Opening Statement

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Some Teacher Contract Negotiation Notes!

My Teacher + Union Acronym Guide is Here! 

Support teacher free speech!

Without doubt the big teacher news story this fall will be the current teacher provincial contract negotiations with the Ontario government. As you know this is an independent all affiliate teacher free teacher speech blogsite, as are our Comment forums below each blog. There are currently over 482,000 reader visits to this site, so it would seem that the info is often needed and worthwhile. The initial contract negotiation meetings have begun. There is an OSSTF ORLB referral and that affiliate is also holding strike votes, which they claim are all a part of the process. The Ontario legislature resumes after Thanksgiving next month so the pressure to reach a deal will be on. I understand that if deals are not in place, or well onto being so by November, we could be in trouble. As of today, it remains too early to say.

My coverage seems to be unfolding multilaterally, rather than chronologically on this site. As my regular readers will know, I arrange pages, where I add info and links, rather than often posting a separate blog on each news development as it occurs. For your convenience you can follow the links as follows:

Teacher News + Views Updates: I regularly add the latest news + views update links here. You can check for them Here!

However, as of Oct 1st, provincial contract news links, views and commentary is moved to Here!

Teacher Free Speech Contract Negotiations Study Guide: This indie do it yourself on line kit provides links to the various documents and other resources explaining most every aspect of the new contract negotiations. Bill 122: The new Collective Bargaining Act [2012] significantly changes the way the current negotiations are being carried out now unlike in the past. It is Here!

The BC Teacher Strike Deal: Were any precedents set, that could directly or indirectly affect our Ontario contract negotiations? Well there were a few court challenges which are now on hold and the ratification vote was hardly unanimous. You can investigate further and make up your own mind Here!

Please be reminded that you can add Comments below each blog using the link provided. If you have any news info or tips, please share them for our erudition and discussion purposes. There is also a Twitter Link on the left hand side bar of this blog column. Please share any blog stories that you think are interesting and/or worthwhile using this link. 

Once again, please also be reminded that my teacher news links from 2011 to present are located in the archives below this column. They are organized by year and month. You can see the titles. There is a plethora of info depending upon what you are interested in.

For more info, also see my 2014-15 school year blog site guide @ Welcome Back!

Other Blog Features:

OK OK not everyone comes here for the teacher news + views stuff! Worry not! From time to time the teacher news takes precedence, and there will be a lot of tweets. But the other topics of interest will continue as usual. I appreciate your patience!

My Bob Marley + The Wailers album reviews will continue. The next will heat up as I cover the politically and social justice charged "Catch a Fire" and "Burning" albums. The previous reviews are: Part 1 is Here! Part 2 is There! Part 3 is Here!

Beatlemaniacs: I have got the new mono vinyl set and plan on doing some more blogs on that, probably the Mono White Album, definitely my favourite!

Travel blogs: These will continue before Christmas. I am currently planning another trip to the Cuban schools, and quite likely another trip to New York City.

Guest blogs are of course also welcome. More details Here!

I hope this blogsite continues to be of interest and meet your different interest and needs!

Cheers + Solidarity 

David C


Thursday 18 September 2014

BC Teacher Strike Deal: Yes or No?!

BCTF President Jim Iker: Let's make a deal?

BC teachers ratify their new contract by 86%. Classes are expected to resume Monday @ 86%.

For more news + views on the vote check out my link @ News + Views

A tentative agreement was reached in the British Columbia [BC] teacher strike this week! Read the BC Teachers Federation [BCTF] letter to it's members outlining the offer pending ratification @ The Offer

The following blog by Tara Ehrcke was posted on the "Staffroom Confidential" blog arguing against ratification of the offer. It is posted here for your erudition. You can also visit the site @ Here!

Tentative agreement - Yes or No?

Despite what I know was a herculean effort on the part of our bargaining team, I very much hope that BC teachers will vote no to the tentative agreement. After five weeks of strike, and twelve years of legal battles, this is not the deal that will restore sanity to public education and it is not a fair deal for teachers and students. Just as teachers in Saskatchewan rejected a deal to ensure a better outcome, I hope BC teachers will consider a no vote to let our team know we have to go back to the bargaining table.

Class size, composition

The agreement provided a modified LIF fund starting at $75 million per year and increasing to $85 by the last year. It is for teachers only, which will mean a slight improvement in Districts where sizeable portions were spent on Education Assistants or senior District staff rather than teachers. However, in an average size District like Victoria (20,000 students, 1,000 teachers), this will translate into about 5-10 more teachers. That is one for every five schools. To put it in comparison, Justice Griffin's judgement estimated the lost funding due to lost class size language at about $330 million in current dollars. (Read more here about the proposed Education Fund.)

I heard so many teachers speak up about the need to ensure that we do not return to over-crowded classes when the strike ends. This agreement does very little to alleviate what is the most pressing issue.

Throwing away the court victory

The agreement provides a "reopener" in the event we win on appeal our class size language. What this means is that the language returns, but is not implemented until new language is negotiated. Without the actual implementation of the returned language, there will be very little incentive for the government to bargain it back. We would essentially be back in the very same position we are in today, with government trying to bargain it out and us trying to bargain it back in. In my opinion, even if we were legislated back to work we would be in a superior position. If we won the appeal the government would then be forced to implement the language. We are thus throwing away our historic court victory and the bargaining pressure it potentially creates.

The reopener is really only mildly less offensive than E80. In both cases, we have to bargain back what was illegally taken from our contract and the government will probably never have to restore it. In fact, the "reopener" creates the perfect opportunity for government to lock us out to try and force us to agree to something far inferior.

Throwing away the remedy for the last twelve years

The agreement provides $105 million to compensate for grievances over-sized classes for the last twelve years. Using Justice Griffin's estimates, our loss is roughly $300 million times 12 = over $3 billion. I cannot fathom how $105 million is a fair compromise. The BCTF's original proposal to put this money back into the system was a more fair and productive approach. This agreement means we can no longer go to the courts for a fair remedy.


