The Evolution of Bob Marley’s Guitars

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While he was never known for his intense fret work, Bob Marley’s guitar playing still has become renowned the world over. Allowing his lyrics to do the majority of the talking, his guitar sound could become hushed or overpowering in an instant, depending on what the moment called for. This focus on song and emotional feel is what has always made Bob’s music so memorable.

Even during the excessive 1970s, when guitarists used gigantic amp rigs and traded off guitars between every song in a set, Bob stuck to using the same few that he had always used. It’s hard to imagine not seeing a picture of Bob performing live, dreads swinging away and Gibson Les Paul Special in hand. Yet, there it was. Always wrapped up in his arms. Every performance. While some remain in the possession of the Marley family and others have been sold at auction, Bob Marley’s guitars still remain just as iconic as he does. Check out the evolution of Bob’s guitar lineup and you’ll see how his influence has lasted from the 1970s to the present:

Fender Stratocaster

Regarded as many guitarist’s favorite model, the Fender Stratocaster played by Bob Marley is known for its sharp, clean sound. This makes it perfect for playing the slinky reggae of Bob’s earlier records. Here below on a performance of “Stir It Up” from the Old Grey Whistle Test, Bob plays his brown sunburst Fender strat and shows off its trademark sound.

Ovation Adamas

Used during his 1980 tour, Bob Marley’s Ovation Adamas guitar made an impact on his son, Julian, who still uses the same model of guitar today. While the newer models of Ovation Adamas still have the signature sound holes near the top of the guitar’s body, the inside of these beauties have been changed to create a lighter body. Click below to watch Bob Marley play “Redemption Song” on his infamous acoustic in Dortmund, Germany.

Washburn 22 Series Hawk

Of the seven guitars Bob Marley is said to have owned, it’s nearly impossible to find a picture of the singer playing his Washburn 22 series Hawk. Given as a gift from Bob Marley to his former guitar tech, Gary Clausen, the guitar was shrouded in secrecy since leaving its original owner’s hands. Said to be in the possession of the Jamaican government, it’s still considered one of the most valuable guitars in the world at $1 to 2 million dollars.

Gibson Les Paul Special

Perhaps the most well known of all Bob Marley’s guitars, the Les Paul Special holds a special significance for fans who saw him perform live with it. Customizing it with some of his own retro-fitting, Bob took off a few pieces of the guitar’s hardware and filled in some holes with wooden dowels. When Gibson recreated the classic guitar in 2002, they followed Bob’s handmade specs when building the limited edition run of 200 instruments. In the live performance of “Satisfy My Soul” below, Marley uses his classic Gibson and shows off its signature fat sound.

House of Marley Hits The Big Screen With Making of Legend Remixed

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Imagine having the chance to remix a Bob Marley song. Pulling Aston Barrett’s bass sounds from the original track, adding spacey echo to Bob’s vocal tracks and putting your own stamp on a classic song. It’d be a dream, right? That’s exactly what a group of musicians set out to do with the Legend Remixed album, and now an accompanying documentary is set for release this week.

Entitled Making of Legend Remixed, the film follows the creative process of musicians and producers (ranging from reggae to rock to EDM), trying their hand at remixing Marley tracks. The goal? Reimagining the greatest hits album, Legend, and creating a new spin on a timeless sound. Chosen by Ziggy Marley, producer Jason Bentley oversaw the project which features Stephen Marley, Pretty Lights, Thievery Corporation, Jason Bentley, Lee “Scratch” Perry and more.

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The Making of Legend Remixed makes its debut this week at the legendary El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 7, and the premiere is going to be crazy.  With DJ sets coming from Photek and Beats Antique (both were contributors to Legend Remixed), expect tons of stars walking the red carpet and lots of love for the music of Bob Marley.

Can’t make it to Los Angeles? No worries. The film will be making its online debut on August 7, when the Making of Legend Remixed is broadcast live on the Tuff Gong TV YouTube channel. Tune in and you’ll be able to check out in-depth, behind-the-scenes footage of the creative process that went into the Legend Remixed album. Catch rare glimpses of studio life and what it’s like to turn a reggae classic into a electronic masterpiece.

LegendRemixed3Check out the exclusive clip for Making of Legend Remixed below and get ready for the big premiere on Wednesday, August 7. It’s all going down at the big party at the El Rey Theatre, but you can get your front row seat right here.

Bob Marley Transforms on New Legend: Remixed Album

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FACT: Bob Marley’s music is timeless. Period. Over the years, artists of all genres, from funk to punk and everything in between, have felt a kinship to the records made by The Wailers. The music has now become so deeply engrained in memory banks that many producers are weaving the spirit of Bob’s sound into their work. With that idea in mind, the Legend: Remixed album was born.

