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Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, September 23, 1980
UMe/Tuff Gong International
Recently released for the first time, Live Forever is a two-disc set that documents Bob Marley’s last concert before cancer took his life eight months later. Marley was already in pain, but he was in top form, musically. Supporting the Uprising album, the show’s set list played heavily on Marley’s religious roots-based material. Guitarists will note Junior Marvin’s, Al Anderson’s, and Bob Marley’s studio-tight guitar tapestries on songs like “Coming in from the Cold” and “Could You Be Loved.” Their skanks and galloping lines are woven together almost imperceptibly in their song-serving mission. The effects-laden accents in songs like “Get Up, Stand Up” and the gritty rock tones in the solos for “Is This Love” and “Them Heathen” are also worth noting, as they foreshadow where reggae guitar was heading. Live Forever is a fascinating time capsule that serves as the missing bookend to any Marley fan’s collection or a fitting live recording for the casual reggae listener who is finally ready to dig deeper than Legend.