The lost original recordings of the legendary Jamaican singer, Bob Marley, have been discovered after more than 40 years in a damp London hotel basement.
The 13 reel-to-reel, analogue master tapes were found in cardboard box files in a run-down hotel in Kensal Rise, north-west London, where Bob Marley and the Wailers stayed during their European tours in the mid-1970s.
Bob Marley And The Wailers
These tapes are the original, high-quality live recordings of the legendary musician’s concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978. At first, the tapes were thought to be damaged beyond repair, mainly because of flooding and when found were covered in a sticky resin-like material.
But, thanks to modern day technology, out of the 13 reel-to-reel analog master tapes, 10 were fully restored while two of them were blank and one was beyond repair.
The news of the discovery of these tapes comes on the eve of what would have been the reggae legend’s 72nd birthday and it will definitely lead to a rush of excitement among his fans, who are keen to listen to the treasures the tapes contain.
One Of The Ten Restored Tapes
Joe Gatt, a London-based businessman and a long-time Marley fan discovered the tapes from the scrap heap by pure fortuity, when he took a phone call from a friend.
“He was doing a building refuse clearance that included some discarded two-inch tapes from the 1970s”, Gatt said. “I couldn’t just stand by and let these objects, damaged or not, be destroyed so I asked him not to throw them away.”
The tapes were handed over to sound technician Martin Nichols of White House studios. Each tape was then delicately and meticulously cleaned. “They really were in such an appalling condition they should have been binned, but I spent hours, inch by inch, painstakingly cleaning all the gunge off until they were ready for a process called ‘baking’, to allow them to be played safely”, Nichols said.
The newly-restored tapes include some of Marley’s greatest songs such as ‘No Woman No Cry’, ‘Jamming’, ‘Exodus’ and ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, recorded live at the Lyceum, London, in 1975, the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976, the Rainbow in 1977, and the Pavilion de Paris in 1978.
The concerts were recorded on the only mobile 24 track studio vehicle available in Britain at that time, loaned out to Bob Marley and the Wailers by The Rolling Stones.
Bob Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36 was at the height of his powers at that time and his concerts are still regarded as among the most memorable staged by any pop artist in history.
Information Source: telegraph
Title image: bobmarley.com