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Bob Marley 'Kaya' anniversary edition out 24 August 2018

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Album reissue: 'Kaya' by Bob Marley
Release date: 24 August 2018
Label: The Marley Family/Island Records/UMC
More info: Band website

On the 24th of August, The Marley Family, Island Records, and UMC will collectively proclaim the sun is shining in celebration of 40 years of Kaya, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ historic March 1978 release. The album's themes of love and peace have resonated across the world and the record reached the top 5 in the UK albums chart upon original release.

This most special anniversary edition will feature Stephen “Ragga” Marley’s exciting and vibrant new 'Kaya 40' mixes of all ten tracks from the original album alongside its original mixes in 2CD and 180-gram 2LP configurations. (The digital version will be a standalone release of Stephen’s mixes only.) The album will also be available as a limited edition 180-gram 2LP green vinyl version exclusively here.

Listen to the new mix of 'Is This Love' here.

Recorded in London concurrently with the material that ultimately comprised 1977’s Exodus — a record proclaimed by Time Magazine in 1999 to be the Best Album of the 20th Century — Kaya is the perfect sonic-sibling bookend that shares all the joy, spirit, and literal DNA of some of Marley’s most ground-breaking material. Kaya contains a number of the most enduring, heartfelt songs in the entire Marley canon, including 'Is This Love', 'Easy Skanking', and 'Sun Is Shining'.

'Kaya' was initially released just one month ahead of Bob Marley & The Wailers headlining the legendary One Love Peace Concert at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on 22nd April 1978, an event that featured 16 of reggae’s biggest acts. One Love Peace was heralded as Marley’s triumphant return to his native soil, following his long exile in London after having fled the country as a result of a December 1976 assassination attempt at his Kingston homestead.

The album was recorded with the then-new configuration of The Wailers that comprised brothers Carlton and Aston 'Family Man' Barrett on drums and bass, Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Alvin 'Seeco' Patterson on percussion, and the I Threes — Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt — on backing vocals, along with newest member Julian (Junior) Marvin on guitar. Two of Kaya’s songs had previously appeared in different arrangements on 1971’s Soul Revolution — the title track, and 'Sun Is Shining'.

Stephen's goal in mixing 'Kaya 40' was to create a balance that drew heavily from the original versions. Using Bob’s vocals from demos from original 'Kaya' sessions that were recorded at different tempos, Stephen synched the vocals with alternate takes and layered it over different instrumental arrangements.  Stephen tried to keep the flavor as authentic as possible. To mix the album, he used a similar minimal approach, basing his version heavily off the classic analog concepts they used in the 1970s.

Bob Marley’s artistic legacy forever endures, and the 40th anniversary edition of 'Kaya' only serves to reinforce just how much we all share the shelter of this special music.
 

More information

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Rare and unreleased material from Bob Marley coming in February

Bob Marley

CD / DVD / Blu-ray release: "Easy Shanking in Boston '78" by Bob Marley and The Wailers
Release date: 17 February 2015
Label: Universal

Bob Marley’s 70th birthday year (2015) will include a variety of releases and events to commemorate the legend, his work and iconic impact.  Over the course of the year, his legacy will be remembered by new releases of rare and unreleased material as well as fan favorite deluxe editions of his most memorable work.  The first release will be available on February 17.   BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS – EASY SKANKING IN BOSTON ’78, features two historic live shows from Boston’s Music Hall, June 8, 1978.  This new and unreleased performance  is from the Marley family giving unprecedented access for the first time to their  personal material from their private collections and their vaults. The album will be available on blu-ray/cd combo pack as well as dvd/cd and standalone cd versions.  Additional newly created animated material will also be a part of this release, marking the first time the family has incorporated this technology into any official Marley releases.  

The video footage was shot with a hand-held camera by a fan that Marley allowed to sit right in front of the stage. The result is remarkable imagery that captures Marley from just a few feet away, allowing one to experience the intimacy of his set.  While the cinematographer was shooting with film and forced to change rolls of tape, the gaps in the live footage have been augmented with specially created animation over the existing audio. The animation video elements were produced and created by the animation team of S77 whose credits include recent projects for Bruno Mars, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disney, ESPN and many others. The 46-minute video includes seven of the 13 songs in the full set.

Highlights of the performance include a lively “Jammin’” and “The Heathen,” a song Marley and the band didn’t perform during the second set. The show features them at their most comfortable, truly enjoying themselves in the spotlight, basking in the appreciation of the audience.