The agreement is very close to government's original offer. While I would be willing to accept this if the class size language was returned, teachers should not be taking such a significant monetary loss without the commensurate gain in working conditions. We have lost roughly 12% of our annual salary. We will not make that back in the term of the contract. With inflation now running at 2% per annum, this salary agreement is a pay cut.

Minimal improvements

There are very minimal improvements in preparation time for elementary teachers (10 minutes per week), and TTOC daily rate. The TTOC daily rate change may depend on your grid placement. It could actually be a wage loss for long term TTOCs who are above category 5 and step 7. There is also $11 million in health and dental benefits. At 40,000 members, this is $275 each. Hardly worth consideration in the context of the rest of the agreement.

What next?

There are a variety of options if we vote no. We can continue the strike. We can choose to return to work and continue bargaining. We do not, and should not, accept an agreement that doesn't meet our needs and doesn't meet the needs of students and public education. When Saskatchewan teachers rejected the first deal which had 5.5% wage increases over four years, the second deal had 7.3% increases over four years. They have said this still isn't good enough.

For us, our main issue is classroom conditions. We need to say this isn't good enough. The way to do that is to vote no.

Posted by Tara Ehrcke at 7:48 PM


Monday 8 September 2014

Teacher September News + Views!

 My Teacher + Union Acronym Guide is Here! 


The Ontario government and teacher unions seem to be playing the current round of teacher contract negotiations pretty close to their chest. Ongoing news links, views + commentary has now been moved, for the fall, to Here!

BC teachers ratify their new contract by 86%. Reminds me of the MOU votes after our prolonged strikes and work actions here in Ontario in 2012-13. IMHO unless the vote is in the upper 90's range the teachers are hardly dancing on their desks. Anyhow the BC teacher union memo on the deal, and member arguments against it are posted @ Here News on the vote results is @ There

Neither the union nor the government seemed willing to gamble on the outcome of pending court charter challenge decisions over their bargaining rights @ Spineless?

Deal done + all's well? BC teachers barred from Liberal fundraiser due to "security concerns" @ ?!?!

ETFO + OSSTF are each donating $500,000 to the BCTF strike fund @ ETFO and @ OSSTF

Everyone at the union office and BC Ministry of Education are slapping each other on the back but a 7.2% salary increase over the course of a 6 year deal sounds like a pay cut to me. The Canadian inflation rate is now at 2% Anyway, more @ 6 Years

Tentative agreement reached in the British Columbia [BC] teacher strike! Read the BC Teachers Federation [BCTF] letter to it's members outlining the deal here @ The Deal

There are some pretty strong arguments for rejecting the offer Why not?

The Globe + Mail has a live blog with regular updates on the strike ratification vote @ Blog

More BC teacher strike ratification info available at this blogsite @ Yes or No?

How to get along with teacher unions? Its absolutely quite easy + constructive unless you are a neo con with a hidden agenda @ Neo nobs!

Ontario MOE Sandals negotiates contracts behind closed doors. BC counterpart battles with the unions in public. Why the difference? More @ MOE

Sandals does not anticipate any teacher strikes in Ontario this year. Why @ Sandals

Maybe she should be? Teacher discontent over the MOU's still runs deep. However, she has left herself a little wiggle room @ Everythings hunky dory?

Coming soon to an Ontario school near you: bigger class sizes? Maybe @ Bigger best?!

Teachers paying for school supplies out of their own pocket as classes resume @ $chool

Are students a priority for the BC government in the BC teachers strike? Seems not @ Priorities?

Look familiar?!

Nasty! Nasty! BC students brace for 2nd week of no classes. Meanwhile the government rejects offer to go to binding arbitration with the provinces teachers in ongoing strike @ No Arbitration!

Why have negotiations failed in the BC teachers strike? The BC government launches all out war against its teachers in violation of court decisions @ BC Liberals Suck!

In defence of the BC teachers strike @ Explained

The CBC's news page with links for more info about the BC teachers strike is @ CBC

Catholic schools continue to insist students must take religious studies despite recent court decision. MOE Sandals isn't enforcing ruling. Teacher takes rap for discussing situation with class. More @ Catholic Studies?

NUT: turning heat on the UK Conservatives!

NUT [National Union of Teachers] has released its lobbying manifesto for the upcoming UK elections. They want a requirement that teachers be qualified to teach. Seriously. Talk about neo conservatism run amok! We can only wish  them well @ NUT UK

UK teachers go pro active in helping shape the Labour Parties education platform. Bravo! More @ Who knows better than teachers themselves?!?

Toronto student Hamid Aminzada killed trying to defuse school fight.

ESL student killed in knifing at Toronto school. Story @ Toronto?!

The student was trying to act as a peacekeeper to defuse an ongoing fight. When admin and staff are not in charge at school, who is? More @ Stabbing Death

Why do so many teachers quit their jobs? This is a US article but you will recognize the similarities @ Going going gone!

Differentiation run amok: The above comes from our teacher colleagues in the UK. I'm sure we can empathize too!
  Incentive pay issue rears it's ugly head again! Higher test scores = more moola? I tire of this BS. Most of my teaching career I taught at an inner city school where the average Gr 9 student arrived with a Grade 5 to 6 language level due to a multitude of challenges from outside of school. Why would anyone want to teach there if pay is based on the student scores?!? Or would/ are the scores fudged anyway so the school gets a good rating? Think "scribes". Anyway, more @ No Incentive!

Teachers and parents speak out against the neo con Fraser Institutes position on "merit pay incentives" @ Here

Ontario about to half number of teacher college grads @ No jobs!

CUPE video explains why Ontario needs to provide more extended care services for our province's long term care residents, most of whom are seniors. Time for some compassion? Remember, someday we will all grow old too @ Time to Care!

