BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS
Easy Skanking in Boston 1978
When I was about eight years old, a friend of mine came back from
a holiday to Jamaica brandishing a Bob Marley CD, her hair braided
in red, gold and green, and she told me that this was one of the best
artists I would ever hear. I obediently copied her CD to cassette
tape, gave it a listen and hated it. He sounded like an old man. How
could this ever live up to Kylie and Jason?
In fact, I dont know when it was that I started enjoying Sir
Bob but eventually I started to realise what real music was (though
I still unashamedly love Kylie). For a little while recently I was
quite obsessed with him after seeing the documentary film about his
life- not to the point that I grew dreadlocks and punctuated sentences
with jah but hes an interesting fellow, and obviously
talented. He would have been 70 years old this year. What would he
have made of the world if he was still around? Is he sitting on high
with tears in his eyes or would his motto still be everythings
gonna be alright?
Either way, wherever he is and whatever hes doing now, Bobs
family is ensuring that 2015 marks a yearlong celebration of rare
and previously unheard material, in remembrance of an artist that
still inspires some 30-odd years after his death, as if we could forget.
Beginning with this live performance at Bostons Music Hall from
1978 (my own legacy yet to begin then so Im pleased to be able
to share the moment now), the beauty of this release is that the fascination
with icons like Marley never dies. A classic cliché for you
right there. Sorry.
But how is this different to anything else weve heard
on Heart FM a million times??, I hear you growl. Well, for starters,
you wont have heard these versions unless you were there, because
the recording comes from a private family collection. And while it
does feature well-known tracks such as Exodus and I
shot the Sheriff, alongside those not on the Greatest Hits package
(The Heathen and Slave Driver, for example),
what is really cool is the completely new stuff. Some animated material
forms part of the visual packages, as well as footage filmed by a
fan who was allowed to sit right in front of the stage using a handheld
camera to bring an intimacy not seen until now. This is clearly a
must for anyone who already loves the man/ the myth/ the music or
just wants to discover him. And you should, because it doesnt
get much better. Apart from Ms Minogue. Ha.
Released 17th February, 2015.
Available on Blu-ray/CD, DVD/CD and just CD. Fill your boots.