Volume 1: Issue 8: August 2001
Welcome to the August 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.
REMASTER OR REHASH?
The current Marley remaster campaign continues with the recent release of updated editions of Kaya, Babylon By Bus, Survival and Confrontation. Although a remastering job on Bob and the Wailers back catalogue has been long overdue in the eyes of many - as has been written on this site in previous months - the most recent releases seem to leave a lot to be desired.
The expectations of comitted music fans often far outstrips the goods eventually delivered by record companies, and this is the case with the latest quartet of CD's.
Kaya, originally released in 1978, features the bonus track Smile Jamaica (version), something of an an odd choice for inclusion on this disc, as it was actually recorded two years previous. Although the Lee Perry produced cut of Smile Jamaica was used as the B side of the 1978 single Satisfy My Soul in the UK, this track feels completely out of place here. A question mark also hangs over the omission of the beautiful instrumental cut of Crisis that adorned the B side of Is This Love, which would be right at home here.
There is also an interesting dub cut of Is This Love that emerged out of France a few years ago that would have been ripe for inclusion, not to mention a demo of the same track featuring a completely different phrasing of the chorus. The mystical (yet all too brief) remix of Time Will Tell from the Countryman film, a stunningly different arrangement of She's Gone and the dubs of Running Away and Sun Is Shining (mixed by Dennis Thompson) could all have been used to make this re-issue even more enticing.
Babylon By Bus comes without any additional music, but taking into account that this is a double album on single CD, clocking in at 78 minutes, this is understandable. The new edition does come with revamped artwork however.
Survival originally arrived in 1979, and saw Bob swipe aside all criticism that he had "gone soft" with a militant 10 track tour de force. The only track added to the original running order here is a 12" remix of Ride Natty Ride that was previously collected on the Songs Of Freedom boxset in 1992.
The potential for further additions here is even greater than with Kaya. Alongside further dub mixes from Dennis Thompson (including the instrumental version of So Much Trouble In The World issued on 7"), there are numerous demos and alternative cuts languishing in the vaults. The contrasting version of Babylon System for instance, that forgoes the nyabinghi drums of the released cut in favour of a more assertive arrangement, and the extended version of One Drop, with Bob breaking into a sensational scat vocal as the song draws to a close are the prime candidates overlooked here.
For Uprising Island/Tuff Gong have opted to include the band version of Redemption Song and the extended cut of Could You Be Loved. This sadly means that there is no place for Every Need Got An Ego To Feed (the instrumental cut to Pimper's Paradise), the killer extended dub remix of We And Them, the retitled 12" Zion Express, or the intriguing demo of Could You Be Loved.
The 1983 compilation Confrontation now comes with the 7+ minute 12" version of Buffalo Soldier as it's sole addition. It would have been nice to see the original Jamaican mixes of Blackman Redemption, Rastaman Live Up (both from 1978), I Know and Trenchtown included, as they would offer a clear distinction between the approach to mixing for the Wailers homeland audience and the overseas market.
Further additions could have come in the form of the "King Sporty" version of Buffalo Soldier (issued on white lable in 1985), the dub mixes of the 4 Jamaican singles mentioned in the previous paragraph, as well as picking from the contrasting demo versions in existence. It would probably be too much to expect the full 25 minute acoustic tape of Mix Up Mix Up to be considered, but the initial 8 minute edit would be nice to hear.
Out of the 9 individual re-mastered albums that were re-released from Island they contained a meager 12 bonus tracks of which only 2 were genuinely unreleased, the facts speak for themselves.
However, it must be said that the sound quality on the re-mastered albums is improved and there is a noticeable difference. Though for the amount that the re-mastered albums are selling for will most fans want more than a sound upgrade to part with their money?
Kaya (1978) bonus: Smile Jamaica (version)
Babylon By Bus (1978), no bonuses
Survival (1979), bonus: Ride Natty Ride 12"
Uprising (1980), bonuses: Redemption Song (band version), Could You Be Loved 12"
Confrontation (1983), bonus: Buffalo Soldier 12"
The rest of the re-issue project is supposed to shape up as follows.
