Tuesday, July 31, 1973

This month: Bob Marley & the Wailers released African Herbsman

African Herbsman

Bob Marley & the Wailers

Released: July 1973

Recorded: 1971

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: reggae


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Lively Up Yourself (1971, --)
  2. Small Axe (2/71, --)
  3. Duppy Conqueror (12/70, --)
  4. Trench Town Rock (11/71, --)
  5. African Herbsman
  6. Keep on Moving (9/72, 17 UK)
  7. Fussing and Fighting
  8. Stand Alone
  9. All in One
  10. Don’t Rock My Boat
  11. Put It On
  12. Sun Is Shining
  13. Kaya (2/71, --)
  14. Riding High
  15. Brain Washing
  16. 400 Years

Total Running Time: 47:37

The Players:

  • Bob Marley (vocals)
  • Peter Tosh (vocals, melodica)
  • Bunny Livingstone (vocals)
  • Alva Lewis (guitar)
  • Glen Adams (keyboard)
  • Aston Barrett (bass)
  • Carlton Barrett (drums)


4.552 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)

Quotable: --

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“To Bob Marley's emotionally charged music and lyrics, add the tight riddims and harmonies of the Wailers and then put all of that talent into the ceaselessly creative hands of production wizard Lee "Scratch" Perry. What you get is a 16-track reggae masterpiece capturing what is perhaps some of the best music Bob Marley & the Wailers ever committed to tape. The songs range from beautiful love songs like Don’t Rock the Boat to cathartic political anthems like Brain Washing, but even with the broad scope, no tracks miss the mark. They all cut straight to the heart and burn with an urgency rarely felt in music of any genre.” AMG

“While this is a Bob Marley & the Wailers album, Perry's unique production almost steals the show. Perry's bare-bones, heavy sound provides an interesting contrast to the slicker approach taken on Catch a Fire, produced by Bob Marley & the Wailers and Chris Blackwell and also made in 1973. Catch a Fire has an almost rock edge to it, but on African Herbsman, one can hear Perry's swirling mix madness lurking just beneath the surface of each Trench Town-tough track.” AMG

Marley revisited some of these tracks in later years, including Lively Up Yourself on Natty Dread, Trench Town Rock on Live!, and Kaya on Kaya, among others.

Notes: This album features 11 of the 12 songs that appeared originally on Soul Revolution. “Memphis,” the lone song not represented here, is featured in dub version on the 2003 Sanctuary/ Trojan reissue, along with various dubs for “Duppy Conqueror” (known as “Zig Zag”), “Trench Town Rock” (called Grooving Kingston”), “Lively Up Yourself,” “Small Axe” (known as “Axe Man”), “Moving,” and “Keep on Skanking.” Also included are “More Axe,” an alternate version of “Kaya,” and an alternate of the "All in One Medley," that features “Bend Down Low,” “Nice Time,” “Simmer,” and the original "One Love" track by the Upsetters called "Copasetic."

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 5/6/2021.

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