Volume 1: Issue 5: May 2001
Welcome to the fifth update of wailers.co.uk. Each month we plan to bring you news and opinions of the Wailers and associated affairs, with regular contributors offering articles and reports from around the world.
ONE LOVE: THE ULTIMATE
Released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bob Marley's passing comes yet another compilation album taken from the Marley archives. One Love: The Ultimate Bob Marley is released on May 22nd, and among the 20 tracks is the highly acclaimed I Know A Place Where We Can Carry On, recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark in 1978.
This particular track has only previously been available on bootlegs and a dubious single released last year. To promote the album it will also be issued on a 3 track CD single, featuring High Tide Or Low Tide and All Day All Night. According to the Wailers official website, Al Anderson has overdubbed new guitar parts to the song.
THE LAST 20 YEARS
Since 1981, Island Records have continually re-issued Marley's back catalogue, relying mainly on previously released product, with very few previously un-issued recordings emerging;
In June 1981, the single No Woman No Cry was released, reaching No.8 in the chart, and various other Marley 45's were re-pressed. 1983 saw the release of the superb Confrontation album, featuring tracks previously un-released or available only in Jamaica. The lead off single from the album, Buffalo Soldier, hit No. 4 on the UK chart.
Legend took Bob Marley's fame to even greater heights in 1984, and has remained one of the best selling catalogue albums ever since. Compiling all the international hit singles, along with a selection of his other best known works, the album gave the more casual buyer the opportunity to sample some of Marley's most celebrated recordings in one neat package. A remixed One Love/People Get Ready took Bob to No.5 in April 1984.
After these promising early collectiosn, Island appeared happy to rest on their laurels, and the next few compilations disappointed.
A compilation in the Reggae Greats series collected together tracks from the first two Wailers albums for Island, Catch A Fire and Burnin', and offered nothing of interest to the serious collector. Rebel Music from 1986 was little better, offering a slightly remixed title track, and Roots, which had previously only been available as a B side. The rest of the collection featured a selection of album tracks, including two live cuts, which only served to add to the dis- jointed feel of the package.
Talkin' Blues was a more welcome release, featuring a previously un-issued live recording from the Wailers 1973 tour, interspersed with an interview with Bob. Also featured were a few studio outakes, including the previously unreleased Am A Do and alternative takes of Bend Down Low and the title song.
1992 heralded the long awaited Marley box set, Songs Of Freedom, a comprehensive overview of Bob's entire career from 1961 to 1980. Although featuring several previously unreleased or uncollected recordings, the set was regarded as something of a missed opportunity with regard to "new" music by some fans.
Iron Lion Zion was the first of three singles released on Tuff Gong/Island featuring 1990's instrumentation behind Bob's original vocal. The success of this led to the release of similar singles; Why Should I? (1992) and Keep On Moving (1995).
1995 also saw another Marley compilation hit the racks; Natural Mystic; The Legend Lives On was perceived to be "Legend Part II", but failed to live up to it's predecessor, featuring another selection of previously available album tracks.
The much maligned Dreams Of Freedom ambient dub album was released in 1997, and was followed two years later in 1999 by Stephen Marley's "virtual duets" project Chant Down Babylon
In 2001, for the first time in at least a decade, die-hard Wailers fans have a few new releases to get excited about; The fabulous Catch A Fire Deluxe Edition released in March will hopefully be the first re-issue in a project that will yeild releases with better cohesion and more interesting content.
WHY IS BOB SO POPULAR 20 YEARS
Since his passing on 11th May 1981, Marley's name has cast an imposing shadow over reggae music. Almost as soon as news of his death filtered through, the record companies were looking for his replacement. Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and Black Uhuru were all touted as "the next big thing", and all provided some great artistic moments, but none ever came close to matching Bob's international success. So why does Bob Marley remain such a figurehead for the music after all this time? Why is he so pipular 20 years after his passing?
Sister Irie writes: I certainly cannot say for sure, but i have given lots of thought about this. I believe it has alot to do with the timing of Bob's entry into the music world. He was one of the first black liberationist singers in that era and came into the scene during a time when young people in this country and Europe were creating a counter culture of long hair and anti- government sentiments.
Bob started touring in the US and I believe the whole dreadlock, anti- government and Babylon terminology was eagerly accepted and acknowledged because it fueled what was happening in the US at that same time. Perhaps the same was true in Europe. As time goes on, the prophetic words of Bob's music have exposed themselves as truth to people of all races and cultures.