Exodus: Deluxe Edition (the original album remastered and expanded with up to 25 tracks)
Legend: Deluxe Edition (a two-CD set, with one CD the remastered original album and one CD featuring the 1984 "Legend" 12" remixes).
Digital remasters of Legend, Rebel Music, Talkin' Blues, and Natural Mystic.
Summer and Fall 2002
Plans for a new-multi CD set The Tuff Gong Singles; a Live!: Deluxe Edition and a multi- CD live box set.
EXODUS DELUXE SET
It is believed that the Exodus deluxe set which is set to be released in September will be a real mix up, mix up and on the whole a let down. The 2 CD deluxe set is expected to contain the original album re-mastered on one disc, whilst the second disc will contain studio tracks such as Roots and Punky Reggae Party, the 12" mixes of Exodus and Jammin and to tie off the second disc, tracks from the 1977 Rainbow Theater concert that was released on video.
It is disappointing that it would appear that no unreleased or alternate tracks will be released on this deluxe set, especially when you consider how much unreleased material from this period exists (in the shape of acoustic composing tapes, unreleased songs, alternate demos and rehearsal tapes). It was first hoped that the original horn mixes would be released on the second disc but this no longer appears to be the case.
After the glowing response the Catch A Fire deluxe set received (and quite right too) it is disappointing that Island have returned to times of old and decided to release as little as is possible. The first set of re-masters contained very little genuine unreleased material whilst the second batch contains even less with almost all of the bonus tracks having been issued on CD already.
JUMP DEM RELEASED
The previously unreleased Bob Marley song Jump Dem has been released to DJ's worldwide. The acoustic composing track was originally recorded in 1980 has been released on the Nine Miles label by Bob's step-brother Ritchie Booker/Marley. Ritchie has added his own vocals to the track giving it a very unique feel.
The 12" single that has been issued to DJ's include 4 mixes; Radio Mix, Dub Mix, Original Mix, and Club Mix. The original mix is a reggae version, whilst the other 3 have a more upbeat/dance feel to them. The 1980 track Jump Them was found at Bob's mother's house in Miami on a reel that has become infamous amongst Marley collectors known as the "Mother B tape". The dub was mixed by Carl Peterson who also produced the Wailers cut of Makisupa Policeman that was released on the "Sharin' In The Groove" Phish tribute album.
PETER TOSH - LIVE & DANGEROUS
After a number of delays, the highly anticipated "Live & Dangerous: Boston 1976" album is finally set to hit the stores on August 7th. The album to be released on the Columbia/Legacy label will contain 11 tracks that were originally recorded on October 24th, 1976 at the Warner Theater in Boston, Massachusetts during Peter's debut solo tour. The album has already received released in Sweden and has been given rave reviews by fans who have been fortunate enough to snap up copies of this rootsy performance. This album is definitely a treat for fans and collectors alike; many fans believe that Peter's 1976 Legalize It tour with a rootsy feel produced some of Peter's greatest ever performances.
Live And Dangerous: Boston 1976
1. Instrumental Intro
2. Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)
3. 400 Years
4. No Sympathy
6. Mark Of The Beast
7. Babylon Queendom
8. Why Must I Cry?
9. Whatcha Gonna Do
10. Stepping Razor
11. Ketchy Shuby
PETER TOSH - I AM THAT I AM
The second Peter Tosh album to be released this month is one of the most anticipated Peter albums of all time; I Am That I Am, a selection of acoustic cuts and interview clips. The album is to be released on the JAD label on August 14th, a week after the live set is released. The album is expected to contain 15 interview segments as well as 13 acoustic songs. The interview segments collect material from interviews conducted in Oregon 1977 and Vienna 1980.
