Marcus Children aka Social Living is part of Burning Spear’s important records from the period 1975 to 1979, four LPs, called the “true cornerstone of his work” (Steve Barrow). It was originally released as Marcus Children on his Burning Spear label in Jamaica and as Social Living by Island Records in the UK with a different track order. Island records released shortly after a dub version, Living Dub within it’s small PRE LP series.

The recording sessions for this album have been relised with two or three different studio bands. It is not clear where and how Rico joined the sessions. On most of the tracks there are horn lines which are more or less mixed into the background so we can’t clearly identify different players.

Original releaseEdit

Marcus Children 300

LP: Burning Spear WRLP 102 / Jamaica

(p) & (c) 1978


Marcus Children L 500
  • ”Marcus Children Suffer”
  • ”Come”
  • ”Social Living”
  • ”Marcus Say Jah No Dead"
  • ”Marcus Senior”
  • ”Nyah Keith”
  • ”Institution”
  • ”Mister Garvey”
  • ”Civilize Reggae"

All songs written by Winston Rodney.



  • Winston Rodney (voc, perc)
  • Earl 'Chinna' Smith (g)
  • Ranchie McClean (g)
  • Brinsley Forde (g)
  • D Kingsley (g)
  • Donald Griffith (g)
  • Sly Dunbar (dr)
  • Leroy 'Horrsemouth' Wallace (dr)
  • Angus Gaye (dr)
  • Robbie Shakespeare (b)
  • Aston 'Family Man' Barrett (b)
  • George Oban (b)
  • H Lindo (keyb)
  • L Harvey (keyb)
  • Michael 'Ibo' Cooper (keyb)
  • Courtney Hemmings (keyb)
  • Bobby Ellis (horns)
  • Herman Marquis (horns)
  • Vin Gordon (horns)
  • Richard 'Dirty Harry' Hall (horns)
  • Rico Rodriguez (horns)
  • Dick Cuthell (horns)
  • Uziah 'Sticky' Thompson

Produced by Winston Rodney & Karl Pitterson. Recorded at Harry J Studio, Kingston Jamaica; engineer: Syvain Morris, and at Compass Point by Carl Pitterson and Benji Ambrister.

The credits have been taken from the Blood and Fire re-issue (see below). While the credits name two recording studios there are three bands playing for Burning Spear, one of whom is Aswad. As far as we can see, Aswad was neither in Jamaica nor on the Bahamas during the recording period. Most probably one or two tracks must have been recorded in London, “Civilize Reggae” (quite shure) and “Social Living” (?), with Aswad, Dick Cuthell and Rico.


1994: Released as ‘’Social Living’’ with a new cover but in the original track order

Social Living BAF 300

CD: Blood And Fire BAFCD 004 /UK

(p) 1980 Island Records Ltd.

(c) 1994 Blood and Fire Ltd.


Social Living L 500


  1. ”Marcus Children Suffer” 4:38
  2. ”Come” 3:52
  3. ”Social Living”4:34
  4. ”Marcus Say Jah No Dead" 3:51
  5. ”Marcus Senior” 5:10
  6. ”Nyah Keith” 4:03
  7. ”Institution” 3:30
  8. ”Mister Garvey” 3:17
  9. ”Civilize Reggae" 4:03

Additional creditsEdit

Remastered by Kevin Metcalfe at The Townhouse, London.

Designed and built by Mat at Intro, London.

Photograph of cover by Phil Hale. Photograph of the Black Disciples Band by Kim Gottlieb. Photograph of Burning Spear by Adrian Boot.

From the liner notesEdit

A note on this recording:
This album has been digitally remastered from the original analogue tapes. Overall this has enhanced the sound of the music, revealing greater depth and subtlety in the mixes. We believe that due to today's technology this re-issue captures the sound quality of the original mixes more faithfully than any previously available version.
There is a downside however; slight imperfections which exist on the original masters are also faithfully reproduced. In particular there are a number of clicks at the beginning of Marcus Senior. While it is theoretically possible to remove these using sophisticated digital technology, in practice this means compromising the quality of the sound. We decided therefore, in keeping with the spirit of reggae as a 'vibes' music, to leave the clicks in and keep the feel of the track uncompromised. We have also sequenced the album in the running order of the original Jamaican release and we feel that this, together with the improved sound quality, makes this re-issue the closest to the artist's original intention.
- Bob Harding, September 1994

Island releaseEdit

Social Living 300

Island ILPS 9556 /UK, 1978


  • ”Marcus Children Suffer”
  • ”Social Living”
  • ”Nyah Keith”
  • ”Institution”
  • ”Marcus Senior”
  • ”Civilize Reggae
  • ”Mister Garvey”
  • ”Come”
  • ”Marcus Say Jah No Dead


CD: Island /US

Additional tracks:

  • Social Living (extended mix)
  • Civilize Reggae (extended mix)

With liner notes by David Katz.


  • Linernotes (to the BAF reissue):
Social Living
The four studio albums that Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) made for Island Records during 1975/1978 - Marcus Garvey (1975), Man In The Hills (1976), Dry and Heavy (1977), and this current reissue of Marcus Children aka Social Living (1978) - represent the true cornerstone of his work.
In them Spear delivered the definitive versions of songs first recorded for Clement S. Dodd's Studio One label during the period 1969/1974, when he was working under the musical tutelage of such great Jamaican artists as Larry Marshall and Leroy Sibbles. He also evolved the musical foundations upon which all his subsequent work has rested, and by the time he came to record Social Living he had become both artist and producer of his work.
Taken together (or indeed separately), these albums constitute an intense and moving articulation of his abiding themes-black history and culture, resistance and struggle against oppression-all expressed via a lyrical synthesis of Garveyism, Rastafarianism, and universal love. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that for many people outside of the Afro-Jamaican community, their first introduction to Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the great Pan-Africanist who had been born in Spear's home parish of St. Ann's Bay on August 17 1887, came from the music of Burning Spear. Since these recordings were made Burning Spear has continued his career, regularly recording and touring worldwide, displaying an admirable and unwavering commitment to the ideals expressed herein. This album is a near-perfect realisation of those ideals by an indisputably major artist.
- Steve Barrow, September 1994