'Burnin' smokes in US Library of Congress

Burnin', the 1973 Island Records album which was the swansong for the core Wailers unit of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, has been chosen for perpetual preservation in the United States Library of Congress.

A release from Tuff Gong International Ltd. said "Each year the United States Library of Congress selects a small number of audio recordings to preserve for all time in the National Recording Registry, based on their historical, artistic or cultural importance … "

In an interview with Ben Manilla, recorded at Tuff Gong Recording Studio for the National Public Radio programme 'All Things Considered' that will itself be preserved by the Library of Congress, Mrs. Rita Marley said that "The album Burnin' was the work of prophets."

Shared lead vocals

Burnin' begins with Get Up, Stand Up, Marley and Tosh sharing lead vocals, and ends with the arrangement by all three of the traditional Rastaman Chant. In between are lead vocal cuts from Bunny Wailer - Halleluijah Time, and Tosh - One Foundation, with Marley singing lead on all the other songs, which include I Shot The Sheriff, Burnin' and Lootin' and Small Axe.

Burnin' went to a high of number 151 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts and 41 on the Black Albums listing.

The National Recording Registry was created by the National Recording Preservation Act in 2000 "to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Recordings nominated

A recording has to be over 10 years old to be considered for inclusion and the public can nominate recordings for consideration.

Among the songs already in the registry are Fats Domino's Blueberry Hill, Nat 'King' Cole's Straighten Up and Fly Right, One o'clock Jump by Count Bassie and his orchestra, What's Going On by Marvin Gaye, and The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Speeches include Martin Luher King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream'.