|volume 5 * issue 3 * January 2001|
THE WAR ALBUM -Coming soon to a store near you is a brand new collection of ten songs based around Haile Selassie I's speech at the League Of Nations on October 4, 1963, and also using the riddim of Bob Marley & The Wailers' take on the speech in their song "War." On January 1st, 2001 the "War" album will be released on musicologist Bruno Blum's Rastafari Records, and will contain the unique and special mixes based on the "War" riddim and Selassie's speech, featuring The Wailers Band, Buffalo Bill, Bruno Blum, Bob Marley and Haile Selassie himself. The "War" album includes the incredible virtual duet between Bob Marley and Haile Selassie that Bruno Blum originally released in 1998 with music from The Wailers Band. The photo at the right, taken by Dan Occo, portrays Aston "Familyman" Barrett, Earl "Wya" Lindo, Bruno Blum and Mikey "Boo" Richards in September 1996, after recording "War" in Kingston, Jamaica.
Many of the songs featured on this album were released in shortened form as singles on Bruno Blum's Rastafari Records; however, for the first time ever, full-length versions of many of these songs will now be available. If you have never been able to get your hands on one of the sought-after Rastafari Records singles featuring Bruno Blum's creations, then you are in for a genuine treat! If you have never heard of the name Bruno Blum before, he was central in the release of the essential "Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers 1967 to 1972" sets on JAD Records. The material on the "War" album is not the standard mass-produced Bob Marley remixes that have been coming out; instead, these are literally musical art pieces containing a powerfully potent message to enlighten and move you. A listener of this album will not only be able to hear reworkings of Bob Marley's "War" song, but will also be able to listen to the original speech, spoken by Haile Selassie himself in Amharic. To accompany the outstanding music, the packaging consists of a full-color 16-page unfoldable poster booklet, with extensive cultural liner notes and photo gallery.
Here is the front cover of the "War" album and the 10-song tracklisting:
The personnel for the album reads like a near reggae hall of fame with members of The Wailers Band, including Earl "Wya" Lindo on organ; Aston "Familyman" Barrett on bass and electric piano; Mikey "Mikey Boo" Richards on drums; as well as Tatiana Prus on backing vocals; Norbert "Nono" Nobour on afuche, tambourine, bongo, and bell; Bruno Blum on lead and rhythm guitar, and lead and backing vocals; and Buffalo Bill, Bob Marley and Haile Selassie I all on lead vocals. The album is produced by Bruno Blum and is being distributed by Culture Press and you should be able to order it from this site. Bruno Blum can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is one album that is certainly not to missed for the start of the New Year and beyond!
albums to look for in the very near future include Buffalo Bill's debut
album "Ghetto Youth Unite" and also Bruno Blum's second album "Nuage
d'Ethiope." Bruno is also set to publish "Electric Dandy," the only Lou
Reed biography so far published in France. If 1999 and 2000 were the
years for sub-par Marley dance remixes, hopefully 2001 will see
rootical and cultural mixes that will give honor to the artists,
beginning with Blum's "War" album.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MARK MILLER -We recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Miller, who has been in the music business for nearly 30 years, and for three years in the late 1970s had the opportunity to work with Bob Marley & The Wailers as stage manager. To our knowledge, his perspective has never been recorded before, and the interview is both eye-opening and educational.
Mark touches on many topics, including saving a young Ziggy Marley from being tear gassed in Zimbabwe while Bob Marley & The Wailers were performing on stage, to Mark's role with the band and how Bob Marley personally affected his life. You will also be able to read an insider's view on what touring was like, including behind the scenes information, memorable performances and much more. If you have always wanted to know what went into putting together one single live Bob Marley & The Wailers' concert, let alone an entire tour, Mark Miller details to The Wailers News and our readers exactly what went down.
Mark founded and runs The International World Music Festival
and in the interview he compares his times with BMW, The Wailers Band
and now with young up-and -coming groups, including Djambi, Andrew
McIntyre, Yelen and Izrah Williams. After working with Bob Marley &
The Wailers, Mark later went on to manage The Wailers Band and recently
Junior Marvin. You can read the entire interview by clicking on the
picture of Mark Miller and Al Anderson on a tour bus in the late 1970s.
There are also several other photographs of Mark with Bob Marley and
other members of The Wailers. It is definitely an interview that will
not only educate, but will surely surprise you!
A LONG OVERDUE REISSUE PROJECT -Some potentially fantastic news for all fans of Bob Marley & The Wailers, because there are plans by Universal Records to re-release all of the group's Island Records albums in 2001. A recent article in The Jamaica Observer detailed how the new president of marketing for Tuff Gong, Maxine Stowe, will aid in the reissuing of all of the Island albums, with rare and unreleased songs as well. In the article, Maxine Stowe says that they will try to target Bob Marley collectors as well as the younger generations. About ten years back the Island albums were of course reissued on CD, where previously they were only available on vinyl. The news of the reissues means that fans will have to once again purchase the new CDs if they want to include the out-takes and rare material in their collections.
