Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live! At the Rainbow [VHS] Price: $2.99 (as of 21/05/2022 13:41 PST- Details)


It doesn’t get more sublime than this. If anyone is still wondering what all the fuss was about, check this moment in reggae time controlled by the music’s avatar, the late Robert Nesta Marley. Marley didn’t write and sing songs; he channeled them. And he’s clearly a man possessed here, witnessed by an ecstatic audience that’s clearly been transported to another, better reality! Of the many performance videos and bio footage devoted to reggae’s king, Live at the Rainbow is far and away the finest. Recorded with perfect discretion by the filmmakers during the summer of 1977, just as the Exodus album was peaking on charts and four years before his untimely death, Marley’s charisma comes off the screen in potent waves. By then, of course, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer had gone their separate ways, and, unfortunately, a video of comparable quality was never made to capture that legendary joining. But the new Wailers band packed its own star power, including that generated by the late Carlton Barrett on drums and his equally legendary brother “Familyman” on bass, Junior Marvin on lead guitar, and the exquisite harmonies of Bob’s backup trio. Dressed in modest, colorful Rastawomen gear, their hair covered, Marley’s wife, Rita; Judy Mowatt; and Marcia Griffiths (the latter two were solo stars before they joined up with “Brother Joseph”) created background harmonies that remain the competitive standard today. –Elena Oumano

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