The interview clips manage to convey both Peter's militant and sensitive sides and give the world a chance to hear Peter talk intimately and openly on a number of topics. One of the real highlights of the disc is Peter's version of Richie Haven's Handsome Johnny, which was recorded by Peter in late 1976 for Dermott Hussey's radio show during an ad break; just one of the many gems on this unmissable collection.
This is one of the years most anticipated albums after the Catch A Fire deluxe set and is sure to be a big hit, a great pity that Island/Universal do not have the foresight to do the same type of project with Bob, with countless hours of unreleased acoustic tracks in the vaults and an extensive re-mastered series taking place now would have been the perfect opportunity to give the world what they have been crying out for; an unplugged Bob album.
Thumbs up must be given to JAD for the way they have so far handled the most recent Tosh releases.
WAILERS BAND LIVE IN
By James Wilson
I was fortunate to have seen the Wailers play for the second time within a month. This time I was lucky to have attended the show at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City on July 14. Myself and friends (Jack, Amy and Dan) arrived early and almost immediately bumped into Wya at the hotel lobby. We went straight up to Wya and were greeted with a big smile and were invited to the soundcheck. Wya seemed genuinely pleased to see us and glad that we were able to make it to the show, we spent a short time talking about the BB Kings show before Wya told us that there were new backing singers for the evenings show.
After walking around the Trump Marina for 30 minutes (trying not to gamble away the little money I had) we went to the room where the show was to take place later in the evening to sit in on the soundcheck. As we walked in Wya's organ was bubbling away playing the riff to Crazy Baldheads. It was then that I saw the presence of Glen Da Costa and Vin Gordon (two members of the Zap Pow horns that toured with Bob in 1979) onstage much to my delight. It was really great to see these two legends up on stage and knowing that the evenings show was to feature the horns. There were about 8 of us sitting in on the soundcheck, giving a very intimate feel, as if we had our own private concert. The band (minus Al and Fams who were running late and had yet to check in) launched into Natty Dread, with the horn section really adding to the groove, the sound was almost identical to some of Bob's west coast 1979 shows.
From here the band slipped into Could You Be Loved, with Wya's organ swirling around and the horns giving the song a unique feel. Then Gary pulled the two new female backing singers to one side and they tested their mics, before running the girls through War, featuring very sporadic instrumentation, almost an acappella feel at times, the girls had extremely sweet voices and were in perfect harmony with Gary.
Gary then led the band through a pounding version of Rastaman Chant before Gary took over on drums from Drummie for Natural Mystic, the lights were dimmed and smoke started swirling through the air, a real amazing moment. Gary then ran the band through I Shot The Sheriff, Rebel Music and Stir It Up before finally ending with a spirited (yet humorous) a cappella take on Soft Cell's Tainted Love.
During the soundcheck the whole band were very approachable and took a long time to talk with us, sign autographs and take photos. Drummie was extremely friendly and we were able to sit down and talk with him at great length about his own band. Wya then came over and signed some pictures whilst reading the new issue of Distant Drums. Glen Da Costa and Vin Gordon then both came over to our table, what a great experience to meet these to fabulous hornsmen and a great surprise too, I was not aware that they would be at the show and to have them there was an added bonus. Both took the time to sign everything that was put in front of them.
Glen spoke about the Survival tour and the times he spent with Bob, giving us some incredible insights to the tour. Finally Gary came over and we spent some time talking about the BB Kings show and about Distant Drums magazine. Then just as the soundcheck had ended and the band had gone back to their hotel rooms, Fams walked in! He immediately came over to us and greeted us, he then graciously took us backstage, where I stumbled across an amazing laminated billboard poster advertising the evenings show. I grabbed one, which Fams kindly signed. Al eventually turned up about an hour or so after the soundcheck had ended and went through a mini-soundcheck of his own playing a few riffs of Rebel Music before retiring to his hotel room, although not before stopping to talk with us and make sure that we were staying for the evenings show.