In the most recent issue of The Beat magazine, Roger Steffens talks about this very subject of reissuing the Marley catalog. He states that it will begin with "Catch A Fire" and work up to "Confrontation," all of the albums featuring new liner notes. One would hope that this reissue campaign is not just a means to make more money for the Marley family, but instead an honest attempt to do Bob Marley's music and message some justice by releasing the music with the respect that it deserves. Hopefully from these releases, the members of Bob Marley's backing band, The Wailers, will finally get their just compensations for all of their effort into the group's music, seeing as they have been left out in reaping any monetary benefits from their work on these albums.
Below we have reprinted The Jamaica Observer article, as well as a portion of Roger Steffens' "Ras Rojah's Reggae Ramblings" from The Beat magazine, both talking about the reissue project:
Maxine Stowe Takes The Reins At Tuff Gong December 8th, 2000 from The Jamaica Observer
New president of marketing for Tuff Gong, Maxine Stowe, has big plans for the label this year, wanting to penetrate new and younger markets with vintage Bob Marley as well as projects from the next generation.
The major project right now is a re-issue of the formidable Bob Marley Island Records catalogue, 12 albums of much of the best work of the original Tuff Gong and the Wailers.
Through an agreement with Universal Records, the family now has greater involvement in the development of the catalogue.
"We are now responsible for coordinating the marketing, promotion and development of new compilations or projects to keep the catalogue moving," Stowe told Splash in an interview while on a brief visit to Jamaica this week.
A special strategy is being developed to get a comprehensive collector's item from the remastered catalogue, with hopes for some new finds.
"We're researching the libraries of the 12 albums, Island had to find out-takes ... tracks that didn't make the album and why.
And we're looking at that material to combine them in some sort of special edition, to show what really happened. We also want to do a special promotion on Exodus in that re-release, as it was Album of the Century.
We are basically targeting the Bob Marley collectors, but most definitely the younger generation because it has become a staple for college students."
Stowe joined the Tuff Gong team in June, bringing 20 years experience in the music industry, and is heading up the New York operation now based at the Universal Music Group Building in Manhattan, along with Cristy Barber as vice president of promotions.
She says the plan for 2001 is to ensure proper development of all Marley products, with special emphasis on Stephen Marley's Ghetto Youths United label, which includes younger siblings Damian and Julian. They are currently being distributed by Lightyear Records in New York, while Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers are being handled by Electra. With the catalogue re-issue, she says their projects will be included in any advertising campaign. This, she says, will open up a synergistic two-way exposure.
"We are responsible for overseeing the marketing and promotion of all the different angles and are directly responsible for Damian, Julian and Stephen as they go through their various deals," explains Stowe.
"We consult with the marketing departments for Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers to make sure the core markets are serviced.
Before, they were left out of the marketing push. Where possible, once the marketing strategy for the new catalogue is put in place, we want to piggy back the Live Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers album, being the most current, as well as Damian Marley's sophomore album, Half Way Tree."
This is part of a major plan to penetrate new markets using the strength of the Marley name and quality of new productions from Ghetto Youths United, chiefly through the recently opened European annex, with offices in London.
"They were just focusing on America. But by going over there in the last year or so, we saw a brand new resurgence and a market opening up again for the singers of reggae.
And that was Bob's main market, where he developed a centre. We did some research and found out that the French market has opened. It's even more progressive than the English market in terms of sales. So we are doing a showcase in Midem in January to develop that presence in the French market."
Stowe has worked with the Marleys while at Island and developed the vanguard Chant Down Babylon project with Stephen Marley. She says she is looking forward to working with this royal family of reggae, enjoying the best of both worlds with quality music.
Ras Rojah's Reggae Ramblings by Roger Steffens from The Beat (vol. 19, no. 6)
There are big plans afoot also, beginning early in the new year, for the Bob Marley catalog. Universal Records A&R man Bill Levenson phoned in mid-October to tell me about an ambitious 2001 schedule to re-release all of Island's Wailers catalog, beginning with "Catch A Fire" and working up through the posthumous "Confrontation" compilation. There will be bonus tracks on each album of rare singles and unreleased mixes. The 1975 Live Lyceum concert, for example, will add five missing songs from Bob's triumphant solo debut in London. Each album will have liner notes written by different veteran reggae observers.
