Volume 1: Issue 6: June 2001
Welcome to the sixth 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 VERY BEST
Finally now available for review, the latest Marley greatest hits package has arrived in time for this months update. Packaged in "distressed" style artwork, the front cover features a 1974 - Natty Dread era picture of Bob taken by Dennis Morris. Unfortunately, the inner of the CD booklet offers little to get excited about. The lack of any sleeve notes is nothing short of scandalous, and with a few exceptions, the majority of the photos inside are very well known by fans.
The tracks sound as good as ever, and the latest re-mastering has given them extra volume. Any compilation bearing the title "very best of" is bound to cause debate as to what should be included, but the listing on offer here panders to a wide range of Bob's fans, with the inevitable concession to the chart successes (for instance the inclusion of Turn Your Lights Down Low and Sun Is Shining - fortunatley the original Island versions and not the recent "remixes").
It is nice to see the band version of Redemption Song finally make it onto an album, but as the acoustic cut is considered one of Bob's greatest works, it's substitution is a little puzzling given the subtitle of this collection.
Each track is the standard album cut, with the exception of Stir It Up (the 3.36 edit), I Shot The Sheriff (3.52 fade out), and the 4.29 single edit of Exodus. The band version of Redemption Song also runs a little longer than the original 7" edit.
The big let down however is the inclusion of I Know A Place. Originally recorded by Bob with Lee Perry at the Black Ark in 1978 (surely not January '77 as the booklet claims), the track has been highly rated by collectors for many years. Unfortuantely what we get here isn't that original, meditative cut, but a butchered "remix"version, stripping away Perry's mystical backing, and transplanting Bob's original vocal onto a sterile, electronic "plastic" reggae backing.
Remixed by an outfit called Secret Agents, it would appear to be an attempt to recapture the success of the Iron Lion Zion remix, but it is closer to the remixes included on JAD's disappointing Soul Almighty: Formative Years album. The rhythm ables along with a lifeless bass sound and dull drum program. Even the over-use of the rimshot samples soon become an irritant rather than a reminder of the original roots sound. A big let down.
Strangely, (an annoyingly for UK buyers), the US editions do feature the original recording. It's a puzzling descision to have these different editions released, although the recent chart success of certain Marley remixes in the UK surely played a part.
THE NEXT RELEASES
Next in line for the re-issue treatment, re-issued on June 11th, will be:
Burnin', featuring three bonus tracks as reported last month (Opressed Song, Reincarnated Soul and No Sympathy)
Natty Dread, featuring the bonus cut Am A Do
Live! bonus cut: Kinky Reggae
Rastaman Vibration bonus track: Jah Live
The lack of more relevent bonus tracks known to exist is yet another disappointment to many fans, but the new releases will give a long overdue overhaul to the existing, poorly packaged editions.
REBEL MUSIC DOCUMENTRY
The Rebel Music documentary that was first broadcast in the UK last year and shown in the US early this year is to be released on VHS and DVD on June 26 (you can find the information and video cover at themarleystore.com). The video cover uses a nice shot of Bob in Las Vegas 1973 that was taken by Chuck Krall during the Wailers tour with Sly Stone, the photo was also used in Stephen Davis' biography.
BOB & MUMIA ABU JAMAL INTERVIEW TO BE
A November 1979 interview featuring Bob Marley and Mumia Abu Jamal is to be released on June 26 on the 175 Progress Drive album. The album will contain a mixture of songs and interviews, other interviews to be included on the disc include Jimmy Carter, Rubin Carter (Black Panthers Leader) and Ossie Davies. Abu-Jamal is currently on Philadelphia's death-row for the 1981 murder of a Police Officer.
JUMP THEM TO BE RELEASED
It has been rumoured that Bob's brother Ritchie Marley is to issue his unreleased recording Jump Them Outta Babylon in the near future. Ritchie Marley has been given permission to release the 1980 song (an unreleased track from the Mother B bedroom tape). to which he will add his own vocals. No word yet as to when or what label this track will be released on.
