In the ear­li­est days, The Wail­ers were Bob Mar­ley, Bun­ny Wail­er, and Peter Tosh. Peter was the guy in the band who was a foot taller than ev­ery­one else; al­so the on­ly one who could play any in­stru­ments. A huge guy with a huge voice, his songs nev­er in a hur­ry, and there are a few that peo­ple will be lis­ten­ing to cen­turies from now. For in­stance, Down­pres­sor Man.

This is from Equal Rights, a re­al­ly re­mark­able record­ing that in­cludes chest­nuts like Get Up, Stand Up and Step­ping Ra­zor. It’s just a big warm slow bath end-to-end; the words and pol­i­tics are cut­ting but the sound is gen­tle and cradling. It helps that Sly and Rob­bie are in the bend, which is to say prob­a­bly the best rhythm sec­tion that has ev­er walked the earth, trail­ing clouds of gan­ja smoke.

Equal Rights by Peter Tosh

Peter Tosh sold quite a few records and seemed to en­joy life de­spite some rough patch­es; he was even­tu­al­ly gunned down in his own home in Kingston; his killer is still in jail, last time Wikipedia checked. Sad­ly, I nev­er saw him live.

I’m not re­al­ly sure what to say about Down­pres­sor Man; it’s not com­pli­cat­ed and af­ter you’ve heard the first verse go by you know what the rest will sound like. But it sounds aw­ful­ly good; a show­case for Tosh’s vel­vet voice, and like I said, Sly and Rob­bie.

Down­pres­sor Man / where you gonna run to? … You drink your pink cham­pagne and laugh / Ha ha ha ha … I wouldn’t like to be a flea / un­der your col­lar man / all along that day.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Spo­ti­fy, iTunes, Ama­zon. Here’s live video with de­cent sound and pic­ture, al­though Peter’s voice doesn’t quite have the beau­ti­ful tex­ture he cap­tured on the self-produced Equal Rights.


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From: Walter Underwood (Mar 15 2018, at 09:32)

This is the song "Sinner Man", sometimes "Sinnerman", with the word "Downpressor" substituted. Clever trick, because it makes it a given that oppression is a mortal sin.


From: john hinckley (Mar 30 2018, at 19:50)

Ah, and I can't think about Tosh these days without going back to this wonderful video I discovered a few years back.

Don't know why they worked together so well, and don't need to be able to put it into words, just Keep on Walk, Don't Look Back...

Peter Tosh & Mick Jagger - Walk And Don't Look Back


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March 15, 2018
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