I suggested the long-overdue creation of a series of dub albums, with additional dub mixes to be supervised by former Marley associates like Karl Pitterson and Dennis Thompson. This, Bill assured me, he and the Marley family would consider, along with a box set of live concert highlights. The abysmal series of bootleg-like albums emanating from Japan of Marley's out-takes and live shows, in horrendously over-priced editions despite their abundant defects, has demonstrated that market for Bob's essential concerts. The market is ripe for a coherent collection of great moments, from the final trio days in '73 through Bob's eye-popping solo debut tour in '75, right up to his epochal appearance 48 hours after the assassination attempt on his life at the Smile Jamaica concert, to his return from exile to play the historic and frightening One Love Peace Concert. The field is ripe for righteous exploitation.
This month's Wailers Survey
question deals with this very topic of the Bob Marley & The
Wailers's Island album reissues, so please drop down to the bottom of
this page, or go to the main page of The Wailers News, and let us know
your opinions on this issue!
THE WORLD'S FIRST REGGAE MUSEUM -On January 20th, 2001, the world's first reggae museum will open, featuring memorabilia, records, buttons, tapes, videos, and much more from the ark-hives of Roger Steffens. The expo is titled "The World of Reggae and Bob Marley" and will be held in two buildings of the English Village at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. There will also be features on Haile Selassie I, the presence of reggae music around the globe and much more! Roger tells us that there will be special events held throughout the year.
We have set up a little page detailing all the specifics of this reggae museum, so you will know exactly what is going on. There is also an official "World of Reggae and Bob Marley" website being set up at www.theworldofreggae.com, so watch for that soon. To visit the little site we created, click the banner we made below. If you can attend this historic exposition, do not miss it!
BUNNY WAILER RULES GRENADA -Bunny Wailer recently made his first performance in the country of Grenada on December 2nd, as part of the Royal Salute 2000, along with Sanchez and King Ajamu. Thanks to Dexter Mitchell, from Q West Promotions, who put on the show, you can read a review of the event as well as view three photos from the performances.
Royal Salute 2000, on Saturday December 2nd. will be remembered by those who were present and will be regretted by those who will only be hearing about what took place. The event put on by Q West Promotions featured Bunny Wailer, Sanchez and Grenada's own King Ajamu.Bunny Wailer and Sanchez In Grenada December 2nd, 2000 by Dexter Mitchell
Another in its series of Mega- Concerts this the Q West people out-did themselves. For the first time in Grenada a rig system, with lights was used, this complimenting one of the best sound productions ever heard on the Island. Kudos to Audio Performance for providing such professional and quality services.
The concert took place at Grenada's National Stadium and after seven days of rain the skies suddenly cleared on Thursday afternoon, the day of Bunny Wailer's arrival. The show opened with Grenada's Ajamu and his Roots Revivalist Band. A special guest appearance by Grenadian soca superstar, Tallpree, during Ajamu's rendition of his hit tune "My Woman is Gone," created quite a stir. Once again Ajamu gave Grenadians reason to be proud and the world can expect big things from him in the future.
The anticipation for Sanchez was overwhelming. When the MC announced his name all activities ceased and all attention focused on the stage. For one and a half hours the audience was treated to a series of hits and big tunes. Four encores were not enough and after been called up a fifth time he closed with " Never Dis the Man". Screams, firecrackers, flares and lighters accompanied a sterling performance.
At about 2:00am it was time to welcome on stage THE LEGEND.
After two songs each by Bunny Wailer's backing band - the Solomonic Reggaestra and his backing vocals - the Psalms, the MC introduced a young vocalist named Singing Beauty. She impressed the thousands of Grenadians who can recognize and appreciate talent. After a boisterous introduction Bunny Wailer took the stage and for the next 2hrs and 45 minutes the National Stadium belonged to him. His tributes to his compatriots, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were spiritual and moving. His own personal repertoire is so extensive and impressive, his presence so commanding that for the first half hour or so the audience was spell-bound and transfixed, as the Emperor, the lone surviving Wailer stamped his authority as the true and only heir to Bob Marley's throne.
Royal Salute 2000 was the perfect event for Grenadians to pay homage to a figure so majestic and significant in the overall development of Reggae music. Rock & Groove, Ballroom Floor, Cool Runnings are some of the favorites that drew tremendous response and when Bunny Wailer decided to leave after 2 and a half hours, the audience voiced their disapproval. He fittingly closed with "Keep on Moving", and received a tremendous ovation upon exiting the stage. A completely incident-free event that was satisfactory to all in attendance.
Q West Promotions once again lived up to their motto ' We set the trend.'
The lighting was spectacular , the sound superb and the overall production incomparable to anything ever done on the Island of Grenada before. Both Bunny Wailer and Sanchez expressed their desire to return to the Spice Isle to perform. Their were overwhelmed by the response from the people of Grenada both on and off stage, their friendliness and their great love of Reggae music. The Grenadian public are waiting on the next Q West hosted event.