ROOTS DAWTA SENYA PASSES
It is with great regret that we must report the passing of Olive "Senya" Grant, former Wailer Band harmony vocalist and long time associate of bassist Aston Barrett. Senya recorded some crucial roots tracks with Familyman and the Wailers Band in the mid-late '70s. Senya's debut recording was Oh Jah Come, produced by Clive Chin at Randy's studio, where she also cut Children Of The Ghetto and Rootsman with the Wailers band circa 1976. Later recordings for Fams included a re-make of Children Of The Ghetto, and the roots celebration Natural Woman, both included in extended versions on the Cobra Style album.
As well as her recording career, Senya had worked for the Reggae Sunsplash organization, performing various administritive duties in a 16 year period, managed a restaurant, and had been involved with local community charity events. She was tragically killed on the morning of April 19th (further details are still unknown), and the funeral was due to take place on 6th May. Senya had been planning to make some new recordings and tour the US and Europe at the time of her passing.
From Natural Woman
"Oh, I'm so proud of my skin,
I wear no makeup and remain natural,
Because naturality is the best thing,
I keep my sanity and eliminate profanity...
Oh the good Lord made me a natural woman,
And he provides food clothes and shelter,
I don't have to lust for vanity,
I'll keep my sanity and love naturality."
MARLEY FILM GETS GO AHEAD
Producer John H Williams (who produced the latest box office smash Shrek) has revived the film on Bob's life thanks to foreign financing. Ron Shelton is to be the director and once again Lauryn Hill is rumoured to be playing the role of Rita. The film is to be given a middle to low budget of $25 million. The film has already been in the pipeline for several years, but various problems put it's future in doubt. Our advice is "don't hold your breath!"
BUNNY WAILER SUES COXSON DODD
From The Jamaican Gleaner
BUNNY WAILER says he is awaiting judgment in a writ he filed in the United States Supreme Court in New York, against the Wailers' early producer, the legendary Coxson Dodd.
Bunny Wailer told The Gleaner that the writ claims punitive damages and royalties, amounting to millions of United States dollars. The law suit also extends to companies which have acted as distributors for Coxson, mainly Heartbeat Records, on the release of a 40-song CD some years ago, featuring early music from the Wailers. Coxson Dodd says Bunny Wailers' claim is frivolous.
Bunny Wailer said that outside of being paid a weekly sum when they began recording for Coxson in 1963, they were never paid royalties. He said Coxson has failed over the years to respond to the agreements the Wailers signed with him. He said he recently retrieved a copy of the contract and was using it in the law suit.
Bunny Wailer said Coxson holds a catalogue of over 200 songs recorded by the Wailers.
"Some of the songs that we sang I have never even heard released. The contract I have states that he should have been paying us royalties since 1964," said the former Camperdown student who had an interest in law before breaking into music.
Wailer said the writ in-cludes costs for three punitive damages.
"They didn't respond to the writ when it was filed. But my lawyers, David Lubelle and Jeff Japheth, have assured me that the case is heading for a judgement," he told The Gleaner.
Wailer said the suit he filed was on his own behalf, but he has asked for enough money to ensure that both Junior Braithwaite's family and Beverly Kelso can benefit if a judgement is made.
According to Coxson: "It's been kicked out of the court. The suit was mainly against Heartbeat Records, but it was frivolous. The court people inspected my agreement and saw that I have the right to lease the music to whomever I choose. The Wailers operated as work-for-hire. They got paid every week and I provided them with boarding for over four years.
"Things were so bad that every minute they got a money out of my hand. When we got a little bit from Island, I made sure they got a little something from it. I found a nice place for them and provided them with guitar and piano so they could practice in the evenings," said Coxson.
The contention is over the One Love At Studio One CD released by Heartbeat Records. Coxson said the individual members of the Wailers were given credit.
Many artistes from Jamaica's early period have complained over the years about being treated unfairly by Dodd.
"Over the years people have tried to trample upon my name. I really feel bad, but God knows it's not true. Eventually people will give me proper acknowledgement. Eventually the truth will float to the top," he said.
WAILERS BAND LIVE IN
By Danny Hurson
The doors of the Olympia Theater in Dublin opened at 7.30 on the 4th May, and we had arrived early. As soon as we enterd the building we were brought to the v.i.p. area, as I use a wheelchair. We were literally 2 feet from the stage, we couldn't believe how close we were. by about 8 the place was still only starting to fill (I think it holds bout 3 thousand). 10 minutes later a warm up band came onstage called King Sativa, a band of 4- 5 Dublin dreads. They played about 45 minutes, it was good to see a group of Irish dreads doing their thing, they really got the crowd going with their JK type music and dancing.
