Volume 1: Issue 10: October 2001
Welcome to the October 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.
STILL THE TOUGHEST
By James Wilson
October 18, 2001 marks Peter's 57th birthday. The past year has been a very good year for Peter and his fans. The release of the acoustical disc of word, sound and power I Am That I Am and the stage genius featured on
Live & Dangerous have been met with wide applause and appreciation, giving the world a chance to hear a new side of Peter.
These coupled with the news of plans to re-issue Peter's back catalogue are heart warming, the re-promoting of Peter's albums has been in dire need. Tosh's albums have been very hard to obtain for years, hopefully this new marketing campaign will make the albums easier to obtain and make the world more aware of Peter and his talents. It is a sad fact that Peter has not received the due recognition he deserves, even from those who claim to know the music.
Many young music fans will get a wonderful chance to look at Tosh and examine the worth of his contribution to world affairs through the re-issuing of his material. With time, as these albums are listened to Peter will receive his due credit.
Peter's songs ranged from biting social commentary on Can't Blame The Youth, 400 Years and Poor Man Feel It, cries for the legalization of herb through Legalize It and Bush Doctor, whilst Igziabeher and Rastafari Is offer praise for Jah. Peter also sang about personal anger and frustation on Guide Me From My Friends and Brand New Second Hand, singing about his homeland Africa; Mama Africa and heritage; African.
Tosh was no stranger to self asserting, boastful songs with I'm The Toughest and Stepping Razor warning the world that he is dangerous, while the philosphy of life shines though on Come Together and Fools Die, Peter also sang about cries for world liberation on Equal Rights and No Nuclear War, these songs are as fresh and current as they were when they were first penned.
A messenger for Jah, he carried the message of equal rights, justice, love and spreading the name and works of Jah Rastafari. He was willing to fight all the vampires and duppies in the world to see that his people succeeded. Peter wanted an end to the abuses of the Jamaican government. He saw all the hypocrisy, and filth, and the corruption that there was in Jamaica and throughout the world, and he wanted to see an end to it.
Peter Tosh was proud of who he was and not hesitant in the slightest to prove himself, after all Peter was the toughest rude boy of them all.
Sonic Sounds could not have selected a better time to re-issue Tosh's recordings. Some of the themes that are dominant in Tosh's works are at play in today's national and global political debate. His works have been created out of a mould that is above parochial existence. His music never lost it's defiant spirit. It's time for the world to be re-introduced to Peter and his music, his legacy will continue to grow and grow, finally giving Peter the recognition he deserves.
NEW PETER WEBSITE
As the Tosh bandwagon continues to gather a roaring head of steam, a brand new website devoted to the Steppin' Razor has been unveiled by James Wilson. Peter's work has surprisingly been overlooked by many website creators, with only a few meagre pages paying tribute to the great man. All that has now changed however, with a truly worthy site launched to coincide with Peter's birthday.
To access the site, which features news, reviews, articles and contributions from fans, point you web browser toward www.petertosh.freeserve.co.uk.
LIVE & DANGEROUS
Released back in August of this year, Peter Tosh's phenomenal performance at the Sander's Theatre in Boston on November 26th 1976 represents one of the finest live album releases of recent years. If you haven't picked up this amazing release yet, here's what you're missing...
A thunderous 6 minute instrumental opens the disc. A wonderful bluesy rhythm with Wya's organ bubbling away and Robbie's basslines thick and heavy. Sly and Robbie leading the band as Al Anderson and Don Kinsey add some wonderful guitar licks. The band were tight and in a groove. Peter had yet to grace the stage but already the band had set the tone for the evening. Wya's organ solo's punctuate the mix nicely alongside keyboardist Tarzan. The two made for a great combination alongside the two lead guitarists, Sly and Robbie with Skully providing percussions. A crash on the symbols by Sly closes the intro jam and the count in to Igziabeher follows.
Igziabeher begins with a great swirling intro, as Peter arrives onstage to a loud cheer, his deep powering voice echoes throughout the theater. Peter adding his famous scratch guitar riffs. Peter singing his praises to Jah. The chopping guitar riffs filled out the bands sound. Peter pacing the song to perfection, the crowd hanging on every word. "Igziabeher, let Jah be praised, madanialam let Jah be praised" sings Peter with his chest puffed out.
The final verse features crashing symbols immitating lightening, brimstone and fire. Peter sounding menacing on the "kill them dead, before them spread" verse. Peter's chopping guitar is interspersed by some wonderful organ licks. The song coming to a rousing end with a wonderful extended outro.