ANOTHER GRAMMY FOR BUNNY? -An article appeared recently in The Jamaica Observer featuring an interview with Bunny Wailer. Bunny touched on everything from his performance in Grenada to the possibility of winning another Grammy award for his "Communication" album. At the bottom of this story is The Jamaica Observer article in its entirety:
However, Bunny's "Communication" album was not nominated for the "Best Reggae Album" this year. If you are curious as to who exactly was nominated for "Best Reggae Album," here are the choices; Pato Banton's "Life Is A Miracle," Beenie Man's "Art And Life," Dennis Brown's "Let Me Be The One," Gregory Isaacs' "Private & Confidential" and finally the Wailing Souls' "Equality."
Bob Marley will of course receive the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at this year's Grammy Awards, but he also has a chance to win an award for the "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals." The song that is nominated in this category is the duet between Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley on "Turn Your Lights Down Low," which appeared on "The Best Man" soundtrack and also the "Chant Down Babylon" album. The 43rd Grammy Awards will be held on February 21st, 2001 and will air on the CBS network.
"Bwoy, if I did know this flight would be delayed so long, then I would still be in the stadium singing all now," was the comment a smiling Bunny Wailer made to one of his fans while waiting patiently at the airport in Grenada for an Air Jamaica flight that had already been delayed for over six hours.Bunny Wailer Goes After Another Grammy December 8th, 2000 by Yasmine Peru, The Jamaica Observer
Reputed for his fear of flying, Wailer remained calm throughout a marathon 10-hour wait for a flight which was eventually canceled.
The Black Heart Man was returning Sunday from Grenada after a rave performance at the Grenada National Stadium.
Observing Wailer at the airport, it was easy to see why the world-renowned singer is adored for his mystique. Not once did he raise his voice to join the chorus of protest, rather he displayed affection for those who continuously made demands of his time.
Pinning him down for an interview was a daunting undertaking. The interview was conducted away from the madding crowd, but Wailer's fans constantly interrupted, and it was with many apologetic smiles that he paused the conversation to attend to his admirers.
"That was the best show ever held in Grenada," gushed a teenager. "I grew up on your music," beamed her overawed beau.
Wailer agreed when the young man requested a photograph to show off to his friends in the United States. And, when the teenage girl's nervous finger ruined the first snap, the accommodating Bunny insisted that she take another shot.
It was between many similar interruptions from devotees that the three-time Grammy winner told Splash about his new album, Communication. The album was released at the end of July at Reggae on the River, held in California.
"I am hoping for another Grammy with this one," Wailer said confidently, certain that the 17-track set had little competition for the coveted reggae Grammy.
"We didn't have a lot of reggae albums being released this year. Shaggy is doing great, and we love that, but Shaggy's album is more pop than reggae. And then there's Buju's album, which is quite likely to do well."
Asked why the title "Communication", he explained that the tag was decided on because of the hullabaloo over the Internet and cyber communication.
Wailer said he would spare no effort in the promotion of the album, which appears on his own Solomonic Productions label. However, he wasn't keen on taking off for extended tour in support of the LP.
"My outfit is large ... there are 19 of us. And my musicians are professionals, so I can't pay them any 'dibby dibby' money. So, whoever is willing to pay me so that I can pay my outfit and pay my taxes, I will work for them."
He noted that promoters were more willing to pay the "just come, soon gone" dancehall acts rather than those acts who have made long term contributions.
"And, another thing that must be made clear is that dancehall music is nothing new. My first song, Simmer Down, was a dancehall song. During that era there was lots of dance in the halls of dance and the greatest dancers emerged then.
"That time, people would come to the dance in their best clothes and leave with their clothes wet with sweat, because the dancehall was all about dancing. Now, there's no dance in the dancehall ... just a lot of profiling and music which doesn't fill your structure so that you have to dance to express it," Bunny Wailer lamented.
BOB MARLEY AN AMERICAN MASTER -The PBS network series "American Masters" has been airing biographies of famous individuals for nearly 15 years, and on February 14th, 2001, "American Masters" will air a special episode devoted to the life of Bob Marley. "American Masters" writes of Bob Marley, "He was reggae's foremost practitioner and emissary," and among other people featured in this year's lineup include actors Gregory Peck, Lucille Ball and Clint Eastwood. Past series' have featured Charlie Parker, James Baldwin, Andy Warhol, Billie Holiday and Paul Simon.
Masters'" goal is to examine "the lives, works, and creative processes
of our most outstanding cultural artists." It is still unclear as to
what exactly the show will include for their look at Bob Marley, but
there is a good chance that Jeremy Marre's "Rebel Music"
documentary, which aired in Europe a while back, could be used because
PBS had planned on airing it at some point. As the air date gets
closer, more information should arise, and hopefully PBS is not the
only television channel that has some feature on the life of Bob Marley
for his 56th birthday celebration in February. We will keep you
CELEBRATING BOB MARLEY'S BIRTH -It is that time of year again, when the world celebrates the birth of Bob Marley. There are many festivals and tributes around the globe over the next few months. One of the biggest is the "20th Annual Bob Marley Day Festival 2001" being held in California over several days and various cities in February. On February 17th and 18th, the celebration will be held at the Long Beach Sports Arena in Long Beach, California, with the lineup featuring Buju Banton, Capleton, Baby Cham, Mr. Vegas, Ghost, Red Rat, General Degree, Chaka Demus and the Pliers on the first day, and Bunny Wailer, Toots & The Maytals, Shaggy, Culture, Wailing Souls, Marcia Griffiths, Ky-mani Marley, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, Sylvia Tells and David Kirton on the second day.