Ontario neo conservatism run amok? Unite Here Canada scores a labour win in an OLRB decision to reject Richtree's attempt to throw out union over address change when relocated across food court floor in the Toronto Eaton Centre. Workers must be reinstated @ Unite Here!

MacDonalds + Burger King fast food workers across Canada + the US strike for a living wage and the right to organize without the fear of dismissals and retaliation @ Fast Food BS!

Education, Poverty + Power: a rap poem by Kevaughn Ellis @ Video

Toronto Star editorial wants to eliminate homework so students can learn more doing anything and everything but preparing for tomorrows class, or completing and reviewing today's work. I get so sick of this BS. More @ Lame brain thinking!

Ontario all day Kindergarten students are increasingly getting placed in split grade classes @ More trouble ahead?

Day Care Centres across Ontario are facing a crisis with the implementation of full day Junior Kindergarten @ Full day JK


The Queens Park legislature resumes after Thanksgiving. Meanwhile ......

Ontario PC's rethink policy after getting their butt kicked but bad in a spring election that was there's to lose @ 100,000 mistakes! 

Ontario PC's to choose new leader May 9th. The candidates are lining up their ducks @ May 9

Timbo: But ... but ... all I wanted to do was eliminate 100,000 jobs!

NDP party leader Andrea Horwath hunkers down as a leadership review looms after she loses balance of power in nasty spring election beating. Refuses to meet with Ontario Federation of Labour as a group to discuss union concerns @ Bye bye Andrea too?

Andrea Horwath gets a "fixer" to try save her political butt @ Michael Balagus

Seems Andrea Horwath is making a desperate plea to win back her leftie supporters before the NDP party leadership review. MPP Cheri DiNova is not afraid to speak out either. Andreas butt might well be on the line. Can she still turn her fortunes around after the spring election debacle? More @ Going down?

Not for sale? Sign a NDP petition against the Ontario Liberal Party selling off public assets as they consider the possibilities for the OPG + LCBO @ Petition

Dalton McGuinty our ex premier who fancied himself as the "Education Premier" is now back at Queens Park as a lobbyist for an education software company. Liberals at QP say he's playing by the rules. Others not so sure how appropriate this is @ He's back!

Dalton: Well actually, I only know everybody this much. Yup, you bet!

Not everybody is quite so sure how appropriate this is @ National Post

You decide! Here's the "Bill 115 lobbyists registration Amendment Act 2013" @ Bill 115 again?!


20 federal Conservative MPP's have announced they won't be running in the election next year. Is the writing on the wall for Prime Minister Stephen Harper? More @ Sinking feeling?

Singalong with Jerry Dias: If your unhappy + you know it raise your hands ...

Unifor has announced it will be encouraging its union members to vote strategically to defeat the Federal Conservatives. Four more years of the Harper Conservatives could be a major disaster for Canada's union movement @ Not taking any chances?

The Federal NDP has forced a debate in the House of Commons on missing and murdered aboriginal women @ PC's don't care?

So much for international leadership: Prime Minister Harper will be skipping the UN climate summit @ Tch! Tch!

The Rob + Doug Ford Show!

Rob Ford drops out of the Toronto Mayoral race. Brother Doug takes his place. Now it seems Rob has cancer. Story + my Ford news links going back a few years are Ford Nation

So. Just how do the politics of the Ford switcherooni play out at this late stage in the mayoral race? Very interesting! Don't be surprised if it provides Doug with a lot of advantages. Also don't forget that he's a well known bully and manipulator as is brother Rob @ Hmmm.

Fords, Fords everywhere Fords! There's some pretty fancy Ford footwork going on behind the scenes in this years municipal + trustee elections @ Ford Nation

Finally, full disclosure on why Mayor Rob Ford was fired as a Don Bosco secondary school football coach. Anti social conduct and abuse of custodial authority @ For Shame!

Are Olivia Chow's chances of a mayoral victory fading due to the vanishing NDP vote in Toronto? The political landscape seems to be changing if the last Federal and provincial elections are any indicator. More @ Olivia

Olivia: getting unfairly painted into a pinko corner? 

Ex OPC Peter Shurman calls Olivia Chow a "major league biatch" [sic] for being assertive during the recent heated mayoral debates. Is there a double standard here? Olivia's only saving grace, as she continues to lag in the polls might be her lead among women voters @ Sexism Issue?

Why black Torontonians might want to spoil their ballot on election day @ Not Good!

Why Toronto public school supporters need to take care in voting for a TDSB trustee in next months elections @ Quite the mess!

Register your students for the Student Vote program to teach them about the upcoming fall municipal elections @ Teachable Moment

Here's a good link to the Scotland independence referendum @ Yes or no?

A room with a view? Look out the window on the International Space Station below:

All three Canadian political parties seem united in sending our armed forces to fight the Islamic extremists in Iraq even though we will be joining forces with Iran and Syria. Have they thought this through? Or are we all getting suckered into a big mistake again, just like after 9/11, except in Canada's case, even worse? More @ Clouds of War

Alaska reporter drops the F word on TV + quits her news job to fight for the legalization of marijuana @ Up in smoke!

Environment? What environment?!? Meanwhile in New York .....


How much internet slang do you know? Here's some maybe you should @ Lol

First the humble Canadian penny was unceremoniously dumped as a form of currency. Now it's the venerable Canadian "Tire". Yes, the "Tire". You've heard of the dollar, the Euro, the Pound, and Yen. Then there is or rather was, the Canadian Tire. Well its being phased out now starting next month. Truly the death of a Canadian icon @ The "Tire"

Mr. Canadian Tire can smile all he wants but his days are numbered!

Schools back! Guess whats trending in this years teenage fashions in Jamaica? And what does it apparently all mean? @ Tongue Rings!?

Here's 9 untrue stereotypes of Canada to make you cringe! See @ Oh Oh Canada!