So many Americans up until the Viet Nam era believed anything our government did or told us was the truth. After Viet Nam, when it became obvious the war was an incredible waste of human life, based on lies and deceptions to the American people, Bob's music remained a prophetic statement that ran parallel to the reality of America as well as the struggling, oppressed little islands like Jamaica and other impoverished areas of the world being held hostage by corruption.
Bob's music has come to symbolize the world over, the corruption, oppression and sufferation that people of all nations and cultures experience, he has become the voice of the people. Sometimes so much so, I believe some people forget that Bob's music began as the voice of the Rastaman and the black man of Jamaica.
I am sure there are many other perspectives and some who would take issue with what I have said, but this is what I believe has fueled Bob's popularity through the years. I would like to see a prophet like Bob be recognized more while they are still living and I believe Luciano has the opportunity to expand that message to the world if we recognize the power in his words.
Another fan writes writes; One of Bobs former bandmates told me of his thought on some of this new music, like Luci. He said the difference is that "Bob WAS a revolutionary and sang about it and would be and the forefront if there was any kind of revolution to take place in Jamaica, thats what we wanted at the time."
Lowell Taubman says: He made good music. He, and his bands had that special ability to turn out many great, timeless, unforgetable songs, with a good Lyrics. His stage presence and his tight band, revealed by his Rhode Island concert would be a good example. He had the ability to change a melody and improvise. He also was able to bend with the times, lead or adapt to the changing styles of Reggae and stay current.
Andy Clayden says: Bob set exceptionally high standards for himself and others to follow. He didn't need to pander toward gimmicks in his music, although he was always open to using influences from other genres, and to listen to ideas from his musicians. Given the spiritual quality to his work, his early passing undoubtedly brought a certain level of martyrdom upon him, but the quality of his work stands the test of time. The truth lies in his music.
Steven Seagal, star of movies such as Hard To Kill, Marked For Justice and Under Siege has been in Kingston to record an album featuring Toots Hibbert, Beenie Man and Marcia Griffiths. The martial arts star, who is an accomplished guitarist, is working on the project with Wyclef Jean.
The Detroit-born actor has also recorded a cover of Bob Marley's Redemption Song for the CD, and says the project will be completed this year. "Doing movies took up all of my time but music has always been my first love," Seagal told the Gleaner newspaper recently.
KY-MANI MARLEY - MANY MORE ROADS
This all-new studio album from Ky-Mani Marley, Many More Roads, takes fans on a journey through Ky-Mani's joy, heartbreak, political philosophies, and displays his diverse musical talent. The album's 12 tracks are well crafted, beautifully written and deeply personal songs performed with a firey passion that he is know for.Many More Roads was produced by Jah Mike for Reggae Vibes Productions, and with the assistance of Clifton "Specialist" Dillon of Shang Records, wh brought dancehall music to the international market (including two time Gramm y winner Shabba Ranks, Patra, and Cobra).
Now with his second album set for release on May 29 in the US/Canada (worldwide in June), Ky-Mani establishes his rightful place in reggae music history, showing a matured singer/songwriter. His father, Bob Marley, has tremendous legacy to live up to, but Ky-Mani displays a talent all his own and the courage to expose his inner feelings through his music.
On MANY MORE ROADS, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 1999 Gee Street debut The Journey, Ky-Mani makes a marked return to the roots-rock-reggae style that made his father an icon. While The Journey was a eclectic blend of reggae, hip-hop, pop and R&B that Billboard hailed as "deeply personal and cutting-edge," MANY MORE ROADS finds Ky-Mani once again in the dual role of dancehall king and soulful rootsman. Like the soul-wrenching, Sly & Robbie -produced breakout single Dear Dad, a gutsy and confessional letter to the heavens, much of MANY MORE ROADS rides reggae's dynamic one-drop groove with distinctive style, intensity and fire. But, as Ky-Mani recently told a crowd of thousands at L.A.'s 2001 Bob Marley Festival, "Just because I'm a Marley, doesn't mean I can't do hip-hop!" The Jamaican-born, Miami-raised Ky-Mani has collaborated with the likes of Wyclef Jean on the entirety of Clef's "Carnival" tour, Fugee-mate Pras, pop's reigning "Hotshot" Shaggy, as well as the likes of Afu-Ra, and PM Dawn. Request Magazine wrote "Ky-mani reminds us that reggae is Jamaican hip-hop, hip-hop is U.S. reggae, and it's all one love anyway."
