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Wednesday, February 8

Newly Discovered Tapes of Bob Marley & The Wailers Live Concerts have been Unearthed in a London Basement

Four days after Bob Marley's 72nd birthday, tapes of shows he performed in England from 1975-1978 that had previously been unearthed have finished being cleaned up after a year of painstaking work to save the original sound.  
These reels have been lying in a dank London basement for forty years and have finally been cleaned up and saved after a year of tireless effort. Thirteen reel-to-reel tapes were found in the basement of the hotel that the band stayed in during their European tours have all the classics and have been described as,"spine-tingling".  The tapes were all water damaged, seemingly beyond repair, but using today's restoration techniques and lots of loving care, the tapes known as the,"Lost Masters", now have given up their treasure trove of Marley shows from The Lyceum in 75', the Hammersmith Odeon in 76', the Rainbow from 77', and the Pavilion de Paris from 1978. Marley fans will recognize the Rainbow as the venue that the incredible BMW Live show took place at when the original Wailers were still together.
From the
A building refab crew found the tapes and turned them over to a London businessman, who turned them over to an audio engineer to help salvage the contents. Apparently when they were found, they were so water damaged that soaked magnetic tape was literally almost dripping out of the reels.
If the tapes had even attempted to be played in the condition they were found in they would've been destroyed forever. Luckily, the studio gave them the loving care they deserved and it was eventually found that out of the original thirteen reels, 10 were restored, 2 were blank, and 1 was unsalvageable. After spending about 25,000 pounds to save them, they are now in a digital format and the music is apparently so good,  “It made the hair on the back of our necks stand up and genuine shivers ran up our spines with joy,” said one of the men involved in the project. Let's look forward to the public release of these shows that were recorded on top-notch equipment and were very professionally recorded. Just when you think you've heard it all from the Marley estate, once in awhile, in the strangest of places, you can find the light. The jazz artist, Louis Hoover, who got the tapes to the studio, commented, “The experience was comparable to, say, finding Van Gogh’s easel, paint pallet and paints in an old room somewhere, then Vincent emerges through a secret door to paint 26 of his finest masterpieces … purely for us.”
I don't know about all that but the band was on fire during those years and with such a stroke of luck by finding them and then being able to be restored, it would be nice to hear the result of all the work that has brought these artifacts out into the light of day. It's amazing how much great music comes out of dank London basements.

Written by: Greg Heffelfinger

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