Say it isn't so .....!? Taxidermy run amok @ Ugh!

At least somebody has their musical priorities right! CD's are still alive and well in Japan. MP3's don't quite cut it CD's vs MP3's?

Japan's AKD48 include free concert tickets with their CDs

Canuck rocker icon Randy Bachman [The Guess Who, BTO ...] not happy Prime Minister Harper used a recording of his "Taking Care of Business" tune while giving a recent speech. Yay Randy @ TKB!

..... More coming soon!


Sunday 7 September 2014

Bob Marley 3: Soul Rebels + Reggae Revolution [1971-72]

More Bob Marley + the Wailer Reviews: Part 1 is Here! Part 2 is There! Part 4 is There!

Bob Marley + The Wailers "Soul Rebel" Lp: Sex + Revolution!

For their third Wailers album “Soul Rebel” [1971] [Here] the group turned to maverick Kingston producer Lee "Scratch" Perry [Info] for creative and technical assistance. Like the Wailers, Perry was interested in fusing American funk with Jamaican music. He shared their growing interest in the spiritual themes of Rastafari. Also the politics of black power as developed through the Wailers recent “revolutionary soul” styled 45 singles, most notably the 1969 “Black Progress” single and tracks such as “Soul Captives “Caution” “Stop That Train” and  “Can’t You See” from the 1970 “Best of The Wailers” album. In addition Perry’s crack studio band the Upsetters [Infohad a new, hard edged reggae sound. They especially liked and felt their recordings needed the Upsetter's hypnotic, driving rhythm [“Riddim”] visa the bass and drum section provided by Carlton “Carlie” and Aston “Family Man Barrett”.

On the whole, Perry stripped down the Wailers sound to its bare essentials. Bob, Peter and Bunny's voices were each pushed forward in the mix and recorded on separate microphones. The tempo and beat was still slowed down further from the frantic ska and rock steady sound of their earlier recordings. The bass guitar was pushed forward in the mix as a lead instrument. The horns were pared back considerably. The new “riddim” section was added. Then the entire “Soul Rebel” album was spontaneously voiced in one day, with the emphasis being upon the Wailers soulful James Brown + Temptation's stylized vocals and the poignancy of their lyrics.  Last but not least, for the first time on album the band was now named “Bob Marley +the Wailers”, quite possibly a point of contention for Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in the years to come!

Vinyl A Side

The “Soul Rebel” songs were arranged on the album in the order they were recorded. The title track “Soul Rebel” [ Hear ]opens side one with Marley declaring himself to be a man in touch with the natural world, as per his recent conversion to the Rastafari religion. He is now the “natty dread”, an outsider from “Babylon”, observing the evils of the modern world all around him. It was now firmly established that the Wailers social justice themes from the “Soul Rebel” album onwards would increasingly deal directly with the themes of black consciousness, and the politics of freedom from oppression for all “sufferahs” around the world, more so than romance.

In “Try Me” [not the James Brown song] Marley is the sacrosanct black “soul man”, a loving protector of all that is seemingly good in the world. Elsewhere on the album, “Cornerstone” [Hear] is a biblical reference to Psalm 118:22 the stone that the builder refused as the rock upon which greatness is later built. Perhaps he is addressing Jamaica’s questionable place in the world after British independence in 1962. Or maybe he’s just the rejected lover, who will later prove to be the cornerstone of his partner’s happiness. In each case the personal struggle also serves as a parable and microcosm of the troubled modern age. Either way Marley offers a message of hope to the dejected and downtrodden that, “The stone that the builder refuse will always be the head cornerstone”.

On “400 Years” [Hear] Tosh similarly focuses on freeing oneself, in this case from a slave mentality, with a ferocious cry for the oppressed black peoples to arise and shake off the shackles of the slave mindset. However the uprising he advocates here is not merely a racial struggle against a white oppressor. Rather he speaks of the shaking off the internal mental demons resulting from slavery, which in eradicating their original culture and beliefs, have held the black people back from realizing their true self-worth and potential nigh on 400 years now. Indeed in “Duppy Conqueror” [Hear] the current hit single but a non-album track, the Wailers proclaimed that if any evil forces or demons [in slang terms a "Duppy"] comes to test them, they will be able to conquer the duppy with their cunning, spiritual power and strength.

Vinyl B Side

If the Wailers increasing use of Rastafari religious references [Info] seems overbearing by today’s standards, remember also that many young people during the 60’s and 70’s were seeking spiritual fulfillment in what they perceived as an increasingly godless, oppressive and meaningless world. We have ex-Beatle George Harrison’s religious conversion to Krishna [for example in his songs “My Sweet Lord”, “What is Life” All Things Must Pass”, and “Living in a Material World” etc. etc. etc.]. Bob Dylan too [on his “Gotta Serve Somebody’ 45 and the other tracks from his “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved" albums”] 

In Bob Marley and the Wailers case, the chief Rastafari sacrament, if you will, was smoking Ganja [ marijuana] which was considered central to spiritual growth, and communion with Jah [God]. Also as a way to reason [philosophize] and become wise. Consider the relative youthful appeal of all three religions: fundamentalist bible thumping,  chanting Krishna or the Rasta practice of smoking Ganga for spiritual enlightenment:  Bob Marley and the Wailers Rastafari practices and themes could certainly prove a winner on the international pop and underground rock scene they hoped to reach during the rest of the decade ahead!

Musically speaking however, the Wailers still needed an allusive international hit album to widely reach such an audience. “Soul Rebel” would continue to adapt the American black soul sound with Jamaican reggae in hopes of closing the breach.  In the funky “It’s Alright”, Marley comes across stylistically like a Ganga smoking Jamaican version of James Brown. In “Soul Almighty” [Hear] Bob manages to name check two US dance styles, the mashed potato [See] and the funky chicken [See] in a smoking Rufus Thomas R+B and soul groove. 

