Marcus Garvey (album)

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Marcus Garvey
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 12, 1975
ProducerLawrence Lindo
Burning Spear chronology
Rocking Time
Marcus Garvey
Garvey's Ghost
Alternative cover
Jamaican release cover
Jamaican release cover

Marcus Garvey is the third album by the reggae group Burning Spear, released in 1975 on Island Records, ILPS 9377. The album is named after the Jamaican National Hero and Rastafari movement prophet Marcus Garvey. A dub version of it was released four months later as Garvey's Ghost.

This was the first album by the group recorded for Island Records, whose founder Chris Blackwell had been instrumental in breaking Jamaican reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, and Bob Marley to an international audience. It was produced by Lawrence Lindo, better known by his handle taken from the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby. Apparently, upon their first meeting, Lindo and vocalist Winston Rodney realized the opening track to this album, "Marcus Garvey."[1] The backing musicians, whom Lindo named the Black Disciples, had been assembled from the Soul Syndicate and the Wailers.[2]

On July 27, 2010, this album was remastered and released by Universal's Hip-O Records reissue imprint in tandem with the dub version on one compact disc.

The album was listed in the 1999 book The Rough Guide: Reggae: 100 Essential CDs.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Winston Rodney and Phillip Fullwood except as indicated.

  1. "Marcus Garvey" — 3:27
  2. "Slavery Days" — 3:34
  3. "The Invasion" (W. Rodney, C. Paisley, P. Fullwood) — 3:22
  4. "Live Good" (Marcus Rodney, Mackba Rodney, Winston Rodney) — 3:14
  5. "Give Me" (W. Rodney) — 3:11
  6. "Old Marcus Garvey" — 4:03
  7. "Tradition" (D. Hines, R. Willington, W. Rodney) — 3:30
  8. "Jordan River" (W. Rodney, M. Lawrence, P. Fullwood) — 3:00
  9. "Red, Gold & Green" (A. Folkes, W. Rodney, P. Fullwood) — 3:14
  10. "Resting Place" (W. Rodney) — 3:10


Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA–[4]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide5/5 stars[5]

Ed Ward in a 1976 review in Rolling Stone felt that the music was rootsy and compelling, but that it wouldn't be understood by American audiences, and that the lead song about Marcus Garvey wouldn't make sense to anyone who didn't know Jamaican culture.[6]

Robert Christgau felt that it was the most African-sounding and most political reggae album to be released in America at the time.[7]


Jo-Ann Greene in an Allmusic retrospective summary feels that the album was a significant recording in roots reggae, though regrets that Island subsidiary Mango remixed the album too commercially, diluting some of the "haunting atmospheres" of producer Jack Ruby's original mix.[8]

The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die where Jim Harrington commented that he felt it had "a poignant blend of religious aspirations and cultural concerns".[9]


Burning Spear[edit]

The Black Disciples[edit]

Production credits[edit]

  • Engineers: George Philpott and Errol Thompson
  • Recorded at Randy's Recording Studio, North Parade, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Mixed at Joe Gibbs Studio, Retirement Crescent, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Special thanks to Lloyd Coxone


  1. ^ Katz, David. Marcus Garvey/Garvey's Ghost. Hip-O Records B0014272-02, 2010, liner notes.
  2. ^ Katz, liner notes.
  3. ^ Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (1999) Reggae: 100 Essential CDs, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-85828-567-4
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: B". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 22, 2019 – via
  5. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 56, 597.
  6. ^ Ward, Ed (April 8, 1976). "Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (2012). "Robert Christgau: CG: Burning Spear". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  8. ^ Greene, Jo-Ann (2012). "Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear | AllMusic". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  9. ^ Harrington, Jim (2005). 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. p. 342. Retrieved 18 April 2012.

External links[edit]