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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Natty Dread

Bob Marley & The Wailers

1974

Buy At Rough Trade
Natty Dread
Album Summary

Natty Dread is the seventh album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, released in 1974. Previously Marley had recorded with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer as the Wailers, and this was his first record without them. Natty Dread was most popularly received in the UK, where it peaked at No. 43 and sold in excess of 100,000 copies, making it a gold album. Over time it gained popularity in other parts of the world, and in 2003 it was ranked No. 181 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.58

Votes

11516
Genres
Reggae

Reviews

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Fri Nov 06 2020
5

This is a pretty dang iconic album. It's a top-shelf cocktail of groove, blues, and blistering social commentary. Honestly, I'm at a loss for what to say about this album other than it's just damn good. It ticks all the boxes. It's iconic, in the pocket, vocals are on point, lyrics are heavy, production is excellent, and it's so thick with sheer musicality it practically oozes. Just a real fine record.

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Fri Aug 21 2020
5

This was an album of great transition for Bob, he had split with his childhood friends and original Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Bob's influence over the band was becoming more and more pronounced and Tosh and Wailer decided that is not the direction they wished to go. The revamped band was now, for the first time, known as "Bob Marley and The Wailers" as opposed to just "The Wailers" thus solidifying Marley as the primary leader of the band. Bob truly took charge of the overall focus and direction of the group and wrote all the songs. In an interesting twist of fate and one of the best business moves in music history, he assigned the credits for many of his songs to his close family memebers and friends as a way to make sure they were taken care of financial, certain charities he believed in and supported were funded and as a way to avoid contractual obligations to his former publishing company, Cayman Music. Although this is a transition album of sorts, it sports some of his most memorable songs and one in particular that would be one of his defining moments, "No Woman, No Cry" which would gain much fame due to his incredible live performances of the record. He would introduce the "I-Threes" a female vocal group that included his wife, Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. Their vocals addeded a wonderful compliment to Bob's on songs such as one of my personal favorites on the album, "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)". The writing on this album seems very personal and almost takes you on a journey through Bob's life in Jamaica and some of the obstacles he had to overcome. This record is also a canvas for Bob to infuse some of his Rastafarian beliefs and he does a marvelous job of this on songs such as "So Jah Seh" and the title track "Natty Dread". This album is almost like Bob saying "Here I Am, The Real Me" and he gives us a fairly detailed revelation of where his heart was and where his and the bands focus was now going to be. I believe this to be one of his most profound works and it's one of my personal favorites. It's only years after it's release and in particular after his death that I think many truly appreciated this album for it's greatness. There are many wonderful songs beyond "No Woman, No Cry" that make this a truly wonderful album and it gives it's listener a front row seat into some of the many tragic situations going on in his homeland and, indeed, many of the places dear to his heart such as the other island nations, Africa and United States. Bob Marley was a revolutionary in every since of the word and he would spend the remainder of his tragically short life fighting for the cause, "Revolution".

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Sun Jan 24 2021
1

Today I learned that I really, really, really do not like reggae. I'm sure this was an important album and all, but man do I not enjoy this. I'd rather listen to the Kid Rock album again than this one.

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Thu Oct 28 2021
1

Forty years ago, I would have pretended to like this. But I've never really enjoyed most reggae. This is no exception. It includes "No Woman No Cry", but it's not the live version that everyone knows. I didn't enjoy this at all.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
4

The first time I got around to listen to this album, I couldn't give it my full attention because I was distracted. The second go around, things began to click. I've avoided Bob Marley for quite a long while, seen his documentaries but never listened to his music. He was just a poster adorning college campuses and a shining beacon for good vibes. The deep cuts here in Natty Dread showcase the Bob Marley I'd like to encounter with more often, someone who possessed a need to tell about the happenings around him and it was makes Natty Dread a pivotal piece in the reggae puzzle. Favorites: Lively Up Yourself, Them Belly Full (But We Hungry), Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock), Natty Dread, Bend Down Low, Talkin' Blues.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
2

I don't really care for reggae, even if it is the great Bob Marley. It's nice to listen to on certain occasions, but I never find myself in the mood for it. It's a bit boring and repetitive for me. The songs are a bit too similar sounding. I found myself tuning it out half the time, so it's hard to focus on and appreciate. While it's not a bad record, I don't see myself returning to this anytime soon.

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Mon Dec 28 2020
5

Great album, revolutionary sounds and lyrics

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Great album, tons of BM and the Wailers greatest hits.

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

Fantastic. So good. And picked on his birthday.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

I had listened to a lot of Bob Marley but had somehow never heard this album. In retrospect, I don’t know how that is possible. Great album and really interesting versions of well known songs.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Absolutely loved this. It’s so artistic and creative. It’s no wonder Bob Marley is a legend.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

OH YEAAAAAAAAA. Lively Up Yourself. No Woman No Cry, though I don't know that I have every heard it this upbeat and gospel. it almost feels rushed. dude this fucking album is so great.