Back cover: Check out Wailers African Hippie gear!

“Rebel Hop” [Hear] manages a medley of hits, quite popular at the time, matching Bob Marley singing the Wailers hit “Rude Boy” with Bunny Wailer singing the Motown Temptations” Cloud 9”. In “Reaction” Marley’s soulful stoned slur is drenched in the religious rapture of perhaps having smoked too much weed, a new stylistic trademark for him. If not outright stated the Ganga references were clearly implicit throughout the sound and style of the album.

Finally Soul Rebels closing track “My Sympathy” is an instrumental version of Tosh’s "400 Years" rather than a new song. As we shall see, such instrumentals would soon morph into the Dub style B sides of the Wailers hit 45’s, long before the style had become a major new musical movement in its own rite.

Lee "Scratch Perry" tried to further define a clear band image with international appeal employing his controversial design for the “Soul Rebel” album cover. We see a rather risque black woman [with her nipples airbrushed out] decked out in rebel gear [uniform and a machine gun] standing in front of a photo backdrop of Dunn’s Falls [the tourist attraction] in Jamaica. Forget that she was actually a staffer in the Trojan Record offices photographed in an upstairs backroom studio in London. The image emphasizes two timely Wailer themes that Perry figured had a lot of international appeal: sex and revolution! Left to their own designs, the Wailers got to create the back cover of the album showing them with their new short dreadlocks, dressed in stylish hippie like African print outfits. The Wailers as Soul Rebels: Sex, revolution and Ganga! But would it click?

All the pieces in the Lee "Scratch" Perry “Soul Rebel” package seem to have provided a good fit and winning formula for the Wailers. Unfortunately the 1971 album would only initially get released in Jamaica. Even there it initially met with middling success. Basically, the Wailers remained but a hit local band with a wave of non-album best selling singles, among them: “Duppy Conqueror [Hear ]”, "Small Axe"[Hear]. “Trench Town Rock” [Hear], “Concrete Jungle”, “Screw Face”, “Redder Than Red” and “Lick Samba”.

It is these 45’s which helped establish the Wailer's new reggae style [Info] in Jamaica anyway. They also began playing their own instruments along with the Upsetter’s Carley and Aston Family Man Barrett on bass and drums. Marley started playing guitar, Tosh guitar, keyboards and bass, with Bunny on bass and percussion on these recordings.

Singer Johnny Nash had a hit with Bob's "Stir It Up" first! [1972]

Furthermore it is ironic that other tracks Bob had wrote and recorded during the “Rebel Soul” and its follow up "Soul Revolution” album would provide hits for other international stars if not the Wailers; “Stir It Up” [Hear] for Johnny Nash, and Barbara Streisand’s version of “Guava Jelly” [Hear] among others. Also noteworthy: Tosh’s "400 Years" would later receive a do over on the "Burning" album. Also the “Soul Rebels” album cover remains an often overlooked piece of pure early 1970’s rock schlock despite its questionable good taste. Undaunted the Wailers would return to the studio with producer Lee Scratch Perry for one more shot at a still allusive breakthrough album.

Verdict: Soul Rebels is another very important Wailers transitional album. Vocally, thematically and instrumentally the new template was set even if the album itself missed the target sales wise internationally or back home in Jamaica. Nonetheless it’s a noble effort and a good reggae soul record well worth a listen. I really don’t think a good Bob Marley and the Wailers collection would be complete without a copy of this album!

Trojan mini lp box set: "Best of ..." "Soul Rebel" Soul Revolution 2" "Soul Revolution Dub"

JAD/UM has released a CD version of “Soul Rebel”, complete with a remaster giving it a modern day digital sheen. Trojan Sanctuary have also rereleased it in a cardboard mini album sleeve that faithfully replicates the original cover. It is a part of a 4 cd Wailers “Soul Revolutionaries” box set containing “Best of the Wailers [1970], “Soul Revolution 2” [1971] and “Soul Revolution Dub” [1972]. Sound wise, this version of “Soul Rebel” is a bit murkier if not more authentic compared to the original vinyl record. Shop around online for a reasonably priced copy of the set and you won’t be upset!

Fortunately Trojan UK has also rereleased “Soul Rebels” as a vinyl LP. The sound is more even faithfully authentic than the CD release, the former of which you might’ve guessed I prefer best. A large cover, with an A Side and a B side track arrangement lets you to best experience a record album as it as originally conceived and released. The bass is full, with a clear well rounded and warm "riddim" section and the soaring ethereal vocals of all three Wailers sound great. You can find a vinyl copy online or perhaps at a specialty vinyl record store. They seem to be popping up again so check them out where you live. Two thumbs up for the vinyl album for sure!


"Soul Revolution 2": Check out the toy guns this time!

Since Perry considered “Soul Rebel” to be the first “Soul Revolution” album, it must’ve made sense to him, and if hardly anyone else to name the next album he’d produce for Bob Marley and the Wailers “Soul Revolution 2” [Hear]. However, as the name implies, the album continues to consolidate the Wailers new reggae riddim and soul reggae sound from the “Soul Rebel” album. The themes of sex, and revolution remain consistent too. As for the Ganga references, they are more direct throughout. [I.e. on “Kaya”, “African Herbsman”]

With a light hearted reference to the “Soul Rebel” album cover’s revolution theme, the front and back cover art of “Soul Revolution 2” now instead shows the Wailers pose menacingly Rude Boy style, but this time with toy guns. Perhaps a wise move considering the increasingly brutal police crackdown on ghetto protesters in Kingston and the US war against communism being felt around the world during the early 70’s? 

Be that as it may, "Soul Revolution 2" would finally score the Wailers an album release in both Jamaica and the UK. Slowly but surely from here on in, Bob Marley and the Wailers would begin to gain street credibility as an incredibly cool up and coming underground band poised for international success.

