The man with the soothing Jamaican accent won’t take full responsibility for the most important reggae album made, but Wailers’ bass player Aston "Family Man" Barrett accepts a fair chunk of the glory for 1974’s Natty Dread by Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Okay, to be fair, let’s rephrase that to say, arguably, Natty Dread is the most important reggae album made.
Whether he is getting royalties from the album is another story - more on Barrett’s bitter dispute with Marley’s wife Rita and family later - but he’ll tell you he is hugely responsible for the album that took reggae to the mainstream, thanks to songs such as Lively Up Yourself, No Woman, No Cry, and the Barrett-penned, Rebel Music (3 o’clock Road Block).
"From 1974, Bob Marley, myself and my brother [Carlton "Carlie" Barrett, the drummer] became partners and that’s where we set the real international standard for reggae music worldwide. Bob has gone to rest now but I am here, I am the colonel, I am the lieutenant," he says, laughing.
Barrett has taken over the Wailers’ name and still tours the world playing gigs. The band, also featuring Wailers’ guitarist Junior Marvin, who played on Exodus (1977), Kaya (1978) and Uprising (1980), play the St James tomorrow night..........
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