The Bottom Line,
New York City, NY.
8 March 1979
(This is the repaired version)
The final part of a trilogy from the superb and legendary New York venue The Bottom Line.
There are numerous live shows circulating by Peter Tosh. This is my favourite from his live performances in the 70's apart from 'Live And Dangerous Boston 1976' the official live release, which is amongst the great live reggae albums and a must have for any reggae fan.
Between the end of the 'Bush Doctor' tour in late '78 and recording sessions for the 'Mystic Man' album. Sly and Robbie had set up their own label 'Taxi' and were soon enjoying hits by reggae stars such as Junior Delgado, Dennis Brown, Wailing Souls, Tamlins and a #1 hit with Gregory Isaacs 'Soon Forward'. It was a time of innovation for the talented duo. Disco was the dominant mainstream musical sound at this time and reggae artists like others sought to include elements in their own music. Sly had started using an open snare combining it with a Syn drum, this produced a more militant and powerful live sound.
After touring dates in the US throughout February, Peter had come to New York city for two consecutive dates at the Bottom Line on the 7th and 8th of March. Few reggae artists had performed here apart from the Mighty Diamonds and Toots & the Maytals, three years earlier. Seven dollars for a ticket, they sold out fast, especially after Peter's TV exposure, just before Christmas, performing with Mick Jagger on 'Saturday Night Live'.
He arrived at the venue in style, stepping out of a black limousine. The New York Times reviews said "Peter Tosh brought the tightest, most powerful reggae that has yet played in the United States", and "backed by a solid band with three back-up singers, he weaves a powerful path from the slower easier paced numbers which open his show to the strong biting and bitter statements that bring the audience to its feet cheering. They were simply overwhelming." High praise indeed from the hardbitten and not easily impressed New York reporters. The shows were the talk of the town, Peter quoting to a radio presenter that reggae music is "breaking down all the barriers that have been put up, seen?"
What makes this one special is the involvement of the crack rhythm team Sly & Robbie (Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare) who were part of Peter's live band at this time, second only to the Wailers rhythm section - the Barrett Brothers. The venue's intimate ambience, the quality of the recording, a perfect sound mix with each instrument and the vocals in equal balance, the sound of the crowd and like the previous Santana post it's an extremely warm and percussive performance, all of these factors play their part.
If you like reggae you need this one, even if you don't, try it you may change your mind!
01. 400 Years
02. Stepping Razor
03. Pick Myself Up
06. Soon Come
07. The Toughest
08. Bush Doctor
09. (You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back
10. Get Up, Stand Up
11. Babylon Queendom
The gaps between tracks were removed by Wavlab
Additional lineage: original flac files > Wav > Wavlab editing > Flac (8)
t6 Soon Come cuts near end
t7 The Toughest is missing the beginning
t9 Don't Look Back beginning slightly cut