Original Jamaican LP on Maroon: A Side

“Soul Revolution 2” begins with a Marley vocal tour de force on the Wailer style version of the soulful Curtis Mayfield song, “Keep on Moving” [Hear]. It’s a typical anti hero story about a lone gunman on the run from the law, a continuance of the rebellion theme. It’s the misunderstood and badly maligned “sufferah” fighting back against oppression and social injustice similar to Wailers earlier “Rude Boy” theme. Consider it a precursor of the bands upcoming classic “I Shot the Sheriff” track on the “Burning” album. Also the number one US comeback hit for Eric Clapton, the rock guitarist formerly named God, whose version would rocket Bob Marley and the Wailers to world renown! For now however, “Keep On Moving” would result in another best-selling 45 for the Wailers back home in Jamaica where the theme resonated only too well.

“Put it On” [Hear]: This second version of the song remains a classic tale of “I rule my destiny”, echoing the theme of the Wailers “Rude Boy” 1965 hit single in which the listener is encouraged to “Walk the proud land with me.” Another fine outing that would finally be definitively nailed down for good on the "Burning" album too!

Also noteworthy in the “re do” column: Bunny takes the lead on “Don’t Rock the Boat” [Hear]. Was it a tongue in cheek tale of caution for the would be rebel, or simply a love song? Or both? The track would later be rerecorded as “Satisfy My Soul” on the “Kaya” album. It is interesting that another version of the tune, with a different lead vocal would be released at the time of the album release as another Wailer hit 45.

Maroon Records B Side

Likewise a fourth version of the Wailers “Duppy Conqueror” hit, mostly an instrumental for reasons unknown is included for the first but not the last time on a Wailers album. It too would later be rerecorded for the "Burning" album. Peter Tosh weighs in with a melodica keyboard instrumental on "Memphis". The Wailers were now becoming increasingly involved in not only arranging but also in playing the instruments on their records, a harbinger of greater records to come. Also note that this track is the only one by Peter Tosh included on this latest album by “Bob Marley + the Wailers”. On “Soul Rebel" he had been allowed three.

“African Herbsman” [Hear] is a rewrite of a Richie Haven's song with an obvious reference to marijuana. Consider it a Wailer's tip of the hat to the pot smoking international underground music scene which the band needed to attract before international stardom could be theirs! Likewise “Kaya” [Hear] is a thinly disguised ode to the herb, in this case a strain of the weed traditionally used by the Rasta Bush Doctor for healing purposes, so to speak. It would later be re-recorded for inclusion on the album of the same name.

Unlike most artists Bob Marley and the Wailers would often rerecord and re-release many numerous studio versions of their various songs as they reworked them towards musical and lyrical perfection. As such much of their early work can indeed be considered as working versions of the greater more well-known records yet to come.

Bunny Wailer: Cooler than cool!

Bunny again sings lead vocals on “Riding High” [Hear] a romantic ode to a reluctant girl whom he fancies. Marley also contributed a more risqué number with “Stand Alone” [Hearin which he bemoans wife Rita’s apparent infidelities. Considering that Bob had at least 11 children, but only 4 with his wife his machismo seems to blind him to the songs inherent contradictions. Nonetheless the album is not without its brand of sex and romance with the inclusion of these two songs.

Marley’s “Sun is Shining”, seems like an unfinished musical improvisation that makes little clear lyrical sense. However it has a hauntingly beautiful melody seemingly borrowed from the Gershwin classic “Summertime”. He would later revisit the song again on the “Kaya” album.

"Soul Revolution 2" Album back cover

“Brainwashed”[Hear]: Bunny’s third song closes the album. It reiterates the Wailer's mental slavery theme from “Rebel Soul”. The black listener is warned to not believe the rubbish they were taught about themselves and their place in the world visa vis the fairy tale and nursery rhyme self images they were force fed as children.

Verdict: "Soul Revolution 2" is the template upon which all future Bob Marley and the Wailer albums would be based. Sound wise it gracefully nails down the bands new harder edged reggae riddim sound with a dash of soul. It is firmly branded with the Wailers trademark themes of sex, revolution and Ganga. Unfortunately perhaps, it also emphasizes Bob Marley not only in the band’s name on the album, but also with the predominant role given to his songs and vocal talents. It’s good to see Bunny finally get three songs on the album at least. Still, with everything else in place, Bob Marley and the Wailers were now ready for a serious crack at the big times! As such it is an essential album for your collection!

Indeed, Trojan Records [Info] agreed to release "Soul Revolution 2" in the UK. Although more of a curio than a big hit, its reggae sound and hip style resonated with the underground crowd looking for something new in music. The Wailers had finally earned a toehold on the international market! The album also sold well in Jamaica, bolstering the bands album street credibility there now too. With a leading edge record album and new sound the Wailers were now firmly ensconced at the head of the Jamaican music pack.

Soul Revolution 2 Dub Version

Lee "Scratch" Perry

Producer Lee "Scratch Perry" Perry was so pleased with the albums success that he decided to produce a very limited edition Dub version of the album for the club DJ’s and radio stations in Jamaica to play. It too was titled “Soul Revolution 2” [Sample], and used the same cover, then when they ran out, just a blank one creating a lot of confusion for record collectors in the years ahead.

Basically, Perry remixed the album by removing the Wailers vocal tracks to recreate a bare bone instrumental version of the songs. It also featured a very faint and ghostly Wailers vocal track that was only vaguely apparent in the background where the vocals had originally bled over into the instrumental tracks during the recording process.

The idea was that the "Soul Revolution" dub versions could be used as instrumental tracks for the Jamaican DJ’s to rap over in between songs. Perry did not invent dub. It was already a trend in Jamaica. In retrospect, it might not even really be considered a dub record since it lacks the more sophisticated special remixes and sound effects used today. However, with the Upsettters strong bass and drum “riddim” section the parallel with today’s bass and drum music is very self-evident. Perry was definitely ahead of the times in popularizing and then later on developing the new dub style [Info] much further, as did Bunny Wailer, but more on Bunny’s future efforts later in our discography.

