Catch a Fire is the fifth studio album by the reggae band The Wailers aka Bob Marley and the Wailers, released in April 1973. It was their first album released by Island Records. After finishing a tour in the United Kingdom with Johnny Nashwhere they had started laying the tracks for JAD Records when a disputed CBS contract with Danny Simms created tensions , the band did not have enough money to return to Jamaica; their road manager Brent Clarke approached producer Chris Blackwell, who agreed to advance The Wailers money for an album which they used to pay their fares back home, where they completed the recordings Catch a Fire. The album has nine songs, two of which were written and composed by Peter Tosh, the remaining seven were by Bob Marley. While Bunny Wailer is not credited as a writer, their writing style was a collective process . For the immediate follow up album “Burnin” also released in 1973 he contributed four songs. After Marley returned with the tapes to London, Blackwell reworked the tracks at Island Studios with contributions by Muscle Shoals session musician Wayne Perkins, who played guitar on three overdubbed tracks. The album had a limited original release under the name The Wailers in a sleeve depicting a Zippo lighter, designed by graphic artists Rod Dyer and Bob Weiner; subsequent releases had an alternative cover designed by John Bonis featuring an Esther Anderson portrait of Marley smoking a "spliff", and used their alternative title Bob Marley and the Wailers. The Catch a Fire Tour, which covered England and the United States, helped generate international interest in the band. Catch a Fire peaked at number 171 on the Billboard 200 and number 51 on the Billboard Black Albums charts. Critical acclaim has included the album being listed at number 126 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, second only to Legend among five Bob Marley albums on the list. It is regarded as one of the top reggae albums of all time. The group title “Bob Marley & The Wailers” being used on Bob Marley solo albums has created a lot of marketing and identity confusion for The Wailers catalog. It follows the confusion generated from their company Tuff Gong Records registered in 1973 and Tuff Gong International registered by the Bob Marley Estate in 1991 that resulted in the 1999 Tuff Gong Settlement Agreement that sought to separate the group catalog from the Bob Marley solo catalog. Catch A Fire album dual releases under both group titles is where this marketing confusion began.Wikipedia
The only Bob Marley album I had ever heard before this was the greatest hits. And I have to say this album was on par with that. A great collection of songs that are political and beautiful. I really liked this one.
What a great album. Marley has an uncanny ability to write scathing social commentary and put it to music that just feels good. There's anger and frustration here but it's mixed with enough joy to stay sweet. The result is so balanced that I find myself digesting the message without any of the jaded defensiveness that "message" albums often provoke. It's great. Marley and his Wailers were brilliant.
Not even close to my fave BMATW album but still worthy of full marks. So much political struggle coursing through this album, broken up by amazing love songs like ‘Baby we’ve got a date’ and ‘Stir It Up’. Love that Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths are on the backing vocals of Stir it Up. Peter Tosh also deserves a notable mention. ‘Stop that Train’ is a tune. BMATW were by no means a one man band as many believe
the zippo lighter album (which you can open!)cover puts this in the same genre as TLT Scratch n Sniff EP! Love how there is a bit of R&B/Motown in a few songs (High Tide/Low Tide) - also dig Tosh's lead vocals on Stop that Train.
I think this is an underrated one by Bob. High Tide or Low Tide may be my favorite Bob Marley that no one ever talks about.
Classic album. Timeless production.
Excellent album(s). I had listened to the original 1973 a few times before. But theres a 2001 version with a different track listing. Both are extraordinary. Greasy, groovy, moody, cool. The music is tight, era defining and unparalleled as far as reggae goes anyway. The lyrics are incisive, precise, enigmatic. Very listenable and there's nothing quite like this album, even in the Wailers back catalogue. A unique, edgy, exciting album I would always always recommend.
Enjoyably relaxing vibe to this one; impressive to think it's from 1979 and must be a precursor to so much of what we currently know as reggae. Lovely lyrical content about struggles with oppression and pain, using love and light to be strong in the face of these challenges. Great smoking/relaxing/conversation tunes. Far prefer the second disc with it's more full-band sound to the stripped-back first disc. Many of the same songs gained a whole new colour and character with more players on the track.
Always love me some reggae! Bob Marley is the king of cool, the sultan of swag, the regent of relaxation. Him and his wailers are perfect for any outdoor setting or even indoor if your main objective is to relax and feel like you are close to an ocean or beach or beer.
A classic album...but not my favourite. Concrete Jungle and Stir it Up are stone cold classics and the other songs are not far behind. You can't go wrong rolling up a fat one and putting this great album on the turntable. 4.5 stars
I don't like reggae as a rule. Partially because I attach it to some potheads I knew as a kid that I never really understood. And also because I didn't have a terribly struggle-filled upbringing, so I was attracted to darker stuff - or at least stuff that wore its darkness on its sleeve. But also because reggae tends to sound very samesy to me, probably the way hip hop sounds very samesy to someone who doesn't listen to it much. That being said, this album got to me. Stir It Up is a great song.
