At 70, Bob Marley’s Estate Opens Vault to 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.

To commemorate Marley’s 70th birthday, the Marley estate is planning the release of Bob Marley and the Wailers Easy Skanking in Boston ’78, a 2-CD/DVD/Blu-Ray featuring Marley’s performance at Boston’s Music Hall on June 8, 1978. The set will be released on February 17, 2015. The album will be available on Blu-Ray/CD combo pack as well as DVD/CD, and standalone CD versions.  

Included with the set is a 46-minute video of Marley’s performance shot by a fan who was front and center for the show. The live shots are interspersed with creative animation 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 folks at Tuff Gong International are also preparing to reissue Interviews, an album featuring Marley’s 1973 interview with Jamaican journalist Neville Willoughby, which was originally released on the Tuff Gong record label in 1982. It was first reissued in CD format in 1995 on the RAS Records label. The interview, recorded at a Rasta commune at Bull Bay Beach, St. Thomas, Jamaica, captures a young, idealistic, and charismatic Marley back from the Wailers’ first tour of the UK to promote their debut album Catch A Fire. Included with the interview are several Marley tunes – “Trench Town Rock,” “Redemption Song,” “Babylon System,” “Time Will Tell,” “Natural Mystic” and more – which help set the stage and illustrate Marley’s story.