After some minor problems with the over enthusiastic security (who refused to let anyone (including the band!) with VIP passes inside the venue)) we made it inside. The show began as usual with the two Familyman instrumentals; Cobra Style and Well Pleased. The venue was packed, you couldn't move inside. Then Fams' heavy basslines began Natural Mystic as the girls walked onstage soon followed by Gary 'Nesta' Pine. The smoke was thick and swirling, the lights were bright and the Wailers were as tight as ever! The horns really added to the feel of the song. Positive Vibration also benefited from the presence of the Zap Pow horns, the female backing singers seemed more confident after a rather nervy start.
As the opening bars of Real Situation began the crowd erupted, everyone was singing and dancing along with Gary as the drum and bass grooved the song along. Wake Up & Live was a near 10 minute epic, Gary dropping in and out, dancing across the stage before skanking in time with the I-Two's. When Gary dropped out the HEAVY drum and bass continued with Fams basslines really pounding throughout the walls, Al's solo's were intense and the whole place was rocking in tune with the band. The rhythm pulling the crowd in one direction before Gary swept us in another.
The addition of the horns was amazing and seeing Glen onstage singing and pointing away ala Santa Barbara 1979 was a special moment. It was if it was 1979 all over again. Wya's organ pumped away through Them Belly Full with Gary's vocals once again cutting in and out of the mix. Gary gave a brief livication before the band proceeded with a real sing-along version of I Shot The Sheriff. Everyone was shouting and screaming along with Gary as he mimicked Bob.
The crowd was under a spell of Wailers magic as Rebel Music began. Gary singing passionately with the I-Two's becoming more and more confident. It was at this point that Al asked for the lights to be turned down slightly as they were shining in his eyes, interfering with his solo. A long dubby rendition of Runnin Away melted into Crazy Baldhead as once again Gary mixed up the lyrics informing the crowd that "we're gonna chase those crazy baldheads out of Atlantic City". Everyone cheered long and hard.
Fams' familiar basslines opened War which had the crowd cheering his name. War was a lengthy affair with Gary dancing to one side of the stage before darting across the other allowing Wya to take center stage. No More Trouble followed featuring new lyrics towards the end. It was great to see Gary add his own twist to the song and the crowd clapped long and hard to show their appreciation. A rootsy version of Trenchtown Rock was very reminiscent of the Live! video, before Gary took some time to dance in time with the I-Two's. Lively Up Yourself gave Gary a chance to skank away on stage ala Bob with Al laying down some exhubarant guitar licks and solos to the fans delight. Al once again took center stage during his solo on a very extended version of The Heathen, giving his all as he pumped out some delicate riffs, Wya's organ bubbled away whilst Drummie and Fams provided the heavy drum and bass. An extended dub section at the end allowed Gary to dance in time with the I-Two's to great effect before he finally returned to the mic to use lyrics from Be Wise; a great medley used to great effect. Gary improvised the song to a close to rapturous applause and chants.
By now the crowd were in one with the band and we were being taken into another realm as Keep On Moving began, the old Wailers classic was given a lengthy work out with the horns featuring prominently, Vin and Glen leading the band on before Gary introduced them personally and then the whole band, everyone receiving hero like cheers and cries. Gary introduced No Woman No Cry which he dreadicated to all the ladies in the audience which may have brought the loudest cheers of the night. The crowd were literally shouting along to Gary as the music pumped out so loud. Gary responded by giving the crowd around 6 verses of the "Everything is gonna be alright" verse before then giving a touching speech about the troubles in Jamaica and how women are suffering all over the world including his own mother. Pure magic and a great touch from Gary.
Stir It Up closed the main set with the crowd once again joining in at every possible moment, Gary danced and threw himself around onstage before once more introducing the band and leaving the stage to a huge applause. Then each band member left one by one receiving a standing ovation and wild name calling. Fams was the last to leave the stage clapping his hands and spurring us all on.