I think it was about 9.30 when the Wailers came onstage. I recognised Familyman and Al Anderson as soon as they came on. Then a new member Gary Pine taking the mic came out, followed by 2 beautiful backing singers who did the job the I-Thress had done Bob's time with the Wailers.
The band played a good mix of songs from Natural Mystic, I Shot The Sheriff, Wake Up And Live, No Woman, No Cry, Positive Viberation, Lively Up Yourself, Natty Dread, etc.
The lead singer Gary Pine really did a great job singing and dancing, giving his all. Later my friend who was with me at the show said that Bob could smile knowing his great work is being continued in this way, and I agree.
The last hour or so the place was full to capacity and there was a great atmosphere with the crowd really jamming, singing the lines to No Woman, No Cry. I dont think the Wailers expected the response they got from a relatively small crowd of Irish people, but I can safetly say that they are warmly welcome back in Ireland anytime.
WAILERS, FAMILY &
Recently released by the Connoisseur Collection label comes this interesting collection of Wailers related material. Featuring tracks from the likes of Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley & The Soulettes, Familyman Barrett and Wya Lindo, the compilation offers some very interesting cuts they will be of interest to many fans.
Although it opens with the two tracks from Rita and Marcia that people will most probably already have in their collections, the CD developes track by track into an interesting look at the individual talents that have helped support the Wailers over the years. Familyman provides two instrumentals, Familyman Mood and Ten Thousand Tons Of Dollar Bills, both which find the Wailers bassist extolling his talents on the electric organ.
In another instrumental twist, Wailers organist Earl "Wya" Lindo picks up the guitar to perform the sublime Mystic Mood, a mid-seventies cut produced by Lloyd Charmers. Further instrumental noodlings come from Glen Adams & the Upsetters with the Scratch production Jolly '70 (Blast Off).
Aside from the individual I-Three's recordings, the vocal side is catered for by Dave Barker & Bunny Wailer (What A Confusion), Joe Higgs (Mademoiselle), and Carl Dawkins & The Wailers (True Love and Cloud Nine ).
The overall sound quality is excellent, and the choice of tracks is very good - avoiding using to many of the often re-issued tracks in favour of something a little more interesting. Only the choice of Marcia Griffiths songs is a let down, concentrating un- necessarly on her Lloyd Charmers productions that have already been easily available for many years. The sleeve notes are pretty good too, and it's nice to see that the cover doesn't feature the seemigly ubiquitous Marley photo that is exploited on many lesser collections.
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:
This month in 1976 saw the release of Roots Rock Reggae as a lead off single from the Rastaman Vibration album in the UK. On the UK leg of their promotional tour, Bob and the band perform stunning sets at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and at the Stardust Club in Exeter. The single fails to chart, but the album peaks at No.15
The following year, June 1977, finds Bob and the Wailers giving legendary performances at London's Rainbow Theatre. From this residency came the concert film that has become the definitive document of Bob's live shows.
June 1980: Marley and his assembled footsoldiers take Europe by storm on what was to be his final tour. A televised show in Dortmund, Germany is followed by a phenomenal gig at Milan's San Siro stadium in Italy. A record 100, 000 people attended the show on June 27th, in what was one of the highlights of Marley's career. Three days later the band play in Barcelona, where they perform a rare live version of Three Little Birds.
June 1981 heralds the release of Peter Tosh's second album for the Rolling Stones label. The UK edition differs from the Stateside version, with the inclusion of Rock With Me, Oh Bumbo Klaat and Guide Me From My Friends. The duet with Gwen Guthrie, Nothing But Love, is the solitary UK single from the album. Peter tours Europe in this month, performing in Italy, Norway and Holland, before arriving in London to play the Rainbow at the end of the month.
Number 5, May 2001
Number 4, April 2001
Number 3, March 2001
Number 2, February 2001
Number 1, January 2001
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www.bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk Django! Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae
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