Babylon by Bus is a live album released by Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1978. The tracks on this album are considered, with two exceptions, to be from the Pavillon de Paris concerts over 3 nights, 25–27 June 1978, during the Kaya Tour, though there are discrepancies in the track listing. Like the 1973 album Catch A Fire the first release had something of a novelty cover. The windows of the bus on the front cover were cut out, revealing part of the inner sleeve. As this was a double album, the listener had a choice of four different scenes to view through the windows.
Reggae is not really my forte or genre, and I’m not going to bullshit you about how much I love Bob Marley or how brilliant he was; I mean he was brilliant, wrote some great songs and thrust reggae into the worldwide spotlight, but it took quite a few decades for me to truly appreciate the music and stars of reggae and dub. This live album is one of the most fun live records I’ve heard. The songs are tight, the playing is sharp and crisp (the guitar solos from Junior Marvin and Al Anderson dance through the air, especially Concrete Jungle).
There’s a couple of crossover numbers with his previous live album, Live, but on the whole it’s an album full of Bob songs that I’d not heard before and I throughly enjoyed them. Despite being a double album it doesn’t drag, it’s primarily upbeat and party sounding and it’s just some damn good fun. Highly recommend this album to everyone and anyone and one of my favourite listening experiences in a while.
So upon reaching Babylon we give Bob and his band a 9/10 and a big lively thumbs up.
Next on the turntable is the return of the thin white Duke, but until then TTFN!