On February 19th, the festival moves to San Diego at the San Diego Sports Arena, with artists like Bunny Wailer, Buju Banton, Toots & The Maytals, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Ras Michael, Don Carlos and Mutabaruka, among others. Yet be determined is the lineup for the February 23th-25th celebration at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco, California. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster locations and for more information about the "20th Annual Bob Marley Day Festival 2001" visit either www.raggamuffins.org or www.goldenvoice.com.
There is also a big Bob Marley celebration taking place on February 17th, 2001 in Miami, Florida at the "8th Annual Bob Marley Caribbean Music Festival." This year's theme is "Natural Mystic" and will take place in at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in Miami. The scheduled artists for the show include Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Hootie and the Blowfish, Julian Marley, the Ghetto Youths Crew and others. The Miami celebration is put on by the Bob Marley Movement, and you can find more information at the newly redesigned www.bobmarleymovement.com website.
There are plenty of other great celebrations going on, most likely somewhere near you, so keep your eyes and ears open for them!
THE PASSING OF ROEBUCK "POPS" STAPLES -The world of music has lost yet another legendary musician with the passing of Roebuck "Pops" Staples on December 19th, 2000. Pops was the founding member of The Staple Singers, who began in the early 1950s performing gospel music. The Staple Singers were a family group, consisting of Pops' daughters and son. In the 1960s, The Staple Singers took on more of a social commentary in their music, and in the 1970s, they recorded what most people remember The Staple Singers for, including "I'll Take You There," "Come Go With Me," "Respect Yourself" and "Let's Do It Again," among many others.
the group disbanded in 1985, Pops recorded several solo albums, one of
which received a Grammy in 1994. The Staple Singers were inducted into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, which topped off an incredibly
remarkable and influential career. Pick up a Staple Singers' musical
collection and you will see exactly the influence and power that Pop
Staples and The Staple Singers have had on the world of music. He will
surely be missed!
BLACKWELL TO ENTER ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME -Island Records founder Chris Blackwell will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer inductee on March 19th, 2001 in New York City. Blackwell, of course, signed The Wailers in 1972 and helped market Bob Marley to a global audience. He also played a role in early ska, rocksteady and reggae, by releasing the works of such artists as Toots & The Maytals, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Gregory Isaacs, Third World, Jimmy Cliff and later non-reggae acts like U2.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also finally inducted Ritchie Valens
after many years of neglecting him. The singer of such classics as
"Donna," "Come On Let's Go" and "La Bamba," among many others, was a
trendsetter and his influence is still felt today in groups of all
races. Among the others joining Blackwell and Ritchie Valens are The
Flamingos, Solomon Burke, Steely Dan, Paul Simon and Michael Jackson.
The ceremony takes place on March 19th at the Waldorf Astoria, but will
not air until March 21st on the VH1 cable network.
BOB MARLEY IMMORTALIZED AS A STUFFED CHILD'S TOY? -The children's toy line Learning Curve/Lamaze has a line of beanbag animal characters entitled "Little Knotties." Among the characters in the line include a lion with the name "Marley." An online store writes about the Marley lion animal, "Marley is a lion from whom there is nothing to 'dread'--despite his wild locks. In fact, his knotty orange mane is his best feature! It's perfect for little fingers and mouths to wrap around. It surrounds a sweet yellow face atop a multicolored, plump little body stuffed with plastic beads, so Marley has a nice heft to him--he is not an inconsequential beastie, considering he's but a wee 7 inches long."
Now you can give your infant and young children a dreadlocked Marley, so that they too can hopefully appreciate among other things, rasta beliefs and of course Bob Marley. There is also an 8" version of the Marley lion, and the line also includes characters such as Crinkles the Bat and Alex the Alligator. You can find more information about these Little Knotties at www.learningcurve.com, and if you do not have any children, no worries, the Marley lion is perfect for the collecting adult!
is not the first stuffed toy that bares the Marley name. Way back in
the fall of 1999, a company called Boyds put out a beanbag lion with
the name of "Marley Dreadlion," that was 9" tall and constructed from gold velvet.
