Blackheart Man

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Blackheart Man
Studio album by Bunny Wailer
Released 8 September 1976
Recorded August 1975, Aquarius Recording Studios, Kingston, Jamaica
Genre Roots reggae
Length 45:50
Label Solomonic, Island
Producer Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer chronology
Blackheart Man
(1976)
Protest
(1977)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Mojo 5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[4]

Blackheart Man is the debut album by Bunny Wailer, originally released on 8 September 1976, in Jamaica on Solomonic Records and internationally on Island Records.[5]

Overview[edit]

The songs on the album are regarded as the finest written by Bunny Wailer, and explore themes such as repatriation ("Dreamland"), and his arrest for marijuana possession ("Fighting Against Conviction", originally titled "Battering Down Sentence").[6] The album features some of Jamaica's leading musicians and also contributions from Bob Marley and Peter Tosh of The Wailers on backing vocals, and the Wailers rhythm section of Carlton and Aston Barrett on some of the tracks. The origins of the album title goes back to Wailer's childhood in the Jamaican countryside, where he grew up in the same village as his friend Bob Marley.[5][6][2]

Wailer said:

Well, the Blackheart Man is a very serious fable; when we were kids, we all grew up hearing about this Blackheart Man, and we were told that you had to be careful of strangers who might walk up to you and invite you into a situation, or you might be found in the lonely countryside, or in the gullies, or anywhere that this individual might have shown up, and then he would take your heart out. So it brought fear on all the youths of that time when they heard the name, Blackheart Man. So I did the album based on my experiences.[2]

Bunny Wailer himself considers Blackheart Man to be his best solo album. As he told Jamaican newspaper the Daily Gleaner in June 2009:

I will make good albums, yes, for I have made good albums - Liberation, Protest, Struggle, My Father's House, Rock and Groove. All them album is really good album - Marketplace. But Blackheart Man is really an exceptional album, as to the valuation of the message and the amount of people who have received that message and have made themselves better people through them lives within the spiritual and cultural settings that the Blackheart Man exhibits.[7]

This is one of the three Wailers solo albums released in 1976, along with Peter Tosh's album Legalize It and Bob Marley's Rastaman Vibration. The album was listed in the 1999 book The Rough Guide: Reggae: 100 Essential CDs.[6]

Release history[edit]

The original LP release of the album was released in two different mixes. The international mix is what is most widely available and has appeared on CD. The Jamaican mix has longer versions of songs and different overdubs. In particular, the Jamaican mix of This Train lasts a full minute longer. Although the Jamaican mix has not appeared on CD, it remains a favorite amongst reggae aficionados.

The album has been released on compact disc several times; first in 1989 on Mango Records, then in 2002 on Island in a remastered edition.[5] A new remastering was released on iTunes in 2009, with some of the songs in newly extended and dub versions.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bunny Wailer.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Blackheart Man" – 6:17
  2. "Fighting Against Conviction" – 5:11
  3. "The Oppressed Song" – 3:22
  4. "Fig Tree" – 3:07
  5. "Dream Land" – 2:47

Side two[edit]

  1. "Rastaman" – 3:51
  2. "Reincarnated Souls" – 3:43
  3. "Amagideon (Armagedon)" – 6:46
  4. "Bide Up" – 2:33
  5. "This Train" – 8:28

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anderson, Rick. "Review: Blackheart Man". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Katz, David. "The Mojo interview: Bunny Wailer". Mojo (191, October 2009): pp. 38–42. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Blackheart Man". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Coleman, Mark (1992) [1979]. DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James, eds. Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). New York: Random House. p. 743. ISBN 0-679-73729-4. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c Blackheart Man (CD booklet). Bunny Wailer. Island Records. 2002. pp. p. 11. 314 586 884-2. 
  6. ^ a b c Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (1999) Reggae: 100 Essential CDs, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-85828-567-4
  7. ^ a b Cooke, Mel (15 June 2009). "Bunny Wailer's 'Blackheart Man' remastered". Daily Gleaner (Gleaner Company). Retrieved 22 July 2009.