Marley, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is notable not only as the man who put reggae on the global map, but, as a statesman in his native Jamaica, he famously brought together the country’s warring factions — symbolized by rival politicians Michael Manley and Edward Siega joining hands on-stage -- during his legendary “One Love Peace Concert” in Kingston, which took place on April 22, 1978, less than six weeks before this Music Hall performance in Boston. It was five years since Marley and the band arrived from Jamaica, with the 1977 release of EXODUS, recorded in London just after an assassination attempt on his life, turned into not just a socio-political statement, but one which included such hits as the title track, “Waiting In Vain” and “One Love,” paving the way for their next release Kaya and a world tour in ’78.  Together with his music’s theme of liberation, Marley’s own rags-to-riches story brought inspiration to subjugated people around the world, where he was revered as a larger-than-life leader. 

Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley’s lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 74 million fans, ranking it among the Top 20 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley’s music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide

Thirty years after its original release, Bob Marley & The Wailers’, LEGEND, shared the top of the charts, holding the No. 5 spot on Billboard’s 200 Album Chart among Maroon 5 (#1), Jeezy (#2), Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack (#3), and Ariana Grande (#4). LEGEND also holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s Catalog Albums chart and remains the world’s best-selling reggae album. Marley’s accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001).  For more information visit: bobmarley.com and facebook.com/bobmarley. 

The set listing for the BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS – EASY SKANKING IN BOSTON ’78 CD:

  • Slave Driver
  • Burnin' and Lootin
  • Them Belly Full
  • The Heathen
  • Rebel Music
  • I Shot the Sheriff
  • Easy Skanking
  • No Woman, No Cry
  • Lively Up Yourself
  • Jammin'
  • War/No More Trouble
  • Get Up Stand Up
  • Exodus

The set listing for the BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS – EASY SKANKING IN BOSTON ’78 Blu-Ray/DVD:

  • Rebel Music
  • I Shot the Sheriff
  • No Woman, No Cry
  • Lively Up Yourself
  • Jamming
  • War/No More Trouble
  • Exodus

The complete list of the performers on BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS – EASY SKANKING IN BOSTON ‘78 :

  • Bob Marley - vocals, guitar
  • Carlton Barrett – drums
  • Aston Barrett – bass
  • Marcia Griffiths - backup vocals
  • Rita Marley - backup vocals
  • Judy Mowatt - backup vocals
  • Tyrone Downie – keyboards
  • Alvin Patterson – percussion
  • Julian Marvin - lead guitar

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Virgin Front Line: Sounds of Reality

Box set release: “Virgin Front Line: Sounds of Reality” (Various)
Release date: 11 August 2014
Label: Universal 

On 10 March 1978 Virgin Records launched a label that, throughout the remainder of the decade, would set the benchmark for Roots Reggae: Front Line.

In the space of just under two years, some 46 albums and 26 singles saw issue on the iconic imprint, with its releases consistently of the highest calibre, and rating among the very best music Jamaica had to offer.

Front Line’s brief but glorious existence as the world’s greatest Roots Reggae label is celebrated with this deluxe box set, which across its 5 discs features many of Jamaica’s greatest talents, performing 92 of the most enduring Roots, Dub, Lovers Rock and DJ sounds of the seventies, with over 31 tracks new to CD, of which a third are previously unissued.

Also included in the package is a 52 page booklet, which opens with a typically captivating foreword from John Lydon, whose talent scouting trip to Jamaica with Richard Branson early in 1978 was key to Virgin’s acquisition of some of the finest Reggae recordings of the era.

Peppered with fascinating imagery, including numerous previously unseen shots from the trip taken by world renowned photographer Dennis Morris, every key episode during Front Line’s brief yet glorious history is disclosed, courtesy of fascinating anecdotes from Don Letts, the label’s original manager Jumbo Vanrenen and its designer Brian Cooke, whose original drafts for the iconic imprint are revealed for the first time ever.

As an added bonus, the set also contains four high quality reproductions of classic posters from the seventies, as well as a car sticker, based on the now impossibly rare Front Line Rockers badge from 1976.

This, the most comprehensive collection of Front Line tracks ever to see issue, pays due homage to the legendary label and flawlessly illustrates just why continues to be widely revered by Reggae fans around the world, more than 36 years after its launch.

Full tracklisting available on request.

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