REGGAE ARTISTS CELEBRATE TONY REBEL -If you can make it down to Jamaica, there is going to be a huge birthday bash for Tony Rebel, entitled "Rebel Salute 2001" featuring some of the biggest names in reggae music. "Rebel Salute 2001" is going to be held on January 13th at the Port Kaiser Sports Club in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, and some of the acts include Bunny Wailer, Luciano, Tony Rebel, Ky-mani Marley, Culture, Israel Vibration, Glen Washington, Omar & Aaron Silk, Richie Spice, Anthony B and many, many more! You can find much more information about this incredible event at www.jahworks.org website. Below is the poster advertising the event, from the Jahworks.org website.
Be sure to also head over to www.ireggae.com,
where you can listen to Tony Rebel discussing this event, as well as
commenting on Bunny Wailer's new political party. He also talks about
his forthcoming album "Rems Of Rebel" which is due to be released by RAS Records in February.
WAILERS SURVEY RESULTS -We have again received some very interesting results for the monthly Wailers Survey. Last month's question dealt with whether The Wailers were your all-time favorite musical group/artist. Here are some of the responses:
If everyone listened to The Wailers, the world would be a very mellow place indeed...forever.
The Wailers are the greatest artists of this century, especially Peter Tosh, the mightiest of all (after Jah Jah,for sure).
They are the best group I have ever listened to. Their music is great.
The Wailers are the best thing since music.
Absolutely! That question should not of even been asked they are my, and almost the whole world's all time favorite musical group.
Bob, Bunny, Peter - the Rasta Trinity. They are prophets of the oldest faith on Earth - and the best musical and harmony group of all time. Rastafari!!.
You know, their music helps you, everyday when you wake up until you go to sleep it helps. I'd say it's a legal drug.
They have had a very big meanin' in my life.
They are amongst the top but cannot always be the top-most. There are other groups that do good works.
The Wailers "happened." History cannot be told without mentioning them. Great thinkers will cherish their 'art ' forever.
Without The Wailers, the world would have never been graced with wonders like "One Love" and "No Woman No Cry" so they must be the best group ever.
They revolutionized reggae but that's all I'll give them.
The Wailers are the greatest single music group to grace Jah's green earth.
Peter, Bunny and Bob will never be topped as musicians.
BMW are the only band to actually put intelligent meaning to all of their songs. Bob is and will always be the best.
Saw them play in Amsterdam about 2 months ago, they were GREAT! Every reggae fan MUST experience their show! They are all legends and will always be.
The Wailing Wailers are the foundation of an entire musical genre - they are the tree that bringeth forth fruit itinually.
The Wailers are the best band in the world forever. Bob's philosophy is to me like for Christians The Bible. Bob is one of the most intelligent men who lived on earth. And The Wailers are the best band on earth, they got the best drummer, bass player and best singer (Bob).
The best of everything (including the talents of all the singers and players) combined in one super group.
They are the kings of the people's music, reggae.
to everyone who took the time to answer the survey! This month's
question deals with the Island reissue project, and you can answer it
at the bottom of this page or the main page of this site.
(return to this month's features)
NEW RELEASES -
TONY CHIN - MUSIC & ME
Guitarist Tony Chin has just released his first solo album entitled "Music & Me." Chin is the great guitarist for such groups as Peter Tosh's backing band Word, Sound and Power, Andrew Tosh's backing band, the legendary Soul Syndicate, as well as playing on countless numbers of reggae recording sessions. The CD includes 16 tracks, which feature the likes of George "Fully" Fullwood on bass, drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis, keyboardists Keith Sterling and Jawge Hughes, as well as Tony Chin on vocals, lead guitar, strings, and horns. Here is the tracklisting for the album, which is available on the Underdog Records label:
Roger Steffens wrote the liner notes for "Music & Me" and the album should be available at better music stores, as well as online at such places like www.reggaecd.com. Special thanks to Anna Fisher for the information to this story!
GARNETT SILK - THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION
The late-great singer Garnett Silk has just been given tribute in the recently released two-disc compilation featuring some of his last recordings, as well as some of his greatest hits, on the new "Garnet Silk: The Definitive Collection" on Atlantic Records. Garnett had been working on a new album for Big Beat Records, a subsidiary label of Atlantic Records, in 1994, but died before he could complete the songs for producers Clive Hunt and Mikey Chung. The album also includes the musicianship of some of reggae's finest, including some past and present members of The Wailers Band, including bassist Aston "Familyman" Barrett, Tyrone Downie on synthesizers, Earl "Chinna" Smith on guitar, Mikey "Boo" Richards on drums, as well as other legends such as bassist Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespear on drums. If you are new to Garnett Silk's music, or if you are a seasoned veteran, this two-disc collection of Garnett's new and old, is definitely for you!
