Bob Marley & the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78: Marley’s best live album ?

Forty years ago this year, Island released Bob Marley’s landmark album Live!The album, which includes live tracks from his performance at London’s Lyceum Theatre, captured the energy and essence of that amazing performance like few live albums have.  The forthcoming Universal/Island release Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 is a tremendous live recording and Marley’s best live album since 1975.

To kick off the celebration of Bob Marley’s 70th birthday year, Universal/Island, in association with Tuff Gong Records, will release Bob Marley & the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 on February 17, 2015.  The release of this long-awaited live performance, which  took place at Boston’s Music Hall on June 8, 1978, features Bob Marley and the Wailers performing a thirteen-song set of Marley’s most politically significant and socially conscious songs, and just might be Marley’s best-produced live album since the critically-acclaimed 1975 album Live!.

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As Bob Marley turns 70 his estate opens the audio/video vaults for fans

The year 2015 would have marked the 70th birthday of Nesta Robert Marley, the international “King of Reggae” and one of the most celebrated musical artists of the last half of the 20th century. Bob Marley, who was born to a single mother on February 6, 1945 in a small village in St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica, overcame impossible odds to become one of the world’s most popular yet unlikely rock icons. Since his passing in 1981, Marley has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was recently awarded  Jamaica’s third highest honor, the Jamaican Order of Merit. In addition, at the turn of the millennium, his song, “One Love, was named song of the millennium by the BBC. The album from which it was featured, 1977’s  Exodus, was selected by Time Magazine as the album of the century.

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A Tale of Two Trench Towns

 

“Trench Town Rock” was recorded in July 1971 on a four-track at West Indies Studios, more commonly known as WIRL (West Indies Records Limited) or Dynamic Sounds Studios.  It is the same studio where the Rolling Stones recorded the Goats Head Soup album in 1973.

This version of “Trench Town Rock”, which was released on the G&C imprint in the US, contains an extra verse at the end, making it longer than the more popular version.  It is also noteworthy that this recording features the Wailing Souls on harmony.  Players on this original version included:

Bob Marley – vocal, guitar
Bunny Wailer – harmony, bass
Peter Tosh – harmony, piano, organ
Winston “Pipe” Matthews (Wailing Souls) – harmony vocals
Lloyd “Bread” McDonald (Wailing Souls) – harmony vocals
George “Buddy” Haye – harmony vocals
Norman “Fats” Davis – harmony vocals
Carlton Barrett – drums
Wally Williams – guitar
Alvin “Seeco” Patterson – percussion
Carlton Lee & Andy Capp – engineers

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“Trench Town Rock” was also issued on this Tuff Gong 7″.  However, for this release the final verse is excised leaving us with the more popular version of the tune that most are familiar with as it is the version that got significant radio airplay.