The Wailers – Burnin’ – Album Cover

Burnin’ is the sixth studio album by Jamaican reggae band The Wailers, released in October 1973. It was written mostly by bandleader Bob Marley and produced by Chris Blackwell. A commercial and critical success in the United States, Burnin’ was certified Gold and later added to the National Recording Registry, with the Library of Congress deeming it historically and culturally significant.

Bob Marley and the Wailers (also known as Bob Marley & the Wailers or The Wailers) were a Jamaican reggae band led by Bob Marley. It developed from the earlier ska vocal group, The Wailers, created by Peter Tosh, Marley, and Bunny Wailer in 1963. By late 1963 singers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith had joined on. By the early 1970s, Marley and Bunny Wailer had learned to play some instruments, and brothers Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums), had joined the band. After Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh left the band in 1974, Marley began touring with new band members as Bob Marley and the Wailers. His new backing band included the Barrett brothers, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion. The “I Threes”, consisting of Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, and Marley’s wife, Rita, provided backing vocals.

The lineup was known variously as the Teenagers, the Wailing Rudeboys, the Wailing Wailers and finally just the Wailers. The original lineup featured Junior Braithwaite on vocals, Bob Marley on guitar, Peter Tosh on keyboard, Bunny Wailer on percussion, and Cherry Smith and Beverley Kelso on backing vocals. By 1966 Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith had left the band, which then consisted of the trio Livingston, Marley and Tosh.

In 1964, the Wailers topped the Jamaican charts with “Simmer Down”, which was recorded 1963 at Studio One with the rhythm section from studio house band The Skatalites. Some of the Wailers’ most notable songs were recorded with Lee “Scratch” Perry and his studio band the Upsetters. The Wailers also worked with renowned reggae producer Leslie Kong, who used his studio musicians called Beverley’s All-Stars (Jackie Jackson, Paul Douglas, Gladstone Anderson, Winston Wright, Rad Bryan, Hux Brown) to record the songs that would be released as an album titled The Best of The Wailers.[1]

In 1966, they created a rocksteady record label, the Wail N Soul M.

During the early 1970s the Upsetters members Aston “Family Man” Barrett and his brother Carlton (Carly) Barrett,[3] were recruited as instrumental backing for The Wailers. The Wailers recorded groundbreaking ska and reggae songs such as “Simmer Down”, “Trenchtown Rock”, “Nice Time”, “War”, “Stir It Up” and “Get Up, Stand Up”. An attempt at creating a full overview of all the music made by The Wailers prior to their signing to Island Records was made by the Roots Reggae Library.

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