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  Listen Up! 8/6/03 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Aug. 6

Bob Marley & the Wailers, “Live at the Roxy,” Tuff Gong/Island Chronicles. I have a vague memory of the bulk of this set being released before, but I’m not sure when. I definitely know, because it says so right here, that the second disc, featuring an exhilarating, incandescent thrill ride of a 24-minute medley of “Get Up Stand Up,” “No More Trouble,” and “War,” has never been issued before. The two discs together give us a full 90 minutes of Bob Marley live at the height of his powers. You should know all these songs already, but the intensity of delivery, the constantly shifting powers of the Wailers magnificent musicianship, and the pure joy of singing come through more powerfully than you’re probably used to. “One good thing about music,” Marley sings, and I ain’t gonna argue with him, “when it hits, you feel no pain.”

Pulp, “Hits,” Island Chronicles. I admit, I spent less than twenty minutes on Britpop acts in the 90s. I actually remember “Common People” got a little bit of alternative rock airplay, and I liked it, just not enough to explore more. I don’t know what I was thinking, because I’m loving pretty much this whole CD. First listen, you can’t help but hear the David Bowie vocal references, and after a while, you start to hear Ray Davies-styled songwriting and arrangements to go with it. But, by the second time through, you’re more entranced with the melodic cleverness and catchiness. These songs are irresistible. Why was I ignoring this band all those years?

--Steve Pick

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