Volume 4: Issue 1: January 2004
A MESSAGE FROM THE WEBMASTER
Welcome to the first Wailers News Update of 2004.
As you would probably have noticed, over the last several months new updates on this site have become a little irregular. Current circumstances dictate that this irregularity will undoubtedly continue for the forseeable future. At present, I am currently in the process of overhauling my Django Ska & Reggae website, and hope to add new works of interest there, as well as continuing with this site.
While this website may be quieter than I would idealy like, it will remain an ongoing project, and I would apprecaite your continued support. For further info, e-mail me.
Andy Clayden 22 January 2004
UNIVERSAL DEALS RECOVERS MARLEY RARITIES
Cache of early Marley songs to be released
More than 200 songs recorded between '67-'72 in catalog
Updated: 12:36 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2004
LONDON - Previously unpublished tracks from Bob Marley's early years will be released this spring, more than 20 years after the reggae icon's death, Universal Music said Thursday.
The record company said it signed a 10-year global licensing deal with reggae label JAD Records for its early catalog recordings of Bob Marley & the Wailers. Over 200 tracks, recorded between 1967 and 1972, feature a young Marley with street attitude, influenced by the U.S. civil rights movement and beginning to explore Rastafarianism.
"It is thrilling, both personally and professionally, that Universal is now able to present to fans virtually the entire recorded works of one of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th Century," Julian Huntly of Universal Music International said in a statement.
Jamaican-born Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36, became a global superstar with reggae anthems such as "Stir It Up" and "No Woman No Cry."
The deal includes songs composed in Kingston, Jamaica, during the early years of the Wailers, the band the godfather of reggae formed with Neville "Bunny" Livingstone and Peter Tosh.
The first release is a three-CD set that will hit stores in March.
Tracks including "Music Gonna Teach," "One Love True Love" and the Peter Tosh version of "Little Green Apples" are to be released on CD for the first time.
The catalog also includes reggae classics such as "Stir It Up," "Small Axe," "Guava Jelly" and "Concrete Jungle."
Universal said there was "every possibility" more previously unreleased songs could be found.
ANNOUNCMENT FROM JAD RECORDS
Universal signs 10-year deal with JAD Records to release early Marley and Wailers material - 21/01/ 2004
The early work of Bob Marley and the Wailers is to be re-released by Universal Music International through a 10-year licensing deal the company has signed with JAD Records.
The collection, which spans 211 recordings made between 1967 and 1972, includes rare and unreleased tracks.
A source close to the deal says it should put up a warning flag to those retailers trading in unlicensed Bob Marley & The Wailers catalogue to clear their shelves of unauthorised material.
Danny Sims, co-founder of JAD Records, says: "I'm delighted to be working with Universal Music to tell the story of Bob Marley & The Wailers before they found fame in the west."
Universal Music already own work by Bob Marley & The Wailers, recorded for Island Records between 1972 and 1980. These include the albums Catch A Fire, Exodus, and Kaya.
The deal will see the children of Bob Marley, the Estate of Peter Tosh and the last surviving Wailer, Bunny Wailer, receiving royalties from sales of this period of Bob Marley & The Wailers career.
JAD RECORDS...WHERE THE LEGEND BEGAN (ALMOST)
By Andy Clayden
The record label slogan doesn`t quite tell the whole truth, hence my paraphrasing for the header of this article, but the JAD organisations effect on the Wailers career was of great importance when the band came into their fold in 1967.
Of course, Marley`s career didn`t begin there as the slogan may allude, instead he was already a veteran of the Jamaican recording industry of some 6 years experience, and the Wailers as a unit began in 1963. But the financial security JAD brought the band was vital in supporting them in through their first steps as independent artists.
Unhappy with their financial arrangements with Clement Dodd, the Wailers left Studio One in 1966 to seek out more fruitful pastures. Bob worked in the US for a spell, and then returned to farming in an effort to subsidise the bands recording ambitions.
Marley was introduced to JAD supremo Danny Sims by American singer Johnny Nash, who was greatly impressed with the Bob`s song writing. Sims and business partner Arthur Jenkins were equally impressed by his credentials, and JAD quickly wrapped up a publishing deal, that effectively gave the Wailers a regular income.
Over the next year or so, the Wailers cut many songs for JAD, ranging from recuts of previous ska hits to fresh compositions such as Black Progress, that hinted at the direction Marley wished the Wailers to persue. Some recordings were overdubbed in the US, giving a particularly pop/r `n` b flavour, in an attempt to gain mainstream airplay, but such success was not yet to be. During much of 1968, Bunny Wailer was imprisoned on ganja charges, and the gap he left was filled by Bob`s wife Rita. The JAD recordings remained obscure until they appeared posthumously on various compilations, the best of which is undoubtedly the first Complete Wailers box set.