MANY MORE ROADS locates itself more in the Jamaican dancehall, where classic roots singing and modern deejay-chant share the turntable. The set's twelve tracks flow out of its maker and hit deep. "I just did this album on a roots vibe," says Ky-Mani, "but I'm still into other genres." Opening with Who We Are, which like the album's title track and later Heart Of A Lion, is a confessional "truth- rights-justice" tune that defines the Rastaman for those who still don't get it, MANY MORE ROADS radiates that "roots vibe" throughout. Its tunes are the sort of musical pleas for understanding that are impossible to refute, and Ky-Mani's edgy vibe makes all the difference. He bounces even harder over his deejayed rhymes, radiating the breaking eloquence of an inner-city rootsman - whether from Jamaica or NYC - in Valley Of Decision, then taking the chanter's blend of singer and rapper on tracks like Sca-Ba-Dar and Inna De Dance. In a more lyrical mood, Freedom makes a subdued yet heartfelt plea for the youth, while Love in the Morning turns to a more emotional lyrical theme.
Coming to a movie theater near you this summer is Ky-Mani as Bigs, the lead character in "Shottas," written and directed by Jamerican Cess Silveraa The action feature was shot in Miami and Jamaica, and also stars dancehall stars Spraggah Benz and Louie Ranking, as well as Wyclef Jean, world heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis, and lauded Jamaican actor Paul Campbell.
This June, shooting starts on location in Jamaica for One Love, a Romeo and Juliet-themed love story starring Ky-Mani as a Rasta musician and written by Jamaica's Trevor Rhone, who also scripted the cult film classic "The Harder They Come."
KY-MANI US DATES
In May, Ky-Mani tours Europe; his national U.S. tour launches the end of June (See last month's update for European dates).
US Tour Dates: (updated May 9)
July 17 - Tuscon, AZ - Bash On Ash
July 18 - Scottsdale, AZ - Cajun House
July 19 - Anaheim, CA - Sun Theater
July 20 - San Diego, CA - Pechanga Indian Casino
July 21 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
July 22 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theater
July 25 - San Francisco, CA - Maritime Hall
July 26 - Springfield, OR - Hollywood Taxi
July 27 - Portland, OR - TBA
July 28 - Seattle, WA - Bohemian Club
July 29 - Ashland, OR - Ashland Creek Inn
July 29 - Boise, ID - The Big Easy
July 31 - Salt Lake City, UT - Safari Club
Aug. 1 - Steamboat Springs, CO - Steamboat Free Series
Aug. 2 - Albuquerque, NM - TBA
Aug. 3 - Austin, TX - Jamaica's
Aug. 4 - Houston, TX - Garden In The Heights
Aug. 6 - New Orleans, LA - House Of Blues
Aug. 7 - Kansas City, MO - TBA
Aug. 8 - St Louis, MO - TBA
Aug. 9 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues
Aug. 10 - Detroit, MI - TBA
Aug. 11 - Washington, DC - State Theater
Aug. 12 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA
Aug. 14 - Amagansett, NY - Stephen's Talkhouse
Aug. 15 - Sea Bright, NJ - Tradewinds
Aug. 16 - Plainview, NY - Vanderbilt Theater
Aug. 17 - Charlottesville, VA - Star Hill
Aug. 18 - Norfolk, VA - Boathouse
Aug. 19 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm
The May issue of Record Collector (No.261) has a seven page feature on Bob, concentrating on the 1977 Exodus and Kaya sessions. As well as an interesting essay by Jeremy Collingwood and Daryl Easlea, this issue also features some interesting pictures of Bob that have rarely been seen. The article also features seperate comments on the Wailers recordings of pop songs, the influence of Chris Blackwell, as well as a review of the Catch A Fire deluxe edition.
The May edition also includes the results of the annual Top 500 Collectable Artists Poll. Bob Marley comes in at 177, a drop of 37 places on last years results. Lee Perry is just a little lower at 185.
WAILERS BAND LIVE AT THE
By Tom Dewey
I've just got back from a long break with my bro in Cambridge. The week kicked off with a very special concert indeed. The Wailers Band were playing live, at 'The Junction' just outside the city centre.
We arrived about 7.15pm, which was perhaps a bit early. There was a crowd of about 50 or so people gathered around the tour bus, and unfortubately we went inside. We got the feeling we had arrived a little early. The bar was sparsely packed and the concert hall wasn't even open. One nice thing was though was that there was no music in the bar, and the retractable wall spearating us between the hall wasn't very soundproof. It was really nice to be able to hear the band sound checking, Al Anderson playing the riff to Sheriff, and then the harmonies checking after him. I also heard a glimpse of Stir it Up, but by that time the soundsystem had begun playing. People began arriving, but it was still early days.