Building on the foundation of one of the greatest hits albums ever, the Legend: Remixed album transforms the reggae classic into an all-star EDM remix creation. Overseen by producer Jason Bently, the album brings together major stars like Thievery Corporation and Pretty Lights with reggae heroes like Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

With a street date of June 25, the Legend: Remixed album is a must-hear record, no matter whether you prefer reggae or electronic music. Strap on a pair of our over-ear headphones and check out the album’s trailer below. Then, read our picks for the five best remixes on the record and be prepared to have your mind blown by these epic tracks.

“Waiting In Vain (Jim James Remix)”

LegendRemixed1Importing a throbbing and stuttering bass into “Waiting In Vain,” this classically tight Marley song has turned into a spacious affair on Legend: Remixed. Although primarily known as the frontman of country-rockers My Morning Jacket, the song’s producer Jim James created a minimal sound that plays primarily off Bob’s backing vocals and some light drum and horn sounds.

“Stir It Up (Ziggy Marley Remix)”

LegendRemixed2Handling his father’s song with deft care, Ziggy Marley stripped down “Stir It Up” to its bare bones and lovingly recreated it from the ground up. Filled with lush synthesizers and hand clap-inducing drums, the new remix has maximized the song’s original anthemic quality by 200 percent.

“Get Up Stand Up (Thievery Corporation Remix)”

LegendRemixed3Bob Marley’s legendary version of “Get Up Stand Up” is very much based on the earthy sounds of Jamaican. However, the Thievery Corporation, an electronic/dub/acid jazz duo from Washington D.C., blast the track into outer space, almost nearly past Lee “Scratch” Perry’s home planet. Honoring the traditional dub sound, the Legend: Remixed track is smothered in heavy reverb.

“Exodus (Pretty Lights Remix)”

LegendRemixed4“Exodus”, perhaps more than any other track on the Legend: Remixed album, captures the spirit of this remix record. The Pretty Lights version of the classic Marley song hits all of the EDM trademarks, including soaring to major highs over static-filled drums and dropping a huge bass bomb.

“Buffalo Soldier (Stephen Marley Remix)”

LegendRemixed5Despite being known as an amazing reggae musician, Stephen Marley shows off his technical tenacity with his intense EDM production work on “Buffalo Soldier.” Rounding out the Legend: Remixed album, the track expands on the horns of the original version and brings a new tension via needling electronic sounds and a bit of Daft Punk atmospherics.

House of Marley Approved: The Clash Sound System

ClashSoundSystem1Out in the city streets of 1950s Kingston, DJs and MCs traveled around in massive, moving trucks, packed with generators, turntables and speakers. These mobile sound systems sent ripples all the way up to London, England, where the Jamaican party vibe meshed with punk bands like The Clash. On their intense new box set, aptly named Sound System, the band has packed their entire career into one small portable audio system-like creation. Capturing the band from their youthful punk days on through to their heavy dub and reggae period, Sound System is a document of why The Clash has long been considered “The Only Band That Matters.”

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The Greatest Bob Marley Live Concert Moments

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Imagine it. You’re going to see Bob Marley live in concert. The electricity flows through the crowd. There is a hushed silence and then… BOOM! Aston Barrett’s bass hits you in the face as the Wailers engulf you in sound. Bob appears and commands the stage for two hours with a special aura that will never be matched.

If you never saw Bob Marley live in concert, you missed out. Thanks to bootlegs, there are hundreds of rare recordings that capture the intense performances of the Wailers. Strap on a pair of our in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones or over-ear headphones and check out this list of the greatest Bob Marley live concert moments. From massive arenas to intimate club shows, there is magic in these recordings rarely seen anywhere else in music history.

Smile Jamaica Concert, Kingston, Jamaica, 1976

Two days after gunmen attempted to assassinate him, Bob Marley trudged on to play one of his biggest concerts ever. Opening up with an intense medley of “War,” “No More Trouble” and “Get Up Stand Up,” National Heroes Park erupted into one mass of dancing bodies.

Live in London, England, 1977

On four consecutive nights in 1977, Bob Marley and the Wailers played the Rainbow Theatre and recorded one of the greatest live albums ever, Live! At the Rainbow. Unlike most live records, this album launched three monster singles and stayed in the charts for over a year.

