointed out, there are not whole performances by the Wailers on this dvd- snipets abound within the context of the documentary. While to fans of Tosh, in particular, this is a shame, the dvd IS a documentary, and not live performances, so the lack of complete footage needs to be taken in stride.What the dvd DOES offer, however, are wonderful anecdotes from Bunny Wailer, (including a solo rendition of "Slave Driver" that is riviting) Alston "Family Man" Barrett, Rita Marley, Chris Blackwell, guitarist wayne Perkins, and keyboardist Rabbit Bundrick, on the making of the lp. Archival interviews with Tosh and Marley add the perspectives of the lp's 2 main catalysts. As with all the Rhino dvds, the work given to this dvd is top rate, with the interviews backed by examples, live performances by many of the key players on the lp, and scenes of Chris Blackwell rolling the master acetates in his recording studio to break down what was happening on certain tracks.While the lack of complete songs does take away somewhat from the overall effect of the video, the archival footage of the Wailers on TV (complete with the Barrett brothers and Bunny in their rastafarian-laden outfits, their matching sweaters with the traditional red gold and green) and the Edmonton, London performance of "Get Up Stand Up," alone is worth the price of the video. For me, seeing Peter Tosh on stage and singing lead on his "Stop That Train" is priceless.Fans of Tosh and the early Wailers will find many pearls from which to choose from on this video. It was skillfully done, and is well worth having in one's personal collection. A wonderful DOCUMENTARY of the band."
Dave Rosenthal | Troy, NY United States | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of music, but knowing little about its technical aspects and production, this documentary/concert dvd was a godsend. Interviews with people who made the album. The rastas who knew bob tell stories and history. Home videos of bob with his family are priceless. I think the music is amazing and I learned something about creating an album, and about bob marley and the wailers. If you like Bob, get this."