Ok Bob Marley. As I am a New Zealander, the entire oeuvre of the Wailers are practically the national anthem of this fair country. Yet despite that, the only song I knew prior was "Stir It Up", a conception song. The album was a lot more varied and interesting then I was expecting. The side A songs that delve into slave history were particularly powerful. But there is also the side B reminder that Bob Marley was quite the rooter. I get why this album is on the list. It feels like a record that is both influential but holds up as an artwork, and also enjoyable.
Classic really. Seriously groovy baselines from “Family Man” and, even though there’s only so much you can do with reggae, the songwriting and production on this album keeps everything fresh - there are 3 or 4 proper ear worms on this album.
This is the first original album by Bob Marley and the Wailers I've heard (aside from "Legend".) While the band don't stray from their formula musically, there's some really strong material here with a broad range of emotion behind it. "Concrete Jungle" shuffles forward, with the clavichord effectively adding to a sleazy atmosphere and searing lead guitar rounding off the mix. Alluding to the slave trade and racism, the lyrical material is much more politically charged than the side of Marley's work I'd heard before. But throughout, the Wailers prioritise a laid back, mellow feel, with Marley's vocal never rising into a rasp, howl or bellow. They allow the strong social conscience of each song to play itself out, coming to the fore with lyrics like "No chains around my feet but I'm not free" and "today they say that we are free; only to be chained in poverty." It's powerful content and sadly hasn't aged a day. In contrast, the middle of the album shows the band at their most romantic: while "Baby We've Got A Date" presents the carefree joy of being in love, "Stir It Up" is the real classic. One of the band's best known songs, it is sublime: a slow burning, slow dancing beauty. Following "Stir It Up", none of the songs really lived up to those in the first half of the album, though I'm prepared to give them more time. It's an enjoyable album, particularly for a certain mood, and has made me keen to explore more of the Wailers' work.
It's 11º outside as I listen to this. This Marley album takes me to the beach for a warm respite from reality. The only song from BMs Greatest Hits whose picture hung on every college student's wall - Stir it Up is one of Bob's better known songs and pairs well with the rest of the album. It's nice to hear some Bob Marley I'm unfamiliar with. 4/5
How do these crazy talent-vortices spontaneously form? A bunch of kids get together and shortly are defining some swath of a major genre. And then again tragedy is so often looming over it, and is that some dark part of it. It’s a bad old world.
Robert réussit l'exploit de nous servir un album de Bob Marley ne contenant aucun tube. C'est déjà difficile d'écouter du reggae, alors quand il s'agit d'un projet dont on a rien de particulier à attendre, c'est carrément l'enfer.
Favourite songs- High Tide or Low Tide, Stir it Up
I loved this. I love Bob Marley and the Wailers. This is a classic. Something I will listen to again.
I liked this album a lot, surprisingly. The music itself sounded so rich and beautiful. I found it easy to relate and empathize with what they were talking about. All around just a really chill yet moving album.
love it - the production is so clear and songs are so upbeat and stirring.
Better than the colonizers want you to know.
Classic. Always love to listen to Marley
One of my personal favorite albums of all time. Can’t wait to re listen.
One of my all time favorites
Me ha encantado, con ritmo y tranquilas para trabajar.
Fantastically classic. Bob and Pete have incredible songwriting synergy. Very great.
Mellow and easy to listen to
So many classic songs on one album. And then you think of all the ones that aren't on it.
Excellent album. Not sure if it's the best Bob Marley album. If it isn't, I'll give that album 5 stars too. 9/10
Loved this. Listened twice in the sun. So much vibes.
muito show of ball amigao
Love Bob. Good music for cruising or hanging out on the beach. High Tide or Low Tide is probably my favorite.
Amazing reggae album. Bob Marley is a legend, no doubt.
Best one yet.
Great album. I don't listen to a lot of reggae, but I could definitely appreciate this one.
- surprising variety of beat / melody - genuinely making me smile - lots of solid songs, this one is going into the rotation
Concrete Jungle and Stop That Train are solid Bob hits, even if they arent the cultural juggernaut that some of his other songs are. Stir It Up is in that pantheon of greatest grooves ever conceived. Midnight Ravers kicks ass.
High tide or low tide was always one of my favorites.
An absolute classic album. Defines reggae for me. 4.75 🌟
Un dels millors discos de reggae de la història. He escoltat la versió jamaïcana, no la més comercial publicada el seu dia. Té un toc més chill, més laidback que encara fa més justícia a les cançons. De tant escoltar-les algunes han perdut una petita part de la seva força, i fer-ho un 27 de desembre (2021) sembla contradir l'esperit del disc, però encara en aquestes condicions continua sent un 5 estrelles
All time great!
