In 1967, when I signed Bob, he wanted above all else to be a soul singer like Sam Cooke or Marvin Gaye. He greatly admired the singing of my partner in the music business, Johnny Nash. In the early sixties, people like Harry Belefonte were exposing the Carribean sound to America. Motown and Philly soul were the sounds on pop radio. When I signed Bob Marley, I arranged for hundreds of recording sessions in my home in Jamaica to capture both the Wailers singing covers of hits (as was the style in those days) and also Bob and Bunny and Peter's originals. These tapes have been locked away for almost 30 years, allowing Island/Tuff Gong to fully expose the music they had. They have done a great job, as evidenced by the beautiful reissue packages that you are probably familiar with. I feel it's now time to reveal the early Bob Marley, the fiery r&b singer, who styled his harmonies after the Impressions and actively sought an American black audience. I knew Bob quite well, he lived in my home for years- and he and Skill Cole were my friends. I'm proud to finally release this music and hopefully do something nice for his surviving family.
In order to bring Bob's music to the widest possible audience, I've commissioned several modern dance remixes of the songs in my vaults. Wanting to check with the family, we ran these remixes by Bob's children and their mother Rita for their reaction. Not only did they approve, but we now have 2 remixes by Stephen Marley which feature the voices of Damian, Julian and Stephen, three of Bob's sons. We also have Bob's daughter Cedella and Tuff Gong Films doing our video! We are delighted that we can help combine the efforts of Bob's family (his true legacy) with our own. It's been a long time coming.
My company has hundreds of tracks which have never been heard by the public. We plan to release everything we have in our vaults, as quickly as all tape restorations have been completed. We'll also release a special series of collector's singles periodically.We are very proud to announce that our first offering is Bob Marley's rarest record of all time, the immortal Rasta classic, "Selassie Is The Chapel." Mortimo Planno, his early Rasta mentor, wrote the song especially for Bob, and recorded it privately in a pressing of only 26 copies. Twleve of them were taken to Ethiopia by Bob's close friend, Allan "Skill" Cole. Only a small number of those 26 discs are now known to exist, which explains the recent auction price of $l,600 dollars for a copy. (In fact, had the bid arrived in time, the record would have sold for $3,800!) It is our wish that all those serious Marley enthusiasts around the world who have waited in vain for their own copies, will no longer have to wait. We have created a virgin vinyl limited edition pressing. Only 1,000 numbered copies will be made. The front and back covers were specially commissioned by a noted artist (TBA). The first 50 will be signed by Mortimo Planno and the artist. The next 50 will be signed by [the artist]. Immediately after the pressing, the stamper will be destroyed, and no other copies will be made from it. We plan to issue at least four never before heard records in uniform editions, complete with stunning artwork. Number one in the series will be the most highly sought after, so don't miss your chance to own a significant part of Bob Marley's history.