Volume 1: Issue 7: July 2001

Welcome to the July 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.

click for distant drums

The next batch of re-mastered albums (Babylon By Bus, Kaya, Survival, Uprising and Confrontation) are set to be released on July 30. The final remastering sessions took place in New York at the end of June where the final track listings were decided and the final touches were made to the tracks. No track listings are currently available.

The current re-issue campaign has raised many questions among Wailers fans, with many feeling let down by the lack of previously unreleased bonus tracks. This frustration is not helped by the advertisment campaign promoting the re-issues. Magazine ads for the new editions carry the promise that "the Bob Marley legacy continues with the re- release of these landmark albums, each digitally remastered with unreleased bonus tracks."

Aside from the Catch A Fire and Burnin' re-issues, this is completely false, as the other albums so far released have only featured bonus tracks easily available elsewhere. Exactly why this inaccurate claim is being made in the promotion is unclear, but given the long term frustration endured by Marley's fans with regard to un-issued material, it is hard to forgive.

The Burnin' re-issue features 3 additional tracks. Bunny Wailer's Reincarnated Soul was originally ear-marked as the title track for the album before it was dropped from the running order. This version was previously issued on the B side of the Conceret Jungle 7".

The Opressed Song as never previously been released, although an alternate mix has been circulated on trade tapes. Bunny recut the song for his 1976 solo album Blackheart Man.

Peter Tosh's No Sympathy has also been circulated on the trade scene, and is given a different flavour from the version on his later solo album Legalize It thanks to a sweeping synthesizer.

The sound quality is improved, with a noticable difference on the intro to Pass It On, where the stereo seperation is much better, with no bleeding of the electric piano onto the opposite channel (as was the case with the previous CD edition). Disappointingly there are no liner notes, but the sleeve does re-instate the original images from the gatefold sleeve as well as the full lyrics.

It's interesting to note that the Bunny Wailer compositions are now credited to Neville Livingstone, whereas the original issues gave the credit to Jean Watt. Another discrepancy is the writing credit for Rastaman Chant, which now states traditionally arranged by Bob Marley compared to the trad. arr: The Wailers on the original. This "editing" of the Wailers in the credits is another sore point with the new issues. Even the supplied adverstisment slip only states Bob Marley; no mention of the Wailers.

Another new collection due for release comes from the vaults of Coxson Dodd's Studio One label. Trenchtown Days is scheduled to be released by Columbia Records on July 30. The album will contain tracks from the Wailers tenure at Dodd's Studio One between 1963 and 1966. No further information is currently available on the album other than it is expected to cost around £7.99.

The One Seventy Five Progress Drive album containing a 1979 Philadelphia interview conducted by Mumia Abu Jamal with Bob is finally set to be released on July 3. This is the first time that the interview will have been released to the public. The interview took place just before the Black Music Association concert in Philadelphia where Bob was joined onstage by Stevie Wonder for the encore.

Mr. Jamal was a reporter at a public-radio station before being convicted in 1982 for killing a Philadelphia police officer. He has continued to publish, do radio broadcasts and even release spoken- word albums through the San Francisco punk label Alternative Tentacles.

The album's title, 175 Progress Drive comes from the street address of the prison in Pennsylvania where Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently on death row. The Bob Marley segment on the disc runs just over a minute in length, and is in fact available free in mp3 format, from www.alternativetentacles.com

The Mumia Abu Jamal murder case is covered in the curren August issue of True Detective magazine, in an article titled Martry Or Cop Killer.

Finally arriving here for review is the latest Bob remix album, Shakedown, courtesy of the Edel and JAD labels. Released back in April, the album features more of the dance/club remixes that gave Funkstar Deluxe a brief taste of success.

It's hard as a long time Wailers fan to appreciate such tampering with what we perceive as perfection, but it would be unfair to write off such works because of our own preferences. This album is clearly not aimed at your average Wailers fan, but rather geared toward the same people who bought Funkstars works.

So how does this collection stand up in comparison to those dance hits? A direct distinction is easiest to draw with the version of Sun Is Shining present here. This is not the work of Funkstar, but rather the BNM Corp version. This mix is superior to any of the various Funkstar variations, as the vocal stays in time with the rhythm, and a reggae style piano on the offbeat is a welcome contrast to the dance beat. There is also a melodica sound that pays homage to the superb playing of Peter Tosh on the original.