What kept the band in the Jamaican spotlight at the time, were a handful of self productions, the album recorded for Leslie Kong in Spring 1970, and the slew of classics that followed for Lee Perry that ultimately guided the band onto international fame. JAD`s allowance for the Wailers to continue outside work is what ultimately payed off. It`s hard to imagine any other producer of the time giving such free reign to an artist.
Danny Sims belief in Marley`s potential remained, despite the relative commercial failure outside of Jamaica, and has to be admired and respected. But such faith was not eternal, and after the failure of Bob`s deal with CBS in 1972, the Wailers were abandoned.
What remained was a catalogue of Bob`s songs that would eventually attain the recognition they deserved, and give JAD a healthy slice of publishing rights to many classics. These include the tracks recorded for Lee Perry, that many Wailers fans regard as the absolute zenith of their careers.
Over the years ,the music recorded prior to the Island Records contract has been abused to an alarming level. Poorly packaged, and misleading compilations, usually of the Lee Perry recordings that did no justice to the quality of the music, flooded the market. It was not until the appearance of the aforementioned Complete Wailers sets in 1996, that the JAD material was released in a manner befitting it`s importance. Prior to this, the catalogue had been in a state of complete disarray. Bootleg albums paid no royalties, and many tracks remained either unreleased or unobtainable.
A few tracks emerged via Danny Sims compiled Chance Are album in 1981. Regarded by some as a rather cynical attempt to cash in on Marley`s passing, the album took 8 JAD era tracks, added overdubs, and packaged it with a 1980 photo of Marley on the cover. While some of the record was not too badly done, it was a shame that work of such interest could not be presented in a more natural manner.
A similar project was instigated in 1985 by Bunny Wailer, who accessed the JAD recordings for his ill-fated Together Again project. Stripping the recordings of the backing tracks, Bunny employed Sly & Robbie to provide a new foundation for the songs, and he, Peter Tosh, Constantine Walker and Junior Brathwaite added new vocals to the already existing tracks.
A single, the previously unreleased Music Lesson, was released backed with a new version of Nice Time, and sounded like a promising start to the project, but legal disputes and the murder of Peter Tosh left the tapes in the vaults until 1993. When the album was eventually released, under the new project name Never Ending Wailers, it came as a disappointment to many. The album just didn`t maintain the quality of the single, although a tantilising unheard version of the classic "Im Still Waiting" (re-fashioned as the poignant I`m Still Wailing), and the excellent "Together Again" were juicy bait for Wailers fans.
Until now, the original versions of Music Lesson and I`m Still Wailing have failed to appear, but from the press releases above, it would appear that the long wait may be nearing an end. "I`m Still Wailting" is listed by one source as one of the unreleased tracks on the upcoming 3-CD set, and one assumes that Music Gonna Teach, is in fact the original cut of Music Lesson.
The new collection will be released by Hip-O Records in March under the title
Grooving Kingston 12:
4,Who is Mr Brown
9,Fussing & Fighting
10,Keep on Moving
12,All In One
13,Black Progress- Version
15,African Herbsman Version
16,Dracular (who is Mr. Brown Version)
18,Battle Axe (Small Axe Version)
20,My Cup- Version
21,Keep On Moving -Version
22,Second Hand Part 2
1,Guava Jelly- Acoustic Medley
2,This Train- Acoustic Medley
3,Cornerstone- Acoustic Medley
4,Comma Comma-Acoustic Medley
5,Dewdrops - Acoustic Medley
6,Stir It Up- Acoustic Medley
7,I`m Hurting Inside- Acoustic Medley
8,Cry To Me- Acoustic Medley
9,Sun Is Shining
11,Satisfy My Soul Babe
12,(Dont) Rock My Boat
13,I Like It Like This
14,Hold On To This Feeling
15,Rock To The Rock
17,I'm Hurting Inside
18,Music Gonna Teach (aka "Music Lesson")
19,I'M Still Waiting
21,Sun Is Shining- Version
22,Hold On To This Feeling- Version
23,Music Gonna Teach- Version
Track details listed as supplied by Hip-O Records.
DISTANT DRUMS GETTING CLOSER
The long overdue 12th issue of Wailers rootszine Distant Drums is nearly ready to hit the street.
The publication that debuted in 1991 has had a somewhat erratic release schedule, but the work so far done by the DD team has been thoroughly absorbing. Issue 12 has been in the making for more than 2 years, and is now at the printers so subscribers will soon have the pleasure of perusing it`s usual fact filled pages.
Number 27, October/November 2003 Number 26, August/September 2003
Number 25, July 2003 Number 24, June 2003
Number 23, May 2003 Number 22, April 2003
Number 21, March 2003 Number 20, February 2003
See side links for full on-line www.wailers.co.uk archive.
Please visit these Wailers/reggae sites:
The OFFICIAL Wailers website: www.wailers.com
www.bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk Django! Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae
www.caceinternational.com The Wailers News
Bob Marley Magazine http://go.to/bobmarleyshows