Tapes of Bob Marley Performances Restored

A collection of live recordings by Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley -- the seminal Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician, and guitarist -- have been restored after being considered damaged beyond repair. 13 2" reel-to-reel analogue master tapes were found in the basement of a Kensal Rise hotel in North-West London, where Bob Marley and the Wailers had stayed during their European tours in the mid-1970s. Modern restoration technology has successfully recuperated sound from 10 of the master reels, enough, it has been reported, to "send shivers down one's spine."

The tapes were initially rescued by a fan, Joe Gatt, who recounts receiving a call from a friend happening upon the tapes while doing building clearance. The restoration was done by sound technician Martin Nichols of White House Studios. Given the water damage suffered by each tape, the process took almost a year to complete -- just in time for the 72nd anniversary of Bob Marley's birthday on 6 February. For more reporting, see The Independent, The Telegraph, Rolling Stoneand The Guardian.

On a related note, given the proximity to Marley's birthday, see also the following: News of the return in 2017 of the Smile Jamaica Concert, first headlined by Bob Marley on December 5, 1976 and now co-produced and headlined by son and seven-time Grammy Award winner Stephen Marley. A substantive commemorative article by Quito J Swan, asking us to listen to the writings of Marcus Garvey through the reggae music of Marley and others. A descriptive timeline by OkayAfrica of Marley's direct and spiritual engagement with the African continent. A review article in New York Amsterdam News on the film, "Dreadlock Story," by French anthropologist Linda Aïnouche, connecting the spirituality of Jamaican Rastafarians and Indian Sadhus. And a vivid account of his funeral in May of 1981, as provided by an attendee, Richard Williams, in The Guardian.

Bob Marley, circa 1970 (Echoes/Getty)

Bob Marley, circa 1970 (Echoes/Getty)