1 Nov 05
As announced here on whereseric.com in July, unknown recordings by reggae legend Bob Marley were discovered by his son Ziggy in 2004 in the family’s archive. They will be released on a CD compilation entitled "Africa Unite: The Singles Collection" on 8 November 2005.
An acoustic demo, entitled “Slogans,” has been overdubbed with additional instrumentation to complete it. Now featuring Eric Clapton on guitar, the tape is believed to have been recorded by Marley in Miami, Florida in 1979.
Shore Fire Media has issued the following press releases about the new single, "Slogans" and for the CD:
PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MARLEY SINGLE: ‘Slogans’ Is Riveting And Timeless
The first new official Bob Marley track to be released in decades, "Slogans" is a song with a message of freedom and righteousness that transcends generations. It is believed that Marley recorded the song in a Miami bedroom in 1979.
The acoustic demo was revisited by the reggae legend’s sons Stephen and Ziggy with overdubbed instruments, including guitar by Eric Clapton. "Slogans" is a bright and mighty anthem reminiscent of classic Marley.
The new "Slogans" video will be available online for a limited time. The captivating cinematography is full of classic Marley footage, explosive live concert visuals and poignant images from the 1960’s and 1970’s to the present era.
The video provides a relevant backdrop to Marley’s timeless and powerful lyrics that speak to the world we inhabit today as they did in 1979 when the song was written. The release of Bob Marley’s "Slogans" is proof that a true artistic spirit never dies.
In the year Bob Marley would have turned 60, the past, present and future of his music are celebrated not only with the first Bob Marley & The Wailers greatest hits package to include both his early sides and his Island Records hits but also a new recording and two new remixes. Along with 17 vintage tracks, Africa Unite: The Singles Collection (Island/Tuff Gong/UMe), released November 8, 2005, spotlights "Slogans," the first new official Marley track released in more than a decade. It is believed Marley recorded the song in a Miami bedroom in 1979. The tapes were kept at Marley’s mother’s house and last year the reggae legend’s sons Stephen and Ziggy revisited the acoustic demo. In 2005, Stephen overdubbed the tracks with other instruments, including guitar by Eric Clapton. Stephen and Ziggy produced "Slogans" specifically for this release.
Another new recording is a remix of "Africa Unite," whose original was heard on the 1979 album Survival. The song is presented here in an anthemic remix by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas, who was personally invited to create the remix by Rita Marley, Bob’s wife. Also new is the Ashley Beedle Remix of "Get Up, Stand Up Vs. Jamrock," a mash-up of Bob’s classic and "Welcome To Jamrock," the 2005 hit from youngest son Damian.
Africa Unite: The Singles Collection commemorates Marley’s life on record just as the 2005 Africa Unite concert in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on his 60th birthday (February 6) commemorated it on stage.
Chris Blackwell, the former Island Records boss who launched Marley’s international career and produced many of his finest records, gives the following track-by-track insight on Africa Unite: The Singles Collection:
1. SOUL REBEL (1968) – "A lot of Bob’s early songs like Soul Rebel were recorded in different versions and I think he recorded versions with both Lee Perry and with Johnny Nash. That was before he signed to Island, although I did put out a lot of the Wailers’ early stuff like Put It On and Bend Down Low".
2. LIVELY UP YOURSELF (1971) – "When I first started working with Bob he told me he’d never had any royalties from any of his records, so I suggested that we re-worked several of the old songs on each new album so he could earn some money from his songwriting. They were all such great songs,anyway. This is an early version of Lively Up Yourself but we later re-cut it for the Natty Dread album."
3. TRENCHTOWN ROCK (1971) – "The first version of Trenchtown Rock was recorded with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and is before my time. We never re-recorded the song on a studio album but it was a live favourite and you’ll find a version on the Live! album recorded at the Rainbow in 1975."
4. CONCRETE JUNGLE (1972) – " I thought that song was light years ahead of anything else that had come out of Jamaica at the time. This is an earlier version before Bob signed to Island and we re-recorded it as the opening song on the Catch A Fire album. That was a key track because we added rock guitars to lure people in because I wanted the Wailers to be taken seriously as musicians by a rock audience."