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

catchy, timeless, music with a distinctive vibe

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

This is such an incredible listen. There isn't a single song that I skipped through in all my listens. There is a quality to Bob Marley's voice that reggae artists since have seemed incapable of emulating (and that all of the exaggerated imitations do absolutely no justice to). The album hinges on Marley's performance—the airy themes that might otherwise be a bit unbearable, the repetitions that could start the grate—but Marley never seems to fail. A truly incredible album. 9/10.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
5

Absolut berechtigt für die Liste der 1001 Alben

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

This album is chill as fuck. I need to listen to more Bob Marley. Makes me long for warm summer nights with friends

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Fri May 14 2021
5

The vibes... THE VIBES! Marley, through the sadness in his voice, communicated and empathized with Jamaica in a way that nobody ever could.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Bob Marley's ability to write feel-good music that is rich in cultural and political commentary make him one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century. Natty Dread is a masterwork; my enjoyment of it was dampened only by the knowledge that his 1975 live London version of "No Woman No Cry" is vastly superior.

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Tue Nov 21 2023
3

I used to love ska and reggae. Bob Marley is obviously a master. That said, it’s a repetitive genre that is hard for me to get into for very long anymore. The revolutionary subjects of the lyrics make his albums more worth it than most, and I wasn’t repulsed two tracks in like I have been with a couple of previous albums on this list, but reggae is not my go to anymore. 3/5

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Thu Feb 22 2024
3

Classic Reggae album if you’re in the mood for a bunch of reggae at once.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
2

Mein Reggae Gaumen ist schwachbrüstig, wenn es um Unterscheidung von gutem oder mittelmäßigem Reggae geht. Er schlägt selten aus und so würde ich allzu häufig von der Mittelmäßigkeit des Genres schlechthin überzeugt sein, aber darf ich das überhaupt, wenn das Sensorium so unbedarft urteilt? Vielleicht will Reggae ja auch gar nichts anderes sein? Nur kann ich auch zwischen dem Fehlen vermeintlicher Ambitionen und dem Fehlen von Qualität nicht unterscheiden. Hier jedenfalls fehlt mir beides. Doppelfehle(r)nde 1.6

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Thu Oct 28 2021
1

Is it even possible to enjoy Bob Marley while not being high? Not that I enjoy his music in any way when I am. It's just soooooo boooooring. It's boring to the point that I get really annoyed. I listened to parts of the first 6 songs but I couldn't bare any of them.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
1

Trash, I hate jamaican songs, they all sound the same and sing about the same shit

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

What the Straight White Man™️ Did to Marley’s legacy and reggae as a whole is unforgivable. This is an album of musicians at the peak of their craft, the tones alone across this are so sumptuous and warm and joy-giving.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

Sets the stage for everything else.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
5

Amazing. should be 10 stars.

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Thu May 13 2021
5

I and I gonna have things our way

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Chill vibes, perfect to walk in nature

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Wed Jun 16 2021
5

Now that’s what I’m talking about !!! This is almost a greatest hits album all by itself.

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Sat Jul 31 2021
5

I prefer later, live versions of No Woman, but come on. Bob is an all timer.

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Sat Jul 31 2021
5

Don’t know if it’s how little music I listened to this week or if it’s just a bunch of bangers right in a row. Bob rules

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

Classic reaggae sounds, feels light and groovy all along!

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Made me happy, reminded me of my grandmother who loved reggae. Pleasantly surprised by how good EVERY song is .

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Really glad I listened to this and want to listen again!

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

Have to give a 5 considering I added 99% of tracks to the playlist

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

Love this. Great rhythms and relaxing enough to let me work at the same time.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Awesome music Bob was the man!

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

I could listen to Bob Marley \"wail\" for days at a time. His voice is just that iconic, and his songs are the right ratio of catchy to saying something. When you're in the mood for reggae, you can't do better than Marley.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

4.5/5. Ok I kinda get it now, thanks Ilya

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

It's quite an accomplishment to make music that's so chill and still makes people want to move. Best track: No Woman No Cry

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

"A hungry mouth is a hungry mouth"? "A hungry mouth is a hungry mob"? "A hungry mouth is a hungry mind"? I'm not sure which it is, if any, but I'm also not sure it matters. While Bob's full prophet mode, he could sing, "A hungry mouth is an orange as seen through binoculars made of jelly" and I'd think it was a message from heaven. So respect him for the "Bend down low, let me tell you what I know" humblebrag. Ain't no one stooping down to anyone else's level here except Bob. Anyway, this blew my mind in a way it hasn't before. The grooves are eternal and gorgeous. And it has that remarkable James Brown-ian quality of every instrument--be it string, wind, wood or brass--contributing to the rhythm. If you'd asked me yesterday what my got-to Marley is, I'd've told you 'Legend'. But that's a celebration of Bob-the-songwriter and cultural icon. This is really where I turn. To the proof of hope and salvation through unbreakable rhythmic unity. And I like how the songwriting credits are shared around.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

Stellar! I hadn't ever heard this and was mainly new some songs from Live! Need this one.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

An outstanding album that I loved since the first time I heard it. I had a college radio show years ago that was reggae/ska-based programming and components of this album were a backbone.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

Wow. Best Marley band ever. Did not think I'd write that but the songs are all sooo good...all of them. With the exception of the closing song which is still more than listenable. Marley's best, need I say more?