Bob, Peter + Bunny

As For Perry, he had a falling out with the Wailers after they belatedly learned that he had sold the rights to the album to Trojan Records in the UK for 18,000 lbs. They of course wanted their share, which they believed was based upon a verbal agreement that Perry and the band would each get a 50/50 split of the sales. A fist fight and a formal end to Perry’s role as Bob Marley + the Wailers producer resulted when he denied that any such agreement existed. Bob and he would continue to informally work together on some of Marley’s musical ideas but Lee "Scratch" Perry’s prolific role in our Bob Marley and the Wailers discography was over.

It is also noteworthy that Perry pocked the sales of the dub version of "Soul Revolution" for himself, arguing that he had already paid the Upsetters for the session work on its instrumental tracks and as for the Wailers, well their vocal tracks had been removed from the album. Ironically when the Wailers left they took the Upsetter’s Barret brothers bass and drum riddim section with them. Tired of using hired guns on guitar Bob and Peter would from now on play themselves with Bunny sometimes on bass, other times on percussion. The lineup for the classic Wailers band was now firmly in place and the bands greatest and best known albums were soon to follow.

Lee "Scratch" Perry : acrylic on canvas by Maria Rodsky

Both JAD/ UM and Trojan have released cd versions of "Soul Revolution 2" and the "Dub Version" of the album. As with the earlier Wailers soul recordings I personally prefer the Trojan releases for their more authentic sound. The clear digitally remastered JAD UM releases however, are more “cleaner”. It really depends upon your own aesthetic in deciding which to purchase. Myself? I need both!

The Trojan "Soul Revolutionaries" box set remains an essential buy as it includes all four of the Wailers 1970-72 albums in mini cardboard replica covers with the original tracks intact in the original running order. JAD UM has also released copies of both "Soul Revolution" albums. A few bonus tracks are added on at the end of the "Soul Rebel" + "Soul Revolution" albums. Their newly remasterd dub version of the "Soul Revolution" Dub version has been retitled “Upsetter Revolution Rhythm”. The track listings are identical to the original album with a bonus alternate "Kaya" dub remix added. All of these releases shouldn’t be hard to find for sale at a reasonable price online, especially in the New + Used listings on

Wailer Discography: 1967-72 Collections

As I’ve repeatedly emphasized, the Wailers were originally first and foremost a singles band until the early 1970’s. It is also noteworthy that they released their music spread out on quite a few labels including their own Wailin’ Soul [Info] and Tuff Gong [Info] ones. In addition there was a wealth of other lesser known and officially unreleased recordings from this period. In an attempt to make some sense of these recordings a buyer’s guide to the best releases I’ve found follows to help complete your Bob Marley and the Wailers collection from between 1967-72.

Trojan front album cover

"African Herbsman": Lee "Scratch" Perry sold Trojan the rights to the tracks from both Soul Rebel and "Soul Revolution" although they only chose to release the latter at the time. In 1973 when Bob Marley and the Wailers really took off they decided to rerelease the "Soul Revolution" songs on a new album, with a different track order and include some of the Wailers best 45s from this era. [ Hear Album ]

Trojan record label with logo

Despite the rather rather crass commercial intentions the album nonetheless became many UK fans first exposure to the Wailers earlier recordings. It remains a fan favourite for that reason through until today. In 2003 Trojan re-released "African Herbsman" on CD with 10 bonus tracks, including some of the dub versions and a few more singles. While hardly indispensable it is a fun listen and will have nostalgic value for anyone who might’ve originally purchased it in 1973. However I myself am much fonder of the warmer sound on their vinyl reissue of the original "African Herbsman" album.

"African Herbsman" vinyl record: The back cover with original track listings.

“Ammunition Dub Collection” [JAD UM] is a collection of a lot of later dub versions of the Wailer tracks from this period. Some are pretty cool, others are hardly essential. A fun but not necessary disc to own unless you are a completest or especially interested in Lee "Scratch" Perry’s early experiments in dub.

“Wailin n’ Soul’m Singles Selecta” [JAD UM] includes the 45’s released on the Wailers first record label and sold from their own Kingston record shop. Nice sound. Lots of classic tracks. I’d say this is a must have. See the review under part 1 of my Wailers discography.

45 Vinyl Box Set

The 2 CD “Complete Upsetter Singles 1970-72 Plus Dubs” [Cleopatra] is pretty complete as far as the Upsetter label goes. It also includes many missing dub versions which is pretty cool. However Upsetter did not release all of the Wailer's big Jamaican hits during this period. 

Most of these same tracks are already available on the other albums I’ve reviewed. Therefore it’s an overall a rather spotty collection of Wailer 45’s, which perhaps outside of a few rare dub sides and variations you will also easily find elsewhere. If you see it for cheap, snatch it up. If not, you might want to pass on this one. There is also a vinyl collection with 6 of the 45’s with their correct dub B B-sides, which seems tantalizing if not expensive. I have yet to hear the records myself so will reserve judgment. If you have heard them please don’t hesitate to provide your own review for us in the Comments section below this blog!

“127 King Street” [JAD UM] This fabulous disc includes the missing 45’s from above, and what songs they are! While success continued to evade the Wailers for most of 1970-72 they continued to bat out great non album singles that sold very well in Jamaica often on their own Tuff Gong label. These are also some of the first tracks that the Wailers played on as well as sing. "Screw Face", "Lick Samba", "Trench Town Rock", "Concrete Jungle"; they are all here. Buy this CD!

"Original Cuts" [JAD UM]: Now here’s a handy collection of two dozen early versions of the songs Bob Marley + the Wailers would later rerecord on their more famous well known albums. A few rare dub sides are also thrown in for good measure. Regretfully, the linear notes, while interesting and tastefully done only provide a brief outline of when the different versions featured here were actually recorded. Tut tut! Nonethess, this is an essential disc. It’s great to have the tunes altogether on one cd and is a very listenable and enjoyable Wailers collection.