5. I SHOT THE SHERIFF (1973) – "I always loved that song but I never felt we quite got it right in the studio. I felt the sound was too light for the incendiary nature of the lyric. But obviously Eric Clapton didn’t find much wrong with it because he liked it enough to cover it."
6. GET UP STAND UP (1973) – "The rhythm of that song came from The Temptations’ Papa Was A Rolling Stone. I played the track to Bob because I just thought it was a fantastic recording and he totally got it. On the early takes of Get Up Stand Up, you can hear quite clearly that it’s the Temptations’ bass line, but by the time we recorded the version that was released , it had been turned into something else."
7. NO WOMAN, NO CRY – Live (1975) – "I knew that was a hit single but it was another one we could never get right in the studio. Then Bob was playing the song at the Roxy in LA and the audience were singing along and there was this huge transference of emotion. That gave me the idea of recording a live version and putting it out as a single. Straight after that show I made a call and booked a mobile studio to record it on the Wailers’ next date, which happened to be in England at the Lyceum."
8. ROOTS ROCK REGGAE (1976) – "I remember working on that song in Miami and I wanted a King Curtis kind of sax player on it. When Bob sings ‘play I on the r&b’ ,that was about him wanting to get on American r&b radio. They weren’t interested in reggae at the time because it wasn’t smooth enough and Bob’s one big frustration before he died was that he wasn’t reaching black America."
9. EXODUS (1977) – "That track is like Mount Everest. We recorded the whole Exodus album in England and I remember the band working on that track and realising that it was something monumental."
10. WAITING IN VAIN (1977) – "I thought that song was a number one record. It had something that could reach everybody, anywhere, any time. The melody was incredible. We mixed it and mixed it, but I don’t know if we ever did the song full justice in the end."
11. JAMMING (1977) – "That was like a companion to Exodus, but with a lighter feel. Exodus had all that gravitas to it and Jamming was the party song. The way we sequenced that album was that side one had the gravitas and the second side was light, opening with Jamming and ending with One Love. Virtually every song on that second side was a single."
12. IS THIS LOVE (1978) – "Is This Love is a great song and I was always very happy with Kaya, the album it came from. It had a very summery, carefree feel. When the album came out, several reviewers said he’d gone soft. But Bob was feeling great at that time and those songs reflected how he was feeling."
13. SUN IS SHINING (1979) – "The original version of Sun Is Shining was produced by Lee Perry. I loved his production, which was very sparse. But the version we re-recorded for Kaya has a great atmosphere, too. We tried to reflect the essence of the song, which is saying the sun is shining but don’t forget that people are suffering ,too."
14. COULD YOU BE LOVED (1979) – "Could You Be Loved was written on a plane on the way back from Brazil, where they loved Bob. He was mobbed there more than anywhere else in the world. He loved the vibe of the country and on the flight back he was fiddling about with the guitar and a kind of Brazilian rhythm and Could You Be Loved emerged from that."
15. THREE LITTLE BIRDS (1980) – "That’s as frothy as Bob ever got. He was having a lot of success, his shows were selling out and he was enjoying life. He’d had a rough life but things were working for him and what you hear in that song is a lot of joy."
16. BUFFALO SOLDIER (1983) – "It was never one of my favourite songs, but you can hear why it’s so popular, particularly in America. The lyric is like a history lesson of the arrival of black people in America and their conscription into the army."
17. ONE LOVE / PEOPLE GET READY (1984) – "One Love was an old song Bob had recorded at Studio One but when we recorded it for Exodus he had a new part for it, which I thought was reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready. I suggested he gave Curtis a credit and Bob got that immediately and said ‘you’re right’. He had really great instincts like that."
18. AFRICA UNITE (2005 – will.i.am remix) – "I always liked that song and the album it’s from, Survival, is actually my favourite Bob Marley album because it’s the one I had nothing to do with ! I can listen to it like an ordinary punter and I think songs like So Much Trouble In The World and Africa Unite on that record are just fantastic."
19. SLOGANS (2005) – "Slogans is one of seven or eight songs found on a tape of Bob working in his room with a drum machine, my guess would be around 1979. They’re really sketches of songs and this one has been brought up, instruments added, including Eric Clapton on guitar. I think it’s pretty amazing. The lyric sound so current. It could have been written about New Orleans."
20. Stand Up Jamrock (2005 – Ashley Beedle remix)