Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Feature: Peter Tosh - The razor-sharp ring of truth

Peter Tosh
Reggae music, product of the shantytowns of Jamaica, has often echoed the turbulence of its Caribbean birthplace. When reggae star Peter Tosh, 42, was gunned down in his Kingston home on Sept. 11 during an attempted robbery, his murder added yet another violent chapter to the history of The Wailers, the celebrated band that Tosh and Bob Marley founded in 1963 with Bunny Livingstone. No Nuclear War (Capitol), a new collection of Tosh's protest songs, arrived in record stores just a few weeks before his death. Although none of the material matches the standard of "Get Up, Stand Up," the classic anthem Tosh coauthored with Marley, the album does serve as a fitting postscript to his provoca...
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Music Feature: The hypnotic pull of the reggae beat

Bunny Wailer Bunny Wailer - Photo by David Corio
When Bob Marley died of cancer at 36 in 1981, he received a burial more befitting a king than a musician. His funeral drew the largest crowds in Caribbean history. The Jamaican parliament recessed for 10 days of national mourning, having just awarded him an Order of Merit. As millions mourned the passing of reggae music’s first major star, music industry insiders predicted that reggae— with its bass-heavy beat and its lyrical links to the island’s mystical Rastafarian religion— would soon fade away. But the forecast was wrong. Despite the death of its leading practitioner and reggae’s continuing struggle for airplay on North American radio stations, its appeal keeps spreading. This summer, r...
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Music Review: Jackie Mittoo - Wishbone

Mittoo was a founding member of The Skatalites and a legendary Studio One keyboardist who backed Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and others. His music played a crucial role in reggae’s foundation and he left a rich recorded legacy of his work in both Jamaica and Canada, where he lived through the 1970s and ’80s. This reissue of a rare album, recorded in Toronto in 1971, captures Mittoo at his best on gems like the majestic instrumental “Grand Funk” and the soaring, gospel-tinged reggae workout “Soul Bird.”
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Music Review: Bob Marley & the Wailers - Catch a Fire

Released as part of the Classic Album series, this excellent DVD tells the story of reggae’s breakthrough into the mainstream. Featuring interviews with Bunny Wailer, Island Records’ Chris Blackwell and others, plus rare footage of Marley and the band in the studio and on stage performing “Stir it Up” and “Concrete Jungle,” the documentary explains how Catch a Fire crossed over to a rock audience. Bonus footage includes a previously unseen, incendiary b&w performance of “Get Up Stand Up.” Crucial stuff
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