Category: reggae

twixnmix: Bob Marley performing at the Santa B…

twixnmix:

Bob Marley performing at the Santa Barbara Bowl in California on May 31, 1976 during the Rastaman Vibration tour.

Photos by Jeffrey Mayer

On this day in music history: July 7, 1972 – &…

On this day in music history: July 7, 1972 – “The Harder They Come – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is released. Produced by Jimmy Cliff, Derrick Harriot, Leslie Kong, Byron Lee, Guilly Bright and Bunny Lee, it is recorded in Various Studios from 1967 – 1972. The album serves as the soundtrack to the cult classic film starring reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. The film co-written and directed by Perry Henzell is about a Jamaican man turned reggae singer, who turns to a life of crime after being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous record label owner. The soundtrack features original songs by Cliff as well as previously released singles by prominent reggae artists such as Desmond Dekker, Toots & The Maytals, DJ Scotty, and The Melodians. The film becomes an underground classic, and the album (originally issued on Island Records’ Mango imprint in the US) helps to popularize and broaden the audience for reggae music, in the US and around the world. In 2003, Universal Music Group releases a double CD Deluxe Edition of the album with one disc containing a remastered version of the original soundtrack, with the second disc consisting of numerous classic reggae singles recorded during the same era. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued in 2008, as part of Universal’s “Back To Black” vinyl reissue series. Vinyl edition is reissued again in 2018. “The Harder They Come” peaks at number one hundred forty on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: June 10, 1980 – …

On this day in music history: June 10, 1980 – “Uprising”, the twelfth studio album by Bob Marley & The Wailers is released. Produced by Bob Marley & The Wailers, it is recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica from January – April 1979. It is the final studio album released by the band in Marley’s lifetime, as he succumbs to cancer only one day short of eleven months after its release. Even more spiritual in content than his previous albums, many of the songs express his Rastafarian faith. The album spins off two singles including “Could You Be Loved” (#5 UK, #6 US Club Play, #56 R&B) and “Redemption Song”. In spite of Marley’s illness, he is able to complete the European leg of the tour (plus a few US shows) in support of “Uprising”. Though the remainder of the US leg, in which the band were to have toured jointly with Stevie Wonder, is canceled after Bob collapses while jogging in New York City’s Central Park. The album is remastered and reissued in 2001, featuring an alternate version of “Redemption Song” and the 12" version of “Could You Be Loved” included as bonus tracks. It is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2015 as a stand alone release and as part of the box set “The Complete Island Recordings”. “Uprising” peaks at number six on the UK album chart, number forty one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number forty five on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: June 3, 1977 – &…

On this day in music history: June 3, 1977 – “Exodus”, the ninth studio album by Bob Marley & The Wailers is released. Produced by Bob Marley & The Wailers, it is recorded at Harry J. Studio, Kingston, Jamaica in November 1976 and Island Studios, London from January – April 1977. Reggae superstar Bob Marley and his family leave Jamaica in December of 1976, after an assassination attempt on Marley by unknown assailants, for announcing his intent to perform at a free concert put on by then Jamaican prime minister Michael Manley. Initially Marley goes to Nassau in the Bahamas and Miami, FL, both to recover from his injuries and to write more songs for his next album. Having previously recorded material in Jamaica prior to the incident in December, the sessions are completed in London, through the Winter and early Spring of 1977. The album takes its title from his retreat into exile during that time. The two halves of the album are split into thematic concepts, with the first side focuses on religious faith and spirituality, while the second side speak of more earthly desires like sex and keeping your faith through life’s journey. An artistic and commercial triumph, it becomes the album that breaks the band on a worldwide basis, and is widely regarded as one of their best. Spinning off five hit singles including “Jammin’”, “Waiting In Vain” and the title track, it is Marley’s best selling studio album. In 2001, Universal releases a two CD Deluxe Edition of the album featuring previously unreleased live versions, alternate takes, and rare 12" mixes and dub versions. The album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2015, both as a stand along release and as part of the box set “The Complete Island Recordings”. “Exodus” peaks at number twenty on the Billboard Top 200, number fifteen on the R&B album chart, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Bob Marley performing at the Santa Barbara Bow…

Bob Marley performing at the Santa Barbara Bowl in California on May 31, 1976 during the Rastaman Vibration tour.

Photos by Jeffrey Mayer

On this day in music history: May 11, 1981 – “…

On this day in music history: May 11, 1981 – “Nightclubbing”, the fifth studio album by Grace Jones is released. Produced by Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin, it is recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas in early 1981. Issued as the follow up to the critically acclaimed “Warm Leatherette”, it is the second album Jones records with a group of musicians that includes Sly Dunbar (drums), Robbie Shakespeare (bass), Wally Badarou (keyboards), and Uziah “Sticky” Thompson (percussion). “Nightclubbing” spins off three singles including “Demolition Man” (written for Grace by Sting, with The Police recording their own version later in the year), “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)” and “Pull Up To The Bumper” (#5 R&B, #2 Club Play). The album’s striking cover photo taken by French graphic designer (and then Jones’ boyfriend) Jean-Paul Goude, features the singer dressed in an Armani men’s suit, with her face and body painted dark blue. The image becomes instantly iconic, and reaffirms Grace Jones as an embodiment of androgynous style. It is her commercial breakthrough on a worldwide basis. “Nightclubbing” is also supported by the groundbreaking concept tour “A One Man Show”, which is filmed for a live concert video (released in 1982) and is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Video. The album is remastered and reissued as a two CD Deluxe Edition in 2014, with the first disc containing the original nine song album. The second disc features 12" mixes and previously unreleased tracks from the recording sessions. with the “Nightclubbing” peaks at number nine on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number thirty two on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: May 8, 1984 – “L…