This is our Hogmanay listening! I really enjoyed this and have added it to my playlist. I can’t believe I’ve never listened to it before.
Very fun to listen to this while getting ready for a New Year's Celebration. It's somehow both upbeat and relaxing. Stir It Up will always be one of my favorite songs of all time.
When it comes to reggae, you can't be Bob Marley. Right from the first notes to the end of the album this record rocks. The bass lines and rhythms are infectious and the guitar solos have real feeling, as does the singing. This album also has Peter Tosh, another great talent who died too young.
Love it….saw him live 1979 Honolulu(got pics)…just great feel good music with a message..
very pretty and cool
Oooohh. Ótima pedida!!!
Classic album. Great songs -goes way beyond its genre and probably one of the best albums ever made.
Great vibe music
Good stuff. Jsuis pas fan de reggae, d'ailleurs je préfère sa période "rock steady" encore avant 1974, mais ça passe crême.
Amazing album. Reggae by the master.
Bob Marley feels like home.
My favorite Bob Marley and the Wailers album.
Though my favorite Wailers album is probably "African Herbsman," this and "Burnin'" are really well recorded and have such a rich and spacious sound. An incredibly talented group. I only wish they could've lasted longer together. The Beatles of Reggae.
this album is too good to rate Bob Marley has gotta be on of my favorite musicians and listening to the deluxe version of this amazing album should make him one of your favorites too I actually enjoyed the jamaican versions more than the originals with my favorite probably being No More Trouble (Jamaican Version) like they really just made a song (an album, really) that slaps as hard as modern hip-hop way back in the early 70’s
As good a reggae record as I've ever heard. The Tosh songs are faves among almost uniformly excellent tracks. Nothing not to like here.
Классика жанра. Ямайская версия альбома просто супер!
Marley/the Wailers have better albums, but this is still a great collection. Musically it's just so rich and soulful. The mixture of the personal and the political is always interesting in the band's work. They always give you food for thought, delivered so sweetly. Although I prefer political Marley to love songs Marley,, "Stir It Up" is just one of the loveliest songs I've ever heard. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite, "released album"): No More Trouble, Midnight Ravers, Stir It Up, Kinky Reggae, Concrete Jungle, Slave Driver, 400 Years, Stop That Train, Baby We've Got a Date (Rock It Baby)
Bob Marley is love
I'd never listened to a Bob Marley album, and I'm glad my first was this one. What a glorious, gorgeous record. I'm going to play it every morning of my vacation next week. Added with pleasure.
First 5 star, great listen
Great classic reggae from Bob Marley and the Wailers. Every track is a great example of reggae.
Super chill. Not boring.
Solid Bob album - maybe his best
Me gusta mucho el reggae y Bob Marley es una leyenda por una razón.
Bob Marley, nothing else to say. Legend
Un disco increible, como todos los que grabó Marley, sin dudas hay que escucharlo antes de morir!
Top tier stuff
I love it! short and beautiful - except for the obvious, I especially enjoyed the guitar playing throughout the album, with interesting chord progressions. Will definitely play this one more often. 4.5/5
Peter Tosh's songs stand out along with "High Tide Or Low Tide" on the expanded version.
Album is solid, with a number of standouts. "Stir it Up" is a top 2 Bob Marley & The Wailers song.
Another first listen to a Bob album. Another 5*s for a Bob album
Just supremely chilled and groovy. I was surprised to find this was as late as Bob Marley's fifth album - other than Stir it Up, I didn't recognise any of the tracks. But Bob Marley does what Bob Marley is best at, making awesome reggae
Bob Marley goes hard. Some of these are really good others are mid.
A classic. Can't wait to hear it again
These are GORGEOUS, especially "No More Trouble" and "400 Years"!! The lyrics/melodies are soulful yet foreboding, and the Jamaican rhythms remind me of sunnier days...
I presumed all reggae sounded the same - I was very wrong, this album is coherent and full of individual crackers. Brilliant rhythms and artistry on display. Lots of complexity in the lyrics. Reminds me a lot of Tabac in Liverpool, they had reggae on repeat but at the stage of the evening we ended up there, I wasn't using my ears. Concrete Jungle, No More Trouble, High Tide or Low Tide - all great. Despite Kinky Reggae being a misstep, 5 stars feels deserved.
Beautiful album. All of the songs are so good. Reggae has a tendency of reminding me of my childhood and putting me in a good mood. My dad would take me to work with him and sometimes reggae songs would play. Specifically Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs etc.
The tenderness in his music is so stark
Classic! Love Bob Marley. Concrete Jungle, Slave Driver, Stir It Up, kinky Reggae, no more trouble. The list is endless.
Great album. Just perfect as an example of raggae.