Steve "Silk" Hurley offers a new perspective on the Leslie Kong classic Soul Shakedown Party, which works quite well, and could easily give the Wailers a big UK dance hit if given the chance to follow in the wake of the Funkstar singles.

The rest of the album pales in comparison; The two remixes of Sugar Sugar make for hard listening, and the remaining songs, a mix of JAD and Perry productions, just don't translate well to the dance style. Repetative rhythms, unoriginal samples and complete lack of inventiveness leave this project sounding cliched and predictable.

Only Wailers completists will need this album, where it can be filed alongside such other releases as the Mystic Mixes and Soul Almighty, where it will undoubtedly gather dust.

Another recent release that plunders the vaults of the JAD label is the disappointing Natty Rebel album. Although claiming to contain tracks previously unreleased outside of Jamaica, it merely contains tracks culled mainly from the Complete Wailers series.

In case you missed the original broadcast of Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story that first aired in the UK last year and in the US on PBS in February you can finally view this fantastic documentary thanks to Palm Pictures who released the film in both DVD and VHS formats on June 26th.

The 90 minute long documentary contains rare and unreleased footage along with interviews with band members, family, friends and ex-lovers. The quality on the DVD is crystal clear and contains bonus footage in the shape of varying TV commercials that have been released through the years for albums such as Chant Down Babylon, Songs of Freedom, Natural Mystic and Legend.

For more information on this documentary visit www.bobmarley.com or www.themarleystore.com

The Mockingbird Foundation is pleased to announce the distribution of its double-disc charity cover album. SHARIN' IN THE GROOVE: CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF PHISH includes contributions from Dave Matthews, Jimmy Buffett, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Tom Club, the Wailers, John Scofield, and Hot Tuna, plus members of Los Lobos and Pavement, and many more. Proceeds support music education for children.

The Wailers contribute a version of Makisupa Policeman, which is their first new studio release since the 1994 album Jah Message. For additional information, see < href="http://www.mockingbirdfoundation.org/album TARGET="_top">http://www.mockingbirdfoundation.org/album

Trojan Records, the classic UK reggae label that provided many of the music's biggest hits in the early 1970's has reportedly been sold for £10.25m.

The label, which has been snapped up by back catalogue group Sanctuary, own the rights to releases the Wailers recordings for Lee Perry cut between 1970-72, as well as much of the Upsetters earlier pre-Black Ark work.

Trojan has had a chequered history; The original first series label began as an Island Records off-shoot in July 1967, and was intended as an outlet for Duke Reid recordings. After a dozen single releases, the label transformed and by the end of the 1960's enjoyed a handful of UK chart successes, with hits from Bob & Marcia, Desmond Dekker and The Pioneers.

In December 1970 the label released the first UK Wailers album, Soul Rebels (TBL126), which was followed by African Herbsman in 1973. John Holt and Ken Boothe gave the label it's biggest hits in 1974, but shortly after Trojan folded after over-reaching itself.

By the mid 1980's the label had firmly re-established itself with a strong catalogue of re-issues, including several rather exploitative Wailers collections. The labels recent output has featured far more interesting collections, including the adventourous 3 CD box sets each based on different styles of Jamaican music.

Trojan Records also distributes several subsidery labels, including Receiver Records which releases punk, oi! and new wave ska.

Bob Marley and the Wailers legendary gig at the Lyceum in London was recently recalled by Familyman Barrett and Marcia Griffiths on the BBC2 show "I Love 1975". The programme, which was originally aired last year, also featured comments from Madness singer Suggs and photographer Dennis Morris.

Suggs remarked: "Seeing them on the Old Grey Whistle Test (in 1973), sent shockwaves through all the youth clubs in the area that I lived in, 'cos they looked like they'd come from outer-space. He still had the little locks at that time, and Peter Tosh had a bobble hat and the big fly glasses, and they just looked like nothing I'd ever seen before.