A thumping intro signals the start of 400 Years. The male harmonies provided by the rest of the band. Tosh turning his attentions to 400 years of mental slavery, it's about time black people rose up. A rallying cry for the opressed. Peter sounding furious with a very passionate version, improvising and adding lyrics to great effect. Peter stops the band midway through the song leaving the chopping guitar riffs and male harmonies for support. The band begin to pick up the pace. "Slavery come and slavery go". Some wonderful keyboard licks from Tarzan, bubbling and throbbing away alongside the rich drum and bass sounds.
A deep rootsy version of No Sympathy features soaring guitar solos. Peter outlining his troubles and lack of sympathetic love, holding onto the notes for what seems an eternity. A gloomy, mesmeric version. The twin guitar sound to the forefront. The band all join in during a great verbal exchange offering places to look for love. "Look in your back pocket, look in your heart, can you find your love?". "Take a look in your heart, lookin on the outside not on the inside".
Don's guitar solo really shines. Peter putting his heart and soul in, his lips resting on the mic, as he stands tall playing rhythm guitar. Peter then starts up the band again for an amazing finale. The band kick in with a rocking finish to close the song. The twangy basslines supplied by Robbie. As the song comes to a close the crowd clap and cheer, the band start to tune up a little.
Peter then calls in the Bishop, asking if anyone has seen Bishop Brown. The rhythm for Burial begins as Robbie improvises a speech. Informing the crowd that "bredda Iron Shirt passed away and rasta not going to his funeral". The rhythm is pulsating, the band incredibly tight, the sign of a well rehearsed band that gelled together. Skully featuring throughout on percussion. Wya supplying a heavy thumpy rhythm. Peter's rich vocals are backed up by the male harmonies.
Robbie stops the track and starts to give another improvised talk about Iron Shirt. "Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust, and if God don't get you, then the devil must". The pace once again picks up. The band dub out the track with cheers ringing around the theater. A wonderful 3 minute dub of drum and bass with a touch of percussion, the music lightens up and eases off with Wya joining in with some faint organ licks.
Originally recorded in 1973 and a big hit in Jamaica, Mark Of The Beast recounts the story of Peter's Police beating for the possession of herb. As slow rootsy take with glorious harmonies. "They make pledges to destroy even their own mother, so you can imagine what they will do to my black brother". A soulful like rendition. The whole band get a chance to showcase their talents during the instrumental break. Peter and the band repeating "me know them a wicked" to great effect. Robbie's basslines are chunky as Tarzan throws in some wonderful licks. Peter fades out early to concerntrate on playing rhythm guitar.
A few seconds of tuning starts Babylon Queendom; originally recorded in 1975 and released in Jamaica on a 7" single. A popular track with Peter and the band. It is very surprising that this wonderful track never found it's way onto an album. "Gimme back me gold, me ruby and me diamond" exhalts Peter. Funky keyboard licks interject throughout alongside Peter and his scratch guitar. Peter improvises every now and then to great efffect. Quite a relaxed take as Peter and Al duel out during the instrumental break, Skully adding bells to the mix. A 4 minute instrumental wonder jam. Drum and bass close the song as Peter drops out early to whistles and cheers from the crowd.
The slow, smoldering Why Must I Cry? is one of the discs many highlights. Peter re-counting an old love, vowing never to fall in love again. Very rootsy, Wya's organ bubbling underneath. During a delicate guitar solo from Al if you listen carefully you can actually hear a slight mistake. Peter comes back with sweet vocals. The song feels slightly different without the input of the I-Three's, with their backing vocals being replaced by the male harmonies. A tender rendition closed out with a bluesy solo from Don as the song fades down nicely.
The pace picks up somewhat with Whatcha Gonna Do which is greeted with roars of approval from the thousands on hand. Peter's vocal's are animated as Al adds some great guitar riffs. A polished and professional rendition featuring a great 2 minute instrumental.
The chugging Steppin Razor features Peter in dangerous mode. Spitting fire and brimstone. Loose basslines by Robbie are mixed in with some great licks from Al. Peter in defiant mood "If you want to leave till tomorrow treat me good". The instrumental break gives Al and Don a chance to trade licks on the cutting rhythm. Peter's rhythm guitar chopping in and out whilst scatting away. "I'm dangerous!" warns Peter. Live and Dangerous. A fascinating 2 minute instrumental jam closes the song as the guitar trio lead the song to a finish to a large round of applause.
No sooner had Stepping Razor finished, Ketchy Shuby starts with a very bouncy, easy loping rhythm. Bringing cries and cheers. The pace is noticeably faster during the chorus before the pace slows once again for the second verse. Sly and Robbie keep the band in order. Wya and Tarzan throw in some delicate boiling keyboard licks. Peter starts to ad-lib half way through the track with Sly driving the band forward. The song comes to close with an extended lengthy outro, the whole band setting the stage alight. The instrumental break showcases how hot the band were, Peter backed by organ and percussion before the guitars join in once more. Loud cheers and cries break out. Peter working the crowd into a frenzy, dubwise fashion. You can hear "dub wise" cries from some of the band. A phenomenal jam to close the disc. The crowd clap and cheer as the band leave the stage, applauding the Stepping Razor as he strides off stage.
