The back half of these two consecutives is all about a show considered one of the top bootlegs of all time, rounded into a definitive condition over the last couple of years by yours truly.
According the online 100 Greatest Bootlegs list, it's #60 all time. I'd have it closer to #6.
Honestly? It makes the other available live performances of its author -- authorized and otherwise -- sound a bit tepid by comparison.
I admit that the 1978-79 period of Peter Tosh's career is my personal favorite. Mystic Man might be my single favorite Reggae record.
Back years ago I posted the August 22nd, 1979 show from the Calderone on Long Island -- I just reupped the link -- and if you pair that one, which sees Tosh beginning to integrate the Mystic Man material into the set, and this one -- which has more of the Bush Doctor tunes -- taped five months previous, you've pretty much got your peak 1979 Tosh boots sussed.
What is there to say about this one? It's weird how, in the five months between the recording of the Peter Gabriel Bottom Line show from 10/4/78 and this one, the WNEW-FM cats really got their technical shit together.
The Gabriel one is fraught with recording issues and so forth -- the legendary NYC club being notoriously tough in which to record a large group -- given the tiny stage, and a drifty bleed seems to affect the PG show.
There's not a whit of that here. This sounds better, brighter, and has acres more clarity than about 100 official live records I could name off the top of my pointy little head.
And the performance? Oh, dearie me. I think PT knows he's on the radio and is leaving it all on the field during this 75 minutes of astonishment.
When the (mostly complete) pre-FM source surfaced a few years back, what had previously been a killer FM tape went to an entirely different and transcendent level.
It still had the cuts before I'm the Toughest and Don't Look Back, assembled in haste onto 90 minute cassettes as it was lifted from the WNEW archives, though. The FM tape had the former song complete, but not the latter.
At least until I got my hands on it. Using what was there in the repeating section that opens the tune, I reconstructed the start to where the musicians might not even know it was massaged as such.
The FM patches were also an issue. As with any comparison between a pre-broadcast and an off-air dub, the FM source -- although a fine capture -- was lacking a whole lot of the crisp highs featured on the pre-FM one.
I worked for days to get those small FM segments to mesh better with the corresponding pre-FM parts into which they transition. I'd like to think I did a fairly decent job.
So here it is... I hope you'll enjoy the optimizations on offer.
Word, Sound & Power
New York City, NY
01 400 Years
02 Stepping Razor
03 Pick Myself Up
06 Soon Come
07 I'm the Toughest
08 Bush Doctor
09 (You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back
10 Get Up, Stand Up
11 Babylon Queendom
12 closing jam
Total time: 1:15:27
Peter Tosh - vocals, guitar
Mikey Chung - guitar, keyboards
Sly Dunbar - drums
Ed Elizalde - guitar
Robert Lyn - organ
Robbie Shakespeare - bass
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson - percussion
Keith Sterling - keyboards
The Tamlins - vocals
master cassette of WNEW-FM pre-FM master reels, with strategic FM master cassette patches;
opening of Track 07, applause at close of Track 10 and almost all of Track 12 remastered to better match and transition with their remainders -- and opening of Track 09 reconstructed -- by EN, 2018/2019
525 MB FLAC here
I'll be back in a few days because I'm having a lot of bad depression issues and need a few days break from this stuff. But don't hesitate to get on this house call from the Bush Doctor -- I'll likely do another thing for his 75th later on this year -- trust me, it's firmly outside the realm of the bumbaclaat and well within the limitless limits of Irie.--J.
10.19.1944 - 9.11.1987