Dennis Morris: "I was still at school at the time, and I wanted to be a photographer. I'd read that he was coming over to do this concert at a club called the Speakeasy, so I decided to bunk off school that day. Eventually they turned up, So I walked up to them, Bob in particular, and said: "I'm Dennis Morris, can I take a photograph of you?" He looked at me and laughed because of my cockney accentand said " yeah man, yeah man, come in, come in. He just lit this spliff, and I swear it was like the whole room was on fire! Yeah, it's an iconic image-every student has got that photo on their wall. I'm quite proud of that!."

DJ Trevor Nelson: "No Woman No Cry was like our anthem; my dad actually liked a record we liked! He controlled the music in the car, it was his system- we were allowed to play No Woman No Cry over and over again!"

The programme stated that if there was one live act to see in 1975, it was Bob Marley and the Wailers, and if there was one particular gig, it was at the Lyceum.

Suggs: "A lot of my friends had been to see them at the Rainbow a couple of years earlier, and there were already huge pockets of people who were very excited that he was coming to London again."

Dennis Morris: "People came from everywhere, and descended on the Lyceum."

Familyman: " I said, why so many people outside? you nuh open the gate yet? And when I went inside the place, it was rammed with people! They came out to hear the message, and to get it. Well, we get to understand the were going to tape the show, and were considering to make a live album out of it."

Dennis Morris: " I was there with my camera, and then Bob walked on stage, and from that moment it just became a sauna! The Lyceum was just jam jam packed"

Marcia Griffiths: "That particular show at the Lyceum was the one that opened everyones eyes to the power that this man really had."

On the 6th July, Bob was also the subject of the BBC Choice series Rock Shrines. The series covered the events at Bob's mausoleum in Nine Miles on May 11th 2000, and featured comments from the local guides, old friends and visitors.

By James Wilson

I was fortunate enough to have seen the Wailers play last night at BB Kings place in New York. It was simply amazing, without question the greatest show I have ever attended. I was also very lucky to have spent long periods backstage with the band and the greatest surprise of all was that Seeco was in attendance! Truly a dream come true to have met with Al, Fams, Wya and Seeco all in the one night.

I knew the night was going to be special when as I was walking into the venue Seeco walked right by me! It was great to actually have the chance to meet and greet Seeco, a real honour for me. Seeco was extremely kind and very humble and took time to talk to the fans.

I was able to go backstage to see the band before the start of the first set and had a chance to talk with Al, Fams, Seeco and Gary Pine amongst others. Everyone was so kind and friendly, especially Al. It was great to talk to Al about DD and he was very appreciative of all our hard works. He made sure that we were given the VIP treatment all night long and even made sure that we had an endless supply of beers too!

The first set was a lively affair with Al really shining with some fantastic guitar solos, especially on The Heathen. However the bad news was that Wya was missing, everyone backstage was worried about him as he had not turned up, the last anyone had seen of him was at the airport in Heathrow, so the show went ahead with only the one keyboard player and no Wya which was slightly disappointing.

The first set opened with the usual 2 Familyman instrumentals, Cobra Sytle and Well Pleased which was followed by a heavy rendition of Natural Mystic. Gary was in great form on Runnin Away/Crazy Baldhead during which the new generation of I-Two's joined the stage. Gary spoke of the honour at playing at BB Kings Place and had the venue singing along "We're gonna chase those crazy, chase those crazy baldheads, chase those crazy baldheads out of New York town".

Lively Up Yourself gave Gary a chance to skank away on stage ala Bob with Al laying down some exhubarant guitar licks to the fans delight. Wake Up & Live featured a wonderful drum and bass section with Fams really getting the crowd worked into a frenzy. Chants of Familyman could be heard all night long. War/No More Trouble featured some new lyrics towards the end of War whilst Roots, Rock, Reggae had the crowd on their feet skanking away, lost in the music. Positive Vibration had a very rootsy feel to it, whilst The Heathen closed the first set, it was really amazing to see Al take center stage and pump out one of his magical guitar solo's. An extended dub section at the end allowed Gary to dance in time with the I-Two's to great effect.