The hall opened up around 8, and there was a really nice soundsystem playing with a DJ toasting over the top. The vibe began to warm up a little. This continued on until around nine, when the Punky Reggae 12" was played and all of a sudden I noticed that the hall was packed. During that time I am sure I saw a certain Wailers guitarist stroll through the crowd.
Then on Al came. Tuned up Fams bass, and then checked out his settings on his guitar rig, playing the riff to Creams 'Sunshine of Your Love'. Needless to say the predominantly white audience appreciated that, something which underlines how the Wailers have really penetrated that rock market. However it is a rash generalisation to say that all white people are rock fans, or indeed all black people reggae fans.
The Wailers were on. Al Anderson introduced Cobra style, written by Bobs 'right hand man'. On came the girls, and then Gary 'Nesta' Pine. No horns tonight. They played a nice array of tunes, the order of which I forget, but the first vocal was Natural Mystic. Then into Belly Full and Bend Down Low and Sheriff. I have to say the vibe was little cold at this point, other than the latter song which was a nice rendition. This was the part of the set that had been plaed over and over again. Nice, but a bit of a Marley tribute. They weren't really flexing there musical muscles.
An hour into the set and things took a turn for the better. Virtually each tune had a lovely drum and bass section, the keyboards disovling with delay, Wya's organ pumping away in the background and vocals cutting in and out of the mix. This was apparent on such tunes as Positive Vibration, a Quiet Knight club esque version of Natty Dread and a stunning version of Want More, all tunes I have longed to hear live for as long as I have been a Marley fan. It was really warm at this point in terms of atmosphere, with people screaming and chanting at every possibilty. The set ended with Lively Up Youself (I think), the band went offstage. Then it really took off....
A chant errupted within the crowd, "Woy yoy, woy yoy yoy yooy...". Everyone was stamping their feet and chanting and going absolutely wild. This went on for about ten minutes or so, the reinforced concrete floor shaking beneath my feet and the noise from the crowd almost deafening. This was perhaps the best moment I have ever been invloved, and I mean truly involved in, in my life. Everyone lost their inhitions and danced to the music of the people. The band of the people took the helm of the stage once more looking very, very happy.
Another Fams instrumental, that I've heard before but can't remember...sounds vaguely similar to the Liquidator (James and Andy I'm sure you'll know), and then Stir It Up. No need to Stir this one up, it was kicking. And then came an epic version of the Heathen, Gary really showing his talents by not imitating but orinating his own lyrics to Be Wise and other improvisations. The show had turned from a Marley tribute to a Wailers Band experience. Finishing off with an awsome version of Exodus, Fams making imitation breaks of our "Woy yoy" chants which had once again errupted. The show finished at 11.45, 2 and a half hours later from the when they took the strage. The last person to leave the stage was Familyman, holding his hands up in the air and clapping us.
Unfortunatley at the point we had to move, the person I was with was
driving, knackered and had to work the next day. However, I met an
Eithiopian guy at a party later in the week who had stayed behind and met
Familyman who he said was a really great bloke. The highlight of the
concert for him was the chant also. Nice little touch and an end to a great
Remember, our good friend and website contributor Alvaro Gaynicotche now broadcasts a show dedicated to Bob & the Wailers every Saturday on X FM -100.3 Montevideo,Uruguay.
X FM is broadcoast on the Internet, so you can hear it from all over the world. The Uruguay time for the show is : Saturday, 7:00 PM to 9:00PM.
People can contact Alvaro at :
And you can hear by clicking "X FM"" on this site:
1973: The Wailers, on tour in the UK, visit the BBC to record sessions for Top Gear and The Old Grey Whistle Test. Later in the month they perform at the Paris Theatre in London which is broadcast by the BBC as part of their In Concert
In 1976, Bob Marley & the Wailers issued Johnny Was/Cry To Me as a 7" single in the UK (Island WIP6296).
1983: Peter Tosh releases Where you Gonna Run? as the follow up to his chart hit Johnny B. Goode, but the single fails to follow it's predecessor into the top 50.
Number 4, April 2001
Number 3, March 2001
Number 2, February 2001
Number 1, January 2001
Please visit these Wailers/reggae sites:
The OFFICIAL Wailers website: www.wailers.com
www.bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk Django! Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae
http://robertnestamarley.free.fr The Wailers News