The crowd were screaming for more, after about 10 minutes the band finally returned to a huge applause. Straight away the band went into Jammin. The crowd were singing, dancing, shouting, screaming and caught up in all the emotion. Half way through the song the crowd started the "Woy yoy" chant which gave me chills down my spine, then Gary responded to this and lead the crowd through a call and response chant, at times even handing the mic to some lucky fans who had the chance to sing along with Gary. After about 5 or 6 minutes of the Woy yoy chant Gary and the band left the stage for the night, their work for the evening over. Michael T (the MC for the night, local DJ and personal friend) thanked everyone for coming before cheekily leading the crowd through a couple more "Woy yoy" chants!
At this time we went backstage and had the chance to talk with the band about the show. Glen and Drummie were very enthusiastic about the crowd. Wya sat in the corner recovering from a pulsating 90 minute set, before being joined by Gary and Fams. At this point I had the chance to have the whole band sign the poster I had picked up earlier in the day. What a great piece of memorabilia and something to always remember the show by. It is a real work of art. Once more everyone posed for photos (including the incredibly beautiful I-Two's). At this point the 11:45 curfew had come in to play and we all had to leave the backstage area. We said our good byes and thank you's to the band and we were on our way. Another highly successful night.
In my opinion the Wailers are the tightest they have been since Bob's passing and are very hot right now, selling out where ever they are playing. They are also very humble, sincere, friendly and welcoming people, always willing to spend time with the fans A big thank you once again to the band!
By Andy Clayden
While James Wilson was fortunate enough to be Stateside taking in the real Wailers band, I had to make do with an afternoon in Gravesend with Bob Marley tribute act The Trenchtown Experience. I'm very dubious when it comes to tribute acts. I've seen some very good ones over the past few years, but also some cringe inducing acts that still send a shiver down my spine.
So off I set with deep reservations and arrived just in time to get soaked by the first of several rain showers. When the band took to the stage, it was disappointing to see they were only a five piece, no harmonies, no horn section. Although the backing musicians were fairly tight, the real star was Aqua Levi on vocals. Not falling into the trap of pretending to be Bob (unlike so many other acts who actually claimed they WERE the real thing), Levi's own bright personality was allowed to shine through, and it was nice to hear him also give credit to Peter and Bunny. One small problem was the rather haphazard setlist; Redemption Song came far too early in the set, although I have to say it was a very nice lilting arrangement. Three Little Birds and One Love/People Get Ready were predictable for the mainstream audience, but the band excelled on the closing jams of Get Up Stand Up and Exodus.
Of course it goes no way toward substituting for Bob, or even seeing the current Wailers Band for that matter, but for a fun day out it was great to hear the music being performed live, and with a very humble approach .
The Trenchtown Experience are not the only Marley tribute act on the road; also performing Bob's music live are Buffalo Souljah and a band called Duppy Conquerors. If ever you're at a loose end and you have the chance, you could do worse than check them out.
"BOB MARLEY" IN TALENT
Another tribute was paid to Bob in the form of an impersonator on the TV show Stars In Their Eyes. The show allows members of the public the opportunity to perform dressed as the star of their choice. In David Davidsons case that choice was Bob Marley. Having won a previous heat, Davidson took to the stage once again and performed Bob's 1978 hit Is This Love in the Grand Final.
Hotly tipped by the bookies to take the first prize, David did an admirable job, dressed in typically Marley denims and wearing a not too embarrassing dreadlock wig. Surprisingly the backing musicians also made a passable effort of recreating the track, and the final touch was the inclusion of David's very own "I-Three's".
Following the performance, Al Anderson and Wya Lindo passed on their best wishes to David by way of a very brief filmed interview, giving them rare exposure on prime time UK TV. Unfortunatley for David the vote went against him, and he was narrowly beaten into second place by Emma Wilkinson performing as Dusty Springfield.
KY-MANI MARLEY : MANY MORE
Many More Roads is Ky-Mani's second official album (there was a dubious collection of Bob covers issued a few years ago) following on from his well received debut The Journey. This new collection finds Ky-Mani continuing to assert his own talent on the industry, without requiring the need to trade on his world famous surname (despite the very impressive tattoo of his father he sports on his right arm).
