Volume 5: Issue 4: Winter 2005
BOOK REVIEW : Bob Marley & the Wailers : The Definitive Discography
By Roger Steffens & Leroy Jodie Pierson
After what seems like an eternity in the making - actually fourteen years since it was first publically announced - the long awaited definitive discography of Bob Marley and the Wailers, lovingly compiled by experts Roger Steffens and Leroy Jodie Pierson has finally become a reality.
While there have been many published Wailers discographies in the past, ranging from simple magazine listings, biography appendices, websites and even the odd dedicated book, none have attempted such an in depth and exhaustive gathering of information as listed here.
The book opens with three short but incisive biographies of Bob, Peter and Bunny, followed by entertaining essays on the authors induction to and eventual seduction by Jamaican music. From these tales I'm sure many a fan will be able to identify with the authors passion for the music and collecting.
The actual discography listing itself runs to 177 pages including the index, and lists all recording by Bob, Peter and Bunny, either as the Wailers or solo, and also features occasional tracks of special interest such as Marcia Griffith's Tribulation for instance (as it was composed, produced and played on by Bunny), and various Studio One numbers that the Wailers harmonised.
Each song is listed in chronological order, or at least as close as is possible given the often undocumented history of many early tracks. There are elements of session-ography, with musican line-ups and even unreleased recordings listed. Tapes such as the "Mother B bedroom tape" are listed, providing those unfamiliar with the trading scene an insight into some of Bob's unreleased and unfinished works.
Also listed are a choice selection of live performances. As is explained in the book, only a cross-section of live dates are represented as it was rightly felt that a full listing would stifle the flow of the text. This information should be considered a bonus inclusion that neatly compliments the main theme and provides a rough guide to the artists setlists.
Each recording is listed with catalogue number, matrix number info where available, allowing cross-checking of re-presses and re-issues, as well as over-dub details. At first the discography can be a little awkward to navigate, but a little patience usually brings rewards. Unfortunately there is no straight listing of A & B side pairings. This would have made for a nice appendice, but obviously even the inclusion of a small print list would have considerably increased the size of the publication.
There is also a mouth-watering twelve page glossy, full-colour centre spread with pictures of record labels from the very first Jamaican issue of Judge Not, through various Studio One labels, differing Tuff Gong designs, Intel-Diplo and Solomonic, and right up to Island releases among others. Amidst the many delights on view are early Muzic City issues, Dana on a yellow Coxsone issue, white labels of Black Progress, Chances Are, Sugar Sugar and Must Get A Beaten and Peter's obscure white label issue of Jah Man.
It's clear that a lot of love has gone into this work, and taking into account that there are over forty years of recordings to document, it was certainly a daunting under-taking. As such there is the odd error and omission, but a board is available at www.rounderbooks.com to "post comments and emendations."
As a first issue, the discography is a wonderful example of devotion and commitment. The possiblity for fans worldwide to offer corrections and amendments via the aforementioned board should confirm this as the most accurate and detailed listing ever compiled.
The Definitive Discography is published by LMH Publishing Ltd. at £16.95 in the UK, and distributed by Turnaround.
GREATEST GIGS OF ALL TIME
Bob Marley & the Wailers performance at the 1978 One Love Peace Concert was featured in the top 10 gigs of all time in an industry poll. More than 60 artists, journalists and music industry executives contributed to the survey, featured on a Channel 4 programme broadcast in November.
Queen's iconic performance at Live Aid in July 1985 was number one. Jimi Hendrix's appearance at Woodstock in August 1969 came second, followed by the Sex Pistols' concert at Manchester Free Trade Hall in June 1976. Radiohead's 1997 Glastonbury appearance is the most recent entry in the Top 10.
The selected concerts also feature Nirvana's last-ever UK appearance at the 1992 Reading Festival, Brian Wilson's Smile concert at London's Royal Festival Hall in February 2004, and the Rolling Stones' free gig in Hyde Park in May 1969 - held two days after the death of the band's guitarist, Brian Jones.
The One Love Peace Concert performance was voted as the 6th best gig of all time, a very welcome nod of recognition from the mainstream music industry- justly acknowledging Bob and the Wailers amazing performance. The concert took place on April 22nd 1978 at Heroes Park Circle, Kingston, amid much political unrest in Jamaica.
The Wailers performance that night crackled with an incendiary tension as Bob gave one of his most charismatic performances. Opening with the traditional Rasta hymn Lion of Judah, as first it seemed Bob was struggling to hit the higher notes, but he was soon in his stride and memorable versions of Natural Mystic, Trenchtown Rock and Natty Dread followed. Positive Vibration and War came next as the band fashioned the set-list to specifically appeal to the 40, 000 strong Jamaican audience.
What happened next took every one by surprise; as the Wailers navigated their way through a stupendous rendition of Jamming, Bob stepped up to the microphone and announced "to make everything come true, we've got to be together...I'm not so good at talking but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say." With his eyes tightly closed, he then requested the presence of Prime Minister Michael Manley and leader of the opposition Edward Seaga on stage. "I just wanna shake hands and show the people that we're gonna unite," he continued, and as the politicians were eventually led onto stage, Bob greeted them both with a big smile. As the two rivals shifted uneasily either side of Marley, Bob clasped their hands together and lifted them above his head in a symbolic showing of unity.
