"Burning Spear" Rodney's classic
works of the late 1970's, early 1980's
reached success with a world wide audience
that could definitely feel the Spear
Both his studio works and -remarkable for
Reggae- his live performances had captured
the attention of millions who would
otherwise not have checked Reggae Music.
Burning Spear had one big advancement
over many other Reggae Artists: he was
actually able to tour all over the world to
perform for local audiences. And these
audiences were not really aware of the
latest running on Jamaica, that had a
recording culture rather than a concert
culture so to speak.
But that was not the only reason for the
Part of this had to do with his albums
released by Chris Blackwell's Island
Records, that had then already gained a
tremendous success with their transformation
of Bob Marley's music for a European (and in
lesser degree: American) Rock audience.
But they left the Spear alone in that
respect: his militant and charismatic works
simply wouldn't allow such a treatment.
Besides, Island wouldn't have released
Spear's music if it were not commercially
attractive for them, right?
And with that, proof is provided with the
statement, that you do not have to change
Reggae Music in order to be heard by a
predominantly non-Reggae listening audience.
The mere hearticality, the mere message
and the mere personality of Winston Rodney
was enough to make Island Records become
interested and release his music as it came.
Social Living is such an album created
for Island Records. Raw, raw Reggae Music
which obviously comes as it is. With true
gems like "Marcus Say Jah No
Dead", the album really is a collection
of Roots Reggae avant la lettre.
This particular re-release is even better
than the original vinyl album. Not only
because it has obviously been digitally
re-mastered, but also because some tracks
come with an extended Dub mix.