Having scored a big hit with his touching "Dear Dad" utilising the Crazy Baldhead rhythm a few years ago, it would have been all to easy for Ky-Mani to fall into the trap of attempting to recreate that success by relying on his fathers work as a basis for his own. Instead he has taken the challenge to Babylon in his own style, and the music world is all the better off for it.
Many More Roads kicks off with Who We Are, a solid opener featuring a busy vocal from Ky-Mani that twists and turns restlessly throughout the tune. The title track is a far more relaxed affair, with the young Marley sounding a lot more reflective of his plight.
The often employed metaphor used in Heart Of A Lion manages to avoid sounding tired and cliched, with Ky-Mani breathing fresh life into the statement by way of his brisk vocal attack. Yesterday is another meditative track, and stands as one of the collections highlights with a smattering of horns and sweetly arranged vocals.
Marcia Griffiths contributes to the backing vocals on Freedom, one of the albums most elaborately arranged productions, which is followed by the contrasting Love In The Morning, built upon a sparse electronic rhythm.
Ska-Ba-Dar reveals Ky-Mani's willingness to adopt modern dancehall influences into his own music. Unlike some of his brothers, he has not yet felt the need to import rap and hip-hop styles to his work, and this is just one reason why I find his recent recordings more successful than that of his siblings. Another example of this is on Ina De Dance, where Ky-Mani could easily be mistaken for Buju! A shame that the rhythm built here is the weakest point of the whole album.
Lyrically impressive, Ky-Mani has created a work of compounded strength by setting his word to rhythms with a varying flavour, although there is a slight un-eveness in the production quality from track to track. This does not weaken the overall work however, and Many More Roads reveals itself to be a work of impressive quality.
DAMIEN MARLEY : HALFWAY
Damien Marley releases a new album on Motown Records on August 21st. Produced by brother Stephen Marley, the record also features a strong supporting cast, including guest appearances from Bunny Wailer, Yami Bolo, Bounty Killer and Capleton. Track listing:
2. Educated Fools feat. B.Killer, Bunny Wailer & Treach
3. More Justice
4. It Was Written feat. Stephen Marley, Capleton & Drag-On
5. Nazareth (Interlude)
6. Slave Driver feat. Stephen Marley
7. Still Searching feat. Yami Bolo & Stephen Marley
8. She Needs My Love feat. Yami Bolo
9. Mi Blenda
10. Where's The Love feat. Eve
11. Born To Be Wild feat. Stephen Marley
12. Give Them Some Way feat. Daddigon
13. Half Way Tree (Interlude)
14. Paradise Child feat. Jimmy Cozier & Mr.Cheeks
15. Stuck In Between
16. Cool and Dandy feat. Daddigon
17. Halfway Tree
18. Ali (Interlude)
19. Stand A Chance feat. Yami Bolo & Treach
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:
August 1965: Island Records release three Wailers singles in the UK this month; Hoot Nanny Hoot/Do You Remember, Playboy/Your Love and Holligan (sic)/Maga Dog.
August 29, 1975 - Bob's first solo Jamaican show took place at the National Arena in Kingston playing for almost 3 hours until 5 AM in the morning.
August 1976 - Bob's second solo studio album, Rastaman Vibration is released. The same month sees Peter releases his debut solo album Legalize It. While Peter is pictured in a field surrounded by ganja leaves, Bob's album jacket was described as "great for cleaning herb".
August 1979 - Peter's second album on the Rolling Stones record label Mystic Man is released.
August 23, 1983 - Peter's performance at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, USA was recorded and later released as Captured Live on album and video.
August 31st 2000. The Wailers Band, with Gary Pine on vocal, perform a short set during the 5th test match between England and the West Indies which is broadcast live on Channel 4.
Number 7, July 2001
Number 6, June 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