The smell of a record store is a distinct one. As a celebration of the scent of decaying vinyl and musty basement, record stores across the US are celebrating Record Store Day on April 20, 2013. With over 700 record stores participating in special sales, there has never been a better time to start collecting Bob Marley records.
While most pieces of vinyl like Kaya and Exodus are easy to find, some Bob Marley records are incredibly rare. During your Record Store Day adventures be on the lookout for some of the harder-to-find albums mentioned here. Throw on a pair of over-ear headphones and start studying up on some of the rarest Bob Marley records around:
Bob Marley “Judge Not”
As the very first recording of Bob Marley, the song “Judge Not” is still a popular item amongst collectors. Released by Island Records in 1963, the vinyl grooves captures 17-year-old Marley contemplating the concept of judgment. In the song, Marley states, “Judge not / Before you judge yourself / Judge not / If you’re not ready for judgment.”
The Wailers “Diamond Baby”
After coming in for a Sunday night audition, The Wailers signed a five-year contract with Coxsone Records in 1964. One of the group’s first hits for the label was “Diamond Baby,” which subsequently would become one of the hardest Bob Marley records to find on vinyl. This song was originally written by Curtis Mayfield for his group, The Impressions, whom the Wailers would continue to cover throughout their careers.
Bob Marley and The Wailers “Selassie is the Chapel”
There have been several different pressings of this early Wailers hit, which means that the value of later releases is near non-existent. However, for hardcore record collectors, there is something fascinating about a first pressing. The rarely seen white label version of this record can fetch nearly $2000 at auction.
The Wailers The Wailing Wailers LP
Still commanding anywhere from $500 to $1000, The Wailing Wailers LP is the first full-length appearance of the group that would eventually become Bob Marley’s backing band. Collecting early singles and covers, the album also includes an early take of the masterpiece “One Love.” Although radically faster, the song is still intact for the most part.
Bob Marley and The Wailers Lighter Box Set
When Bob Marley’s album Catch a Fire was initially released, the vinyl came with a gatefold cover that acted like a lighter with a flip top. In 2003, Universal Records recreated the packaging on a bigger scale including 12 Bob Marley records inside of a large Zippo. The box set is limited to 100 pressings, making it one of the rarest pieces of Bob Marley memorabilia.