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.
Vinyl B Side
Trojan mini lp box set: "Best of ..." "Soul Rebel" Soul Revolution 2" "Soul Revolution Dub"
“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.
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.
Bunny Wailer: Cooler than cool!
“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.
Soul Revolution 2 Dub Version
Bob, Peter + Bunny
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.
45 Vinyl Box Set
You get the complete "Soul Rebel", "Soul Revolution" + "Best of the Wailers"  [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.
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!