Peter Tosh: “Can’t Blame the Youth” [UM Jad] These tracks are a must have. The CD includes Peter Tosh’s solo and Wailer tracks from the 1969-72 period. One often forgets Peter was a major reggae artist in his own rite. As such these tracks are absolutely indispensable. “Arise Blackman” is included here, as are the hits “Mega Dog”, and the Rude Boy classic “Them a Fi Get A Beatin’”. 

Equally delicious is the title track and “Here Comes the Judge”. Basically Peter attacks the slave mentality issue with no bars hold. While the Jamaican Rude Boys were being held to a very high moral standard for their acts of rebellion, Peter asks why the Jamaican youth weren’t being taught in school that many of their so called national heroes were actually slave traders, and pirates. On "Here Comes the Judge" they are one by one put on trial for their crimes in a hilarious court room send up that is worth the price of the disc alone. Do not hesitate to buy this disc!

Peter Tosh: “Arise Black Man” [Trojan] There’s some overlap here as the CD includes the title song as well as “Them a Fi Get a Beating”. Although it omits “Here Comes the Judge” we are treated to a lot of very rare Tosh tracks including the “Mega Dog” variations, a “Rudies Melody”, The Return of Capone”, “Downpresser” [a big solo hit for Peter previously recorded by the Wailers as “Sinner Man”!] “Selassie Serenade” [The Rasta Theme again] and Peter's lesser known solo work with Lee "Scratch" Perry! This is a helluva fun disc with all sorts of oddities and forgotten greats. I’d recommend getting both of these Tosh CD’s if you can find them for a good price.

Box Sets: There are a number of discs arranged in box sets and sold independently as single CDs covering the many recordings variations, experiments and lesser known tracks that the Wailers recorded during their 1967-72 soul period. These are definitely for the hard core fan and can be quite pricey even and hard to find. However the sound quality is usually quite good and you can learn a lot by examining these tracks as the artists audio note pad of ideas and musical directions if you will. I have decided to go with the EMI French "Complete Wailers 1967-72" sets, discs 1 to 3 and 7 to 8. As such I cannot review the other series as I am not as familiar with them but if you wish to provide a review please do so in the Comments section below or as a guest blog.

Complete Wailers 1967-72 Part 1 Discs 1-3:

Lots of alternate versions, rare singles, and obscure tracks produced by Leslie Kong and R+B singer Johnny Nash. Nash had a big hit with Marley’s "Stir it Up" [Hear] and even had Bob sing backup vocals and help with the arrangements of his number one hit “I Can See Clearly Now” [Hear]. He was a big promoter of Bob and even brought him to England and introduced him to the important music industry insiders to try to help him get a break after "Soul Revolution" was released. We are treated to the original versions of “Chances Are” and his only single release during the trip “Reggae on Broadway” [Hear]. Despite its inane lyrics the record is one huge quivering slab of hard rocking reggae funk, an experimental direction he would not try again, especially after the single went nowhere and has since been all but forgotten.

Bob Marley's UK Solo 45 Reggae on Broadway

It's interesting how Marley was ready to go it alone without the Wailers on this trip. Was it a harbinger of changes to come? The other handful of largely forgettable recordings Marley made on the trip are also included here without the ridiculous overdubs on the post death “Chances Are” album which gullible consumers were tricked into buying thinking it was a long lost Bob Marley album. Far from it. 

Equally fascinating is a little known single the Wailers recorded as a long shot at breaking into the US market: a reggae version of the Archie’s bubblegum hit “Sugar Sugar” [Hear]. No, it went nowhere, but yes, it is a whole lot of fun and kind of scary to imagine what direction the Wailers might've gone had it been a hit!? 

Some of the dub sides here grow wearisome after a while. There sure were a lot and mostly they were just the instrumental tracks from the singles. Disc 2 “Selassie in the Chapel” [Hearincludes the very rare spiritual of the same name, as well as the mega rare “Black Progress” 45 and its dub B-side, either of which justifies buying this disc!

Complete Wailers 1967-72 Part 2 Discs 4-6:

You get the complete "Soul Rebel", "Soul Revolution" + "Best of the Wailers" [1970] [see last review] albums on separate discs with the dub versions attached. Some of these would’ve been later remixes, especially the ones on "Soul Rebel", which weren't originally released at the time. Disc 6 “More Axe” includes a collection of most of the Wailer and Lee "Scratch Perry" remaining recordings, most of which you might find elsewhere but here they are all in one place. This set essentially contains most of the Perry produced recordings together in one place. If you already have the albums it is rather a waste and of course you don’t get the original album artwork. Copies are usually expensive and very hard to find so you really need to decide for yourself whether this is an essential set for your Marley collection.

Complete Wailers 1967-72 Part 3 Discs 7+8:

We hear more dub tracks and leftover recordings from the Lee "Scratch" Perry and Johnny Nash sessions. There are also rare originals, various alternate recordings and extended club remixes. This set is a bit scattered but is important to include to round out the material on the first 6 discs. It’s a fun listen, though hardly as earth shattering as set 1 or 2.

Please note that the linear notes with these discs are in French. Apparently they have a wealth of information on them, but unfortunately I don’t speak French. Maybe that won’t be a problem for you? It would be a big plus to get down to all the nitty gritty here about the sessions. Apparently an English version was later released but I have not seen it myself.

More Reading:

Smile Jamaica: my visit to Bob Marley's birth + burial place in the mountain town of 9 Miles @ Hi! Hi! Hi!

On The Beach: Everyone knows the rastaman's got the best ganga @ Yah/ Jah!

NEXT: Wailers Discography Part 4: Catchin’ Fire!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
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Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!