NATURAL MYSTIC: THE BOB MARLEY STORY
Blueline Media has just published an online unofficial biography of Bob Marley, entitled Natural Mystic: The Bob Marley Story,"which is available for purchase at www.dopefest.com. According to the press release, "the book is an in-depth account of Bob written with a fresh perspective by a leading entertainment writer," Bradley Melekian. "The Bob Marley Story" is an e-book, so as soon as you pay, you instantly get the electronic book. The press release concludes by stating "the book has been written with the highest editorial standards and does not contain any controversial parts or twisted quotes."
DAMIAN MARLEY - HALF-WAY TREE
For the Damian Marley fans out there, The Jamaica Gleaner recently published an article on the latest happenings with Jr. Gong, including giving some information about his forthcoming album "Half-Way Tree." The album is Damian's first since his debut in 1996 with "Mr. Marley." According to the article, the new album will have 15 tracks, all produced by Stephen Marley, and will feature the likes of Bunny Wailer, Treach of Naughty By Nature, Yami Bolo, and many others. There is no release date for "Half-Way Tree," but you can read the article from the Jamaica Gleaner to find more information about the album and Damian himself!
GUNZ IN DA GHETTO
The Marley Brothers have a newly recorded song on the compilation put out by VP Records, entitled "Gunz In Da Ghetto." The song, "Ready We Ready" features Stephen, Damian and Julian. "Ready We Ready" was also recently released as a 7" single and is one of the freshest songs to come from this group in a long while. "Gunz In Da Ghetto" also includes artists like Morgan Heritage featuring Bounty Killer, Anthony B, Sugar Minott, Denroy Morgan and others, and is in stores now. There is also an entire album with the Ghetto Youths Crew coming in the near future, which will feature Damian, Julian, Stephen and others.
EVE - SCORPION
If you are a fan of Stephen Marley, then you might want to watch for the forthcoming album by rapper Eve, entitled "Scorpion." Stephen produces several tracks on the upcoming disc, which also features Eve joining with singer Teena Marie. Eve was a featured act on the 1999 TNT "One Love" tribute to Bob Marley, and she will also appear on Damian Marley's upcoming album. While you wait for "Scorpion," you can visit Eve's official page to get more information on the lady rapper.
REGGAE FOR KIDS - MOVIE CLASSICS
Set to be released on February 27th, 2001 is a new collection by RAS Records entitled "Reggae For Kids - Movie Classics." The album features reggae artists covering Walt Disney movie songs, including Bunny Wailer covering "Hakuna Matada," Don Carlos doing "Zippedy Do Dah," Tony Rebel on "Bare Necessities, Luciano doing "When You Wish Upon A Star," "Peter Broggs on "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf," Sugar Minott covering "It's A Small World, and many others. For more information on the album, head over to RAS Records' website. This sounds like it will be an exciting album for the young and old reggae fan alike!
CULTURE - SCIENTIST DUBS CULTURE INTO PARALLEL UNIVERSE
If you pick up the recently released dub album by Culture, entitled "Scientist Dubs Culture Into Parallel Universe," you not only will hear some out-of-this world dubs produced by producer-extraordinaire Scientist, but you will also hear many of the musicians who tour and back up Bunny Wailer as part of his Solomonic Reggaestra. Among those on this Culture dub album include trumpeter Bobby Ellis, Everton Gayle on trombone, and Harry T. on percussion. "Scientist Dubs Culture Into Parallel Universe" is out in stores now on RAS Records.
AFU RA - BODY OF THE LIFE FORCE
On the recently released album by Afu Ra, entitled "Body Of The Life Force," Ky-mani Marley joins the rapper on the song "Equality," which is also produced by DJ Premier. The album, out on KOCH Records/Fat Beats Records, is the debut album for Afu Ra, and features 18 total tracks. Also in stores now on the D&D Records label, is a 12" single of Ky-mani Marley and Afu Ra's "Equality," featuring three mixes of the song, including a Radio Edit, an Instrumental, and a TV track.
HIDDEN TREASURES: VOLUME 2
We just picked up two unbeatable CDs, that among many other incredible features going for them, have some of the Wailers' family as the musicians. "Hidden Treasures: Volume 2" on Easy Star Records, is easily one of the finest reggae compilations of 2000, collecting rare songs from the under-appreciated Sugar Minott and his Black Roots record label. Among the golden list of musicians performing on the various songs recorded around 1979 to 1994, include drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis, and keyboards Earl "Wya" Lindo among many others, backing singers ranging from Sugar Minott himself, Johnny Osbourne, Tenor Saw, Barry Brown, Alton Ellis and the first song recorded by Musical Youth, among others! If you are a fan of roots reggae and the earliest dancehall sounds, then you have to own this collection of 20 essential tracks!