The joining of hands remains one of the most stunning and iconic moments from Marley's career on what was a historic day in Wailers legend. Earlier in the evening Peter Tosh had given an explosive and uncompromising performance on the same stage, in which he castigate the Jamaican government in typically witty diatribes. For Tosh this led to a viscious police beating, whereas Marley's acts brought recognition in the form of a United Nations Peace Medal.
JAD Records have already released a recording of Peter Tosh's perfomance on CD, so surely now would be a good time for Tuff Gong to consider releasing a recording of Bob Marley & the Wailers show.
WAILERS BAND TOUR DATES
DATES WITH UB40
23 Nov 05 TBA Waterfront Belfast, Northern Ireland UK with UB40
25 Nov 05 TBA TBA Point Dublin, Ireland with UB40
26 Nov 05 TBA Millstreet Arena Ireland with UB40
28 Nov 05 TBA International Arena Cardiff, UK with UB40
29 Nov 05 TBA International Arena Cardiff, UK with UB40
30 Nov 05 TBA Centre Brighton, UK with UB40
02 Dec 05 TBA Pavillions Plymouth, UK with UB40
03 Dec 05 TBA Wembley Pavillion London, UK with UB40
04 Dec TBA Wembley Pavillion London, UK with UB40
06 Dec 05 TBA Hallam FM Arena Sheffield, UK with UB40
07 Dec 05 TBA Clyde Auditorium Glasglow, UK with UB40
09 Dec 05 TBA MEN Arena Manchester, UK with UB40
10 Dec 05 TBA Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, UK with UB40
11 Dec 05 TBA Arena Nottingham, UK with UB40
13 Dec 05 TBA Ahoy Rotterdam, Holland with UB40
14 Dec 05 TBA Ahoy Rotterdam, Holland with UB40
15 Dec 05 TBA Ahoy Rotterdam, Holland with UB40
17 Dec 05 TBA Centre Brighton, UK with UB40
18 Dec 05 TBA International Centre Bournemouth, UK with UB40
20 Dec 05 TBA NEC Birmingham, UK with UB40
21 Dec 05 TBA NEC Birmingham, UK with UB40
22 Dec 05 TBA NEC Birmingham, UK with UB40
Further US Dates
27 Dec 05 Recher Theatre Towson, MD
28 Dec 05 State Theatre Falls Church, VA
29 Dec 05 Canal Club Richmond, VA
30 Dec 05 The Norva Norfolk, VA
31 Dec 05 The Green Room at Saw Mill Seaside Park, NJ
02 Jan 06 Pickle Barrel Nightclub Killington, VT
05 Jan 06 Sunday River-White Cap Lodge Newry, ME
For further information please visit the official Wailers website www.wailers.com
GARY "NESTA" PINE IN UK CHARTS
Wailers Band lead singer Gary "Nesta" Pine has enjoyd a taste of national chart success in the UK. Pine is the featured vocalist on dance single Love Generation by Bob Sinclar which reached No.12. Sinclar is the pseudonym for Paris DJ and producer Chris Le Friante, and while the single is a long way from Pine's usual reggae sound, his voice is still unmistakably rootsy.
An interview with Gary Pine can be found on www.clubbing-uk.com
MARLEY VINYL SINGLES
As mentioned on the last update, six limited edition 7" singles are being released to tie in with the Africa Unite campaign, the full listing is below. Each single is also available in compact disc format:
WAIL N SOUL M COLLECTION
Universal continue their Wailers JAD re-issue campaign with the addition of the Wail N Soul M Single Selecta. The collection gathers together singles release between the bands split from Studio One in 1966 and prior to working with Leslie Kong and Lee Perry in 1970. Two vocal only tracks are included along with the extemley brief ( 4 seconds!) "studio chat."
1. Bend Down Low (Wail 'n' Soul 'm Version)
2. Freedom Time
3. Stir It Up
4. This Train
5. Nice Time (Wail n'Soul'm Version)
7. Mellow Mood (Wail n'Soul'm Version)
8. Bus Dem Shut
9. Lyrical Satrical I
11. Pound Get A Blow
12. Steppin' Razor
13. Hurtin' Inside (Wail n'Soul'm Version)
14. Play Play
15. Them Have Fi Get a Beatin'
16. Fire Fire
17. Don't You Rock My Boat
18. Chances Are (Wail n'Soul'm Version)
19. The Lord Will Make Away Somehow
20. Hypocrites (Vocal Channel)
21. Thank You Lord (Vocal Channel)
22. Studio Chat
GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALRIGHT
The messageboard at www.bobmarleymagazine.com has fast developed into the ultimate meeting place on the internet for any self respecting fan to meet and discuss all things related to Bob and the Wailers.
Thanks to a solid, and ever growing community, the exemplary work of Marco and Ivan, and of course the inspiration of Jah, it is possible for fans to discuss the music and life of Bob, Peter, Bunny and the Wailers band members, set up trades for unreleased live and demo material, and just generally meet with like minded spirits - not to mention the fantastic interviews that appear on the sites main pages .
If you haven`t registered to the forum yet, I strongly urge you to leave this page now and do so - you won`t regret it. Just don`t forget to return here once in a while!
Site compiled by Andy Clayden. Thanks to Roger Steffens & Jim Alexander.
Number 35, Autumn 2005
Number 33, Spring 2005 Number 32, October/December 2004
Number 31, August/September 2004 Number 30, May 2004
Number 29, April 2004 Number 28, January 2004
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.wailer.de The Wailers News
Bob Marley Magazine http://go.to/bobmarleyshows