Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makers – Free Like We Want 2 B (1995)

Ziggy Marley rightfully carries the torch that was ignited by his father decades earlier. Ziggy and brother Stephen write and produce all of the tracks on the album and, as expected, reggae beats litter every song. However, R&B and extensive use of keyboards enhance and strengthen the record, demonstrating that the band has the ability to grow and experiment while staying true to their Jamaican roots. Sharon and Cedella Marley step out from behind their usual background singing roles on the track “Today,” bringing a strong R&B feel which transmutes the Marley sound. Lyrically, poverty, racism, and mother earth continue to be issues which resonate deeply in the hearts and minds of the group. “Hand to Mouth” specifically addresses the plight and exploitation of the Jamaican worker and the hunger of the children on the island. While there are few surprises on Free Like We Want 2 B, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers prove once again that nobody does reggae like a Marley. Perhaps more than any of the Melody Maker’s previous releases, this album showcases the individual talents of each bandmember. The result is one of their most consistently inventive and musically varied sets. The stripped down, propulsive “Power to Move Ya” leads off, followed by the title track, a classic Ziggy composition about the real meaning of freedom.

Sharon and Cedella then share lead vocals for the first time on the excellent “Today”. Track four, “Water and Oil”– a biting metaphor for the relationship between rastas and politicians—features a dread DJ turn by brother Stephen. “Live It Up” follows, a Ziggy composition with a sweet I-Threes style chorus. Stephen introduces Miss “Tipsy Dazy”, and follows this with a beautiful ballad-like number called “Bygones”. Next up is the Jamaican top-ten single “Hand to Mouth”. Track 9, titled “In the Flow” is a funky slow jam with a wicked bass line. “Don’t Go Nowhere” is followed by “G7”, a calypso-like commentary on the politics of greed. Stephen’s “Keep On” and Ziggy’s heartfelt “Beautiful Mother Nature” round out the set.

“Free Like We Want 2 B” marks another milestone in the Melody Maker’s recording history: it was the first release for their new label, and it was recorded at the new Marley Music studio in Kingston, Jamaica.

Tracklist

  1. “Power To Move Ya” – 3:36
  2. “Free Like We Want 2 B” – 4:47
  3. “Today” – 3:18
  4. “Water and Oil” – 3:27
  5. “Live It Up” – 3:18
  6. “Tipsy Dazy” – 4:14
  7. “Bygones” – 4:44
  8. “Hand to Mouth” – 5:22
  9. “In The Flow” – 4:30
  10. “Don’t Go Nowhere” – 5:51
  11. “G7” – 3:03
  12. “Keep On” – 3:24
  13. “Beautiful Mother Nature” – 4:56

Companies, etc.

Credits

Personnel

Ziggy Marley – vocals, guitar, organ, synthesizer, percussion, background vocals
Ian Coleman, Glen Brownie – guitar
Junior Chin, Dean Fraser – horns
Sharon Pendergast, Cedella Marley – background vocals
Erica Newell – vocals
Ray Hitchins – acoustic guitar
Earl Smith – acoustic & electric guitars
Glen Brownie – guitar, piano, keyboards, bass, talking drums, percussion
Robert Brownie – guitar, drums
Dean Fraser, Junior Chin, Ronald Robinson – horns
Carol McLaughlin – piano, organ, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards, synthesizer
Mallory Williams – piano, keyboards, synthesizer
Wilburn Cole – piano, drums
Christopher Meredith, Julian Marley – bass
Sly Dunbar – drums
Ras Michael – Nyabingi drums
Uzziah Thompson – percussion

Notes
Released: July 11, 1995
Recorded at: Marley Music Studio, Kingston, Jamaica.
Genre: Reggae
Length: 54:36

Label – Elektra Records

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