JACK RUBY PRESENTS THE BLACK FOUNDATION
Yet another outstanding disc we recently purchased is the Heartbeat Records collection of Jack Ruby produced songs, entitled "Jack Ruby Presents The Black Foundation." This disc compiles artists who recorded for Ruby's Fox and Wolf record labels, and features many previously unreleased tracks. Burning Spear, The Gaylads, Justin Hinds And The Dominoes, The Heptones, and many others are among the artists featured on the disc, and the musicians include Santa Davis on drums, Aston "Familyman" Barrett on bass, Tony Chin and Earl "Chinna" Smith on guitars, Earl "Wya" Lindo and Bernard "Touter" Harvey on keyboards, Vin Gordon on trombone, and Bobby Ellis on trumpet, among many others. This disc is also an unbeatable compilation of conscious roots music, and could also be considered one of the finest compilations of the year 2000, and needs to be in your collection if you are a true roots reggae fan! Both "Hidden Treasures: Volume 2" and "Jack Ruby Presents The Black Foundation" show exactly what geniuses Sugar Minott is and the late Jack Ruby was, and you will enjoy every minute of both discs!
CHRIS SALEWICZ - RUDE BOY
Be on the look out for a brand new book by Chris Salewicz, the co-author of the Bob Marley: Songs Of Freedom book released several years ago. His newest project is entitled Rude Boy and details Salewicz' first life-changing visit to Jamaica in 1978, as well as "the history, culture, music and magic of Jamaica from his own personal experience of this island of paradoxes." In the book, he examines these paradoxes, such as Bob Marley and reggae, "piracy and slavery, death squads and organized crime," all in 268 total pages. Rude Boy is available as a UK import, and is published by Victor Gollancz. It sounds like quite a book!
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WAILERS SHORTS -There is yet another of VH1's "Greatest Of" shows, this time it is the "100 Greatest Albums Of Rock 'N' Roll." The list includes five Beatles albums, four Rolling Stones albums, three Jimi Hendrix albums, three Led Zeppelin albums, and many other acts. Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Exodus" album from 1977 sits at number 26, being the only reggae album on the list. Among other albums making the list include Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly" at #63, Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" at #4, and Public Enemy's "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back" at #20. You can find the entire list on VH1's special website for the "100 Greatest Albums Of Rock 'N' Roll." VH1 will also have a five-night special counting down all of the 100 albums, beginning on Monday, January 15 and running through Friday, January 19, from 10:00-11:00 p.m. (ET/PT), hosted by actor Jeff Bridges. They will show rare footage, photos, newly conducted interviews and much more, so watch for it if you can!
1) The People shall govern
6) All shall enjoy equal rights
Ras Astor Black says that, "Never again should the Jamaican people be governed by a minority government, when JAH good people is in the majority." If you want more information on this exciting and upful party, give a visit to www.rastafari.org. Be sure to also visit the Bob Marley School for the Arts Institute page to gain more insight on this equally as honorable cause, which according to Ras Astor, "will attract 30,000 visitors weekly to Trelawny and educate 4,000 students in all areas of Arts."
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JUST A PASSING GLANCE -There is a weekly segment on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" talk show called "Headlines." On this segment Jay Leno shows off amusing headlines, advertisements, articles and other true items that have appeared in actual newspapers. On the December 26th, 2000 episode of "The Tonight Show," he showed a feature article about one town's rendition of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Accompanying the article was a picture of a man playing the part of Jacob Marley from the play, with the caption inaccurately stating that he was playing the part of "Bob Marley." Jay Leno said something like, 'What is this, the reggae version of "A Christmas Carol?" Coincidentally, this particular episode also featured Shaggy as the musical group.
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WailersNet -Martin Batista, the former keyboardist of The Wailers Band for 12 years, has released his very own solo album "World Fusion." Batista started with The Wailers Band in 1986, and recorded with the band on their "I.D.," "Jah Message," and the recent "Wailers Live At Maritime Hall" albums. Martin Batista's official page says of the album that "all instruments were performed by Martin and were generated on Yamaha keyboards, except guitar on "Interlocken;" played by Guitarist Paul Sihon. Here is the tracklist for "World Fusion" which was actually released in 1999:
You can get more information about Martin Batista, his album, and his fascinating career at his official website, where you can also see photographs that he has taken over the years of his underwater journeys.
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WAILERS SURVEY -The results are in for December's Wailers Survey, asking Would you consider The Wailers to be your all-time favorite musical group/artist? Some very interesting results indeed!
Here are the complete results for December's poll:
This month's question asks, "Will you purchase the forthcoming Universal reissues of Bob Marley & The Wailers' Island albums?" If you have additional comments about this question, please leave them when you answer the question. We will have these results next month as well as an all new question! All responses are anonymous and thanks for taking the time to answer the survey!
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GOT THE NEWS FROM A WHISPERING TREE -Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed over 50 e-mailings, packed full with reggae news, new reggae web pages, tour dates, and much more! But it's never too late to join, so fill in your name and e-mail address below to become one of an irie list of people! It's 100% free, and we won't give/sell/trade your name to anyone else!
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