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Thu Mar 17 2022
5

Seminal Reggae from the master. Proper summer album!!

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Sun Mar 27 2022
5

Brilliant, chilled out vibes. Like a best of album

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Sat Apr 09 2022
5

Beautiful blast from the past. Nice to listen to it front to back for once

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

I recently learned that my husband thought "No Woman No Cry" meant if you don't have a woman, she can't make you cry. Like "no pain no gain" or something. I think I need to listen to a lot more Marley. Back in the 90s I named my cat Marley, now I rarely listen at all.

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Sat May 07 2022
5

I really enjoyed this album and the lyrical themes within the tracks.

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Thu May 19 2022
5

Amazing great. The beginning of greatness.

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Thu May 26 2022
5

Hands up if you love reggae but have never listened to a Bob album? Anybody? Just me yeah? I'll get my coat

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Thu May 26 2022
5

Does it get much better? I think not , what an album,special mention to the best version of no Woman no Cry . What a fucking Champ

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Sat Jun 18 2022
5

Wonderful, not quite the Marley that gets played on the radio in Scotland, but probably more authentic because of that. The version of 'no woman no cry' is very different to the famous version on the "Legend" album, but still very impressive. For clarity, I loved it!

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

Probably still my favorite of his (along with Exodus and Burnin') from THE reggae singer.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

This is the album and artist all reggae try to live up to. Pretty easy 5 stars when it defines a genre.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Reggae doesn’t get much better than this. Catch a Fire will always be my favourite Marley album but this is a seminal album in its own right. Definitely prefer the version of No Woman, No Cry on this album.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Love me some reggae with this warm weather. I was more familiar with other versions of Lively Up Yourself and No Woman No Cry, so I needed some adjusting, but with the second listen I was all in for the entire album.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Classic Bob Marley & The Wailers album, 5 star like any other BM from that period but this one together with Catch A Fire, might be their best but it is hard to say ..would be nice if some of their earlier albums are in the list as well.

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

A album full of good vibes, great lyrics, and bob marley. This is a revolutionary album for reggae and one of my favourite reggae records I have heard

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

Great album, no skips and just an all out good time. Favorite song was Revolution

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

I mean, it's a classic Reggae album. Like THE reggae album.

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Sun Aug 21 2022
5

This is amazing. after a lifelong (well actually only my youth) of having only heard “Legend” I started to get to know more about Marley when I was in college. I was in Jamaica just the other month and it made me very happy to see how beloved he is over there. And with total reason, do you know a more influential artist? I don’t think I do, I know many more famous ones, but none as influential. I have a soft spot for reggae and this is going out with a 5.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

Bass resonates through the album in a comfortingly familiar pace. Very repeatable listen.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Well, that was an excellent way to start off a Friday. Would probably also work for a Sunday. Or, really, most days.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Fantastisch, beste album dat niet zo gewaardeerd wordt als enkele andere. Maar stiekem zijn de nummers (waarvan de helft al eens in een eerdere vorm opgenomen was) stuk voor stuk sterk. Experimenten met instrumentatie, koortjes, loodzware riffs en lichte melodieën, maar misschien is dat wel meer dan de eerdere platen, zeer sterke teksten. Vanaf de eerste keer dat ik het album draaide tot nu toe mijn all time favorite van Marley!

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Contains some classic songs that I already knew, but plenty that I hadn’t experienced before. Great from start to finish, listened multiple times.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

Well, this is an album I'd not heard of before, and I'm not sure it could be any more perfect. I'd not even heard these versions of the tracks I had heard before. Great stuff.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

A very good album, worthy of recommendation

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

5/5 I mean c'mon it's bob Marley you doesn't like him

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

An artists I previously only knew through best of albums. So much more in here.

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

Another outstanding album!! Bob Marley was one of a kind! People have tried to emulate his sound, but have never been able to capture it just right. His music has a way of instilling hope and happiness in me every time I listen to it. I find the song No Woman No Cry almost therapeutic (I can turn it on on a bad day and feel better instantly). The part of the song where he repeats "Everything's going to be alright" just forces you to put everything in perspective. Such excellent reggae music with subtle notes of funk mixed in. Every song on this record is amazing! Favourite songs: No Woman No Cry, Bend Down Low, Talkin' Blues, Them Belly Full (But We Hungry), Revolution, Natty Dread, Lively Up Yourself Least favourite song: if forced to pick one, Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock). It is still a phenomenal song, it just didn't hit as hard for me as the other songs. 5/5

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

He’s so good. They’re a great band. I only really know the obvious ‘hits’ but everything I hear is pretty great. I’m glad this project made me listen to another full album.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

é o grande mestre não adianta

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

I've never been massively into reggae, but I enjoyed this. Absolutely, convincingly doing its own thing while being tuneful and accessible.

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

Even though many of the songs on this album have been horribly overplayed, this album is just so solid. I'm reminded of what great musicians these guys were and the production is just so clean and well done. The songwriting is cohesive, every song but one is a stand out, just a fantastic album. 5/5

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