Bob Marley & The Wailers: Bob Marley (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, percussion); Aston "Familyman" Barrett (guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion); Junior Marvin (guitar, background vocals); Al Anderson (guitar); Tyrone Downie, Earl "Wya" Lindo (keyboards, percussion, background vocals); Carlton Barrett (drums, percussion); Alvin Patterson (percussion).
The I Threes: Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths (background vocals).
Producers: Bob Marley & The Wailers, Alex Sadkin.
Reissue producers: Bill Levenson, Maxine Stowe.
Recorded at Tuff Gong Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica. Originally released on Island (9542).
Digitally remastered by Ted Jensen (2001, Sterling Sound, New York, New York)
Personnel: Bob Marley (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Junior Marvin (guitar, background vocals); Aston Barrett (keyboards, electric bass, percussion); Earl Lindo, Tyrone Downie (keyboards, percussion, background vocals); Carlton "Carly" Barrett (drums, percussion); Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley, I-Threes (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Alex Sadkin; Bob Marley & the Wailers.
Recording information: Tuff Gong Recording Stuido, Kingston, Jamaica.
Author: Marcus Garvey.
Photographers: Adrian Boot; Neville Garrick.
Bob Marley And The Wailers' seventh studio album finds the masterful Jamaican singer turning his attentions away from purely domestic Caribbean matters to the African continent. His songs had previously often cited Africa as both an influence and a final spiritual destination for Rastafarians; RASTAMAN VIBRATION's "War" had even named a laundry list of aggrieved nations struggling for freedom. But with SURVIVAL's "Africa Unite," and "Zimbabwe" in particular, Marley focuses for the first time both on solutions to the struggle, and on a specific nation and its fight against oppression--all to the Wailers' characteristically irrepressible skank.
"So Much Trouble in the World" is an apt scene setter for an overtly political album worldwide in its aspirations, while "Babylon System" ("is the vampire...") expertly skewers the West and its centuries-old involvement in Africa. Marley's strength as a songwriter, and the Wailers' strength as a band, is that they can perform an operation like this and still leave the victim smiling and happily tapping his feet as they stick the knife in. The album's highlight is unquestionably the inimitable "One Drop," an irresistibly danceable paean to the Rastafarian religion and the glory of the almighty beat.