Unfortunately the encore of I'm The Toughest and Legalize It have been edited out due to lack of disc space. This is perhaps the only slight niggle about the whole disc, but by adding a second disc would have increased price. The sound quality on the disc is first class, possibly the best sounding live recording I have heard, taken from the 4 track master soundboard recording.
The artwork is superlative, with glorious eye-popping photos throughout the accompanying booklet. The liner notes are supplied courtesy of Herbie Miller (Peter's former manager). He re-tells the Cambridge concert and the events leading up to the show, including a run-in with some ignorant hotel staff. Some fascinating insights into Peter's debut solo tour spreading over 5 pages.
This is without question a contender for album of the year and quite possibly the best ever Peter release. It is the complete package, both in the music, sound quality, artwork and liner notes.
Peter's life and works came into the spotlight at an honorary symposium held at the Social Science Lecture Theatre at the University of the West Indies (UWI) on Saturday 13th October.The presenters included Roger Steffens, Dr. Michael Whitter, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, Ibo Cooper, Dr. Omar Davis, and there was also a special showing of the Peter Tosh documentry The Red X to close the event.
Reggae archivist Roger Steffens presented a 2 hour tribute to Peter that included rare footage, interviews and live performances, as well as presenting Peter's children and grand-children to the symposium.
Dr. Michael Whitter said, "His career spanned 25 years of Jamaican music, from ska to rock steady to reggae. He contributed to the explosive growth of the Jamaican musical industry in the 1970s into a significant player in the international music market. It is said they (the Wailers) did Small Axe, Big Tree to show their arrival and independence on the music scene. Like so many Jamaican artistes, they felt producers had exploited them. To Tosh, the relationship between artistes and the producers was a modern colonial one which allowed pirates to plunder the wealth of others."
LIVE-LY UP YOURSELF
The legacy of late reggae king Bob Marley will soon receive added polish, via Universal's plan to release previously unavailable live multi-track recordings made by Marley between 1973 and 1978.
The music conglomerate has pacted with Palo Alto, California, company Euphonix to recover and digitally restore Marley recordings that have been languishing in recording vaults in London. Euphonix uses the R-1 system, which allows analog audio to be transferred to 48-channel multi-track digital sound.
"It is my understanding that Universal plans to turn these recordings into releases over the next year," said Jeff Glixman, director of studio operations for Universal Music, in a statement. "We are also re-mastering and releasing other classic Marley albums; there are plans for up to15 Marley releases over the next year. Video footage of these concerts also exists, so there is the potential for DVD releases or DVD-Audio discs as well as regular CDs."
Release dates for this rescued Marley material will be announced later.
I KNOW A PLACE REMIXES
Recently arriving at www.wailers.co. uk was a 2 track promo featuring further remixes of Bob's classic I Know A Place. The two remixes differ greatly from the version include on the One Love: Very Best Of album, featuring more dance influenced reworkings.
The first of the cuts is remixed by Peter Hoff's for Benztown Productions, and rentains a few elements from the Secret Agents album remix. The second remix, the Bedroom Rockers Radio Edit, is the work of Fred Ventura and Enrico Colombo, and begins with a jazzy lounge-core flavour. Also floating around is a 4 track 12" promo, while the single should be on general release now.
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:
October 9th 1944: Winston Hubert McIntosh is born in West Moreland, Jamaica. Later adopting the name Peter Tosh (and on occasions Peter Touch), he became the most militant member of the original Wailers group.
October 1973: Bob, Peter and Joe Higgs (deputising for the absent Bunny) perform a handful of promotional dates in California, including the Record Plant, Sausalito, which eventually becomes the basis for 1991's Talkin' Blues album.
4th October 1975: Bob, Peter and Bunny play together as the Wailers for the last time at the in Jamaica. Also on the bill is Stevie Wonder who jams with the band on I Shot The Sheriff
October 1979: Marley returns with his most deiant work yet, the triumphant Survival album. Bob & The Wailers perfom at the Santa Barbara County Bowl on the 25th, a concert which is filmed and edited for a US TV special.
October 1983: Trojan Records re-issue the classic Soul Shakedown Party/Caution single as a fore-runner to the upcoming collection In The Beginning.
October 1996: Cedella Booker appears on UK TV show This Morning to talk about her son Bob Marley.
Number 9, September 2001
Number 8, August 2001 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
Bob Marley Magazine