On this day in music history: May 8, 1984 – “Legend”, the twelfth album by Bob Marley & The Wailers is released. Produced by Bob Marley & The Wailers, Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin, it is recorded at Dynamic Sound Studios, Harry J Studios, Randy’s Studios, Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, The Lyceum Theatre and Island Studios in London, from Early 1972 – Mid 1983. The fourteen track album is the first greatest hits compilation of Bob Marley & The Wailers catalog and covers material released from 1972 to 1983. It goes on to become the biggest selling reggae album in history, selling over twenty five million copies worldwide. To promote the album, the track “Buffalo Soldier”, a track from Marley’s final recording sessions in 1980 (first issued on the posthumous compilation “Confrontation” in 1983), is issued as a single to promote the album, with an accompanying music video. The original cassette configuration includes two bonus tracks not included on the original vinyl LP pressing. In 2002, Universal Music Group issues a two CD Deluxe Edition with the second disc including extended versions and remixes of the tracks featured on the original album. It is also reissued as a DVD-A disc in 2003, featuring the Marley documentary “Time Will Tell”. followed another reissue in 2004, combining the contents of the two CD Deluxe Edition and the DVD-A disc. The compilation is also reissued numerous times on vinyl since its initial release in 1984, with remastered editions in 2007, 2009, and a limited edition pressing on tri-color red, yellow and green vinyl (packaged with the cover art printed on a hemp outer sack, with two color variations) in 2010. To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of “Legend” in 2014, UMe releases another limited edition tri-color vinyl pressing as a 2 LP set, for vastly improved sound quality. “Legend” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number twenty six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 14x Platinum by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

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On this day in music history: April 30, 1976 -…

On this day in music history: April 30, 1976 – “Rastaman Vibration”, the eighth studio album by Bob Marley & The Wailers is released. Produced by Bob Marley & The Wailers, it is recorded at Harry J. Studios and Joe Gibbs Studio in Kingston, Jamaica from Late 1975 – Early 1976. Following the success of Marley’s iconic “Live!” album recorded in London in the Summer of 1975, he and The Wailers return to Jamaica in the Fall to begin work on their first studio album in nearly two years. All of the songs on the album are written by Marley, though are credited to others because of a contractual dispute with his publishing company Cayman Music. It is Marley’s most successful album to date in the US, spinning off his only American pop single “Roots Rock Reggae” (#51 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001, and reissued on vinyl numerous times by Music On Vinyl, Simply Vinyl and Universal Music Group. In 2002, it is released as a two CD Deluxe Edition. The first disc includes the original ten track album with eight additional bonus tracks. The second disc features a live concert recorded at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, CA on May 26, 1976, and includes two more bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl since the early 90’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Simply Vinyl in 2004, and Music On Vinyl in 2012. The vinyl edition is reissued again by Island/UMe in 2015, as a stand alone release, and as part of the box set “Bob Marley & The Wailers ‎– Complete Island Recordings”. “Rastaman Vibration” peaks at number eight on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: April 13, 1973 -…

On this day in music history: April 13, 1973 – “Catch A Fire”, the fifth album by The Wailers is released. Produced by Chris Blackwell, it is recorded at Dynamic Sound, Randy’s Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, and Island Studios in London from May – October 1972. It is the bands’ major label debut on Island Records and includes such classics as “Stir It Up”, “Kinky Reggae”, and “Concrete Jungle”. The first 20,000 copies of the vinyl LP come packaged in a sleeve designed to look like and open and close like a Zippo lighter (designed by Rod Dyer and Bob Weiner). Due to the high cost of producing the original artwork, which also necessitated hand assembly for each jacket, only the initial pressing uses this cover. The album is reissued a year later with different cover art, featuring Bob Marley smoking a spliff. Island Records releases a 2 CD Deluxe Edition of the album in 2001 that features the original Jamaican track listing and without the additional post production overdubs added to the US release. In 2010, the album is remastered again in Japan as a limited edition SHM-CD, with the packaging replicating the original Zippo lighter sleeve in mini-LP form. It is also remastered and reissued on vinyl in 2015, available as an individual 180 gram LP, or as part of the vinyl box set “Bob Marley & The Wailers – Complete Island Recordings. The album is also reissued with its original limited edition "Zippo” album cover art and pressed on clear “smoke” colored vinyl, on Black Friday Record Store Day in November of 2018 “Catch A Fire” peaks at number fifty one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number one hundred seventy one on the Top 200.

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Born on this day: April 1, 1948 – Reggae music…

Born on this day: April 1, 1948 – Reggae music icon Jimmy Cliff (born James Chambers in Somerton District, St. James, Jamaica). Happy 71st Birthday, Jimmy!!

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