As the band left the stage to great applause Familyman was given a hero's reception. At the end of the set we were once again invited to go backstage where we had the chance to talk to the band. Al said that he started to get tendanitous during his extended solo on The Heathen! Then from out of no where Wya walked into the dressing room! He was given loud cheers and a round of applause for his welcomed appearance. It would seem as though Wya missed his scheduled plane from Heathrow and had to catch a later flight. It was great to be in the same room with Al, Fams, Wya and Seeco. Wya was rather quiet however became quite animated when discussing his 1976 interview at the Beacon whilst playing with Peter Tosh where Wya spent most of the interview playing his acoustic guitar. Everyone was kind enough to pose for photos and sign autographs.

This time Wya joined the band for the second set which once again began with Cobra Style, Well Please and Natural Mystic though the rest of the set was completely different from the first. This time the Wailers pulled out classics such as Rebel Music (the crowd were screaming along with Gary at times), I Shot The Sheriff and Stir It Up. Want More was a real highlight of the show for me, a spine tingling performance with Fams heavy basslines bubbling away, the extended dub section gave everyone a chance to dance along with the rhythm, pulling at even the most reluctant toes.

The rootsyness continued with Rat Race, another highlight for me. By now everyone was just caught up with the emotion. A Bend Down Low, Kaya medley was up next, with a very smooth transition, as soon as the first notes of Kaya hit the crowd erupted with large cheers. The thick smoggy air swirling around the venue with Gary mixing up the lyrics and even adding a new verse at the end.

Real Situation was a joy to hear, giving us a rough idea of what the song might have sounded like if Bob were to have played this concert. The backstage curtains started to twitch and out stepped Seeco! He joined us on the floor for Keep On Moving and Jammin to my delight, simply amazing to be standing next to Seeco whilst watching Al, Wya and Fams up on stage. The set closed with a chanty version of Get Up Stand Up. By the time the set had ended and the band had left the stage to huge roars I had lost my voice.

For the third time in the evening we were invited backstage to once again hang out with the band, take more pictures, etc.. The whole band were very approachable and made the night unforgettable. They were truly amazing. I will be attending the July 14 show in Atlantic City. This time Al invited us to the soundcheck too, should be great, I can not wait.

Bob is currently on the cover of the July 13 issue of Goldmine magazine; a magazine aimed at the record buying market. Inside is a 5 page spread on Bob including a discography and some great pictures of Bob, including a picture from the 1978 Roskilde Festival show in Denmark.

Bob on cover of Discoveries Magazine:
Another record magazine featuring Bob on the cover is Discoveries magazine. This magazine takes a look at Bob's musical legacy and current re-issues.

The third magazine that Bob is featured in this month is Mojo magazine. The July issue of the magazine features a look at the recently released Live! remaster and features a never before published photo of Bob performing at the Lyceum.

Record Collector
The July '01 edition of Record Collector magazine (No.263) includes an article on collectiong Jamaican music by Jeremy Collingwood. The article, Reggae Got Soul, features Lee Perry, the Heptones, Prince Buster and of course the Wailers. Among the rare records listed is an original Jamaican pressing of Tell Them Lord on Musik City, which will set you back in excess of £500! The magazine also features a review of the Judy Mowatt & The Gaylettes compilation We Shall Sing.

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 : robertovive@portalx.com.uy
And you can hear by clicking "X FM"" on this site:
¡Roberto Vive!

In July 1973 the Wailers opened for a young Philadelphia rock musician known as Bruce Springsteen.

17th and 18th July 1975: Bob and the Wailers perform their legendary sets at London's Lyceum. The tie in live album produces the hit single No Woman No Cry which breaks the band nationally for the first time. The band also appear on the US Manhattan Transfer Show, where they perform Kinky Reggae.

July '78: Bob plays a Haile Selassie birthday gig on the 23rd at the Santa Barbara Bowl CA. The show features a rare live outing for Sun Is Shining.

July 7th 1979: Bob and the Wailers play the second Reggae Sunsplash festival at Jarrett Park, Montego Bay. The rootsy set features the revival of Hypocrites, as well as the Jamaican only single Rastaman Live Up.

1986: The disappointing Rebel Music album struggles to a lowly No.54 in the album chart.

26th July 1992: Bunny Wailer performs an outstanding set at Nature Farm in Jamaica.

Previous Updates:
Number 6, July 2001     Number 5, May 2001
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