"Legend Remixed" (Tuff Gong/Universal) takes Bob Marley's classic posthumous greatest hits compilation, the bestselling reggae album of all time, and hands it over to many of EDM's top producers, including Marley's sons, Ziggy and Stephen.
This really could have been close to sacrilege. After all, what makes "Legend" so important and such a perennial bestseller is how timeless it still sounds, even as it nears its 30th anniversary.
However, the love and respect these producers show for Marley's songs shows in the meticulous remixes. Jim James strips back much of "Waiting in Vain," which showcases the powerful melody even more than the original. Stephen Marley and Jason Bentley try to lighten the already-sunny "Three Little Birds" with more sweet backing vocals. Bay Shore native Nickodemus adds some dub beats to "Jamming," as well as finds a new Afrobeat riff to emphasize in the song.
Yes, it will take some time to get used to the dubstep drop and bonkers breakdown Stephen Marley puts into the middle of "No Woman, No Cry." And the way Beats Antique bounces between the loping reggae of the original "Satisfy My Soul" and some wild drum and bass beats may freak some people out, though it's Roni Size's galloping breakbeat for "I Shot the Sheriff" that may be most shocking. But that is the point of "Legend Remixed," to bring some new listeners to these great songs in hopes they get hooked on Bob Marley's brilliance. The legions of "Legend" fans have all been sold on that for a while.
THE GRADE B+
BOTTOM LINE Giving the reggae classic an EDM twist