One Love Peace Concert, Kingston, Jamaica, 1978

Jamaica was at a dividing point and only one man could put it back together. Bob Marley returned from his self-imposed exile for the One Love Peace Concert and united Jamaica’s two opposing political parties. He followed this up with one of his most soul stirring performances ever.

Live in Santa Barbara, California, 1979

Just after the release of Survival, The Wailers embarked on a major US tour, but the highlight was a show at the beautiful Santa Barbara Bowl. Built right into the side of a large hill, the venue had a mystic vibe and it fed into the electric feel of Marley’s set. Stocked with hits like “Positive Vibration,” “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Get Up, Stand Up,” this concert is a thing of beauty.

Live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1980

Before passing in 1981, Bob Marley’s live concert experience reached its apex at his final show in Pennsylvania. Three encores, a fully stacked set list and a stunning near seven minute version of “Get Up Stand Up” made Marley’s final show unlike anything else ever seen in music history.

The Women of Bob Marley’s Family Tree

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Bob Marley didn’t just land on the planet one day like some sort of musical superhero. Most people know he was born in Jamaica, but what else do you know about the Marley family tree? In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re taking a deeper look at the strong and independent women who carry on Bob’s vision.

Rita Marley

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Remember the “three little birds” from Bob’s song? He was actually talking about the I-Threes, The Wailers background singers, which featured his wife Rita Marley. Marrying Marley in 1966, Rita was Bob’s wife until his passing and became mother to six of his children. Continuing her husband’s charitable efforts, she has given help to children all over the world through the Robert Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation.

Cedella Booker Marley

BobMarleyFamilyTreeKnown as the “Keeper of the Flame” and matriarch of the Marley family tree, Cedella Booker gave birth to Robert Nesta Marley at the age of 18. A singer herself, she took care of Bob by herself after his father passed away when he was only ten-years-old. As the historian of Bob’s life and author of two biographies, Cedella spent most of her life raising her son’s family and keeping his spirit alive.

The Marley Daughters

BobMarleyFamilyTree3During his life, Bob Marley had four daughters that would follow on his path of creating art in many different mediums. Through music, fashion and museum work, Sharon, Cedella, Karen and Stephanie all made significant contributions to the Marley family legacy. Banding together with their brothers Ziggy and Steven, Sharon and Cedella toured together as singers in the Melody Makers.

The women of the Marley family have been able to do some amazing things throughout their lives while still keeping Bob’s legacy alive and intact. Just like the Marleys, mothers all over the world are capable of doing incredible things. We honor and thank them for all of the contributions they’ve made to our lives.

Bob Marley’s Kaya Celebrate 35th Anniversary

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Separated. That’s how Bob Marley must have felt while making his album Kaya. Forced to flee from Jamaica after an assassination attempt, Bob created a record in England that was more in tune with the more peaceful times of Trenchtown. Yet, no matter how great the music… Jamaica was still 4,000 miles away.

In celebration of the album’s 35th anniversary and Bob’s return to Jamaica, Island Records is releasing an expansive two-CD set of Kaya. Perfect for the beach or any place summertime relaxing can happen, the album is full of heavy grooves and motivational words.

Kaya’s earth-friendly lyrics have had a huge influence on the direction of our brand’s Earth-friendly headphonesportable audio systemsbags and watches. Check out some of our favorite cuts from the album below and commemorate this amazing anniversary with a listen to music that will satisfy your soul.

“Easy Skanking”

Setting the pace for Bob Marley’s Kaya, “Easy Skanking” features a slower, more reserved groove than many of The Wailers early tracks. With the promise of “taking it easy, taking it slow,” Marley creates a new vibe for his band that would last for the rest of his career.

“Sun is Shining”

Amongst a number of songs rerecorded for Kaya, “Sun is Shining” trades in its sparse sounds for a heavier guitars and bass. Offering up the line “Sun is shining, the weather is sweet / Make you want to move your dancing feet,” Marley captures the beauty and spirit of nature in Jamaica.

“Smile Jamaica”

As the inspiration for our Smile Jamaica in-ear headphones, this song is new to the latest edition of Bob Marley’s Kaya. Written as an uplifting anthem for Jamaica, Marley first played the song at a concert of the same name shortly after an assassination attempt in 1976, prior to leaving for England.

“Get Up Stand Up (Live from Rotterdam 7/7/1978)”

In addition to the full Kaya album, the new edition of the album features some odds and ends like a live concert from Amsterdam. With the Wailers in fine form after countless recording sessions, this version of “Get Up Stand Up” acts as an eternal document of Bob’s energy-filled live shows.

“Time Will Tell”

Kaya‘s closing song “Time Will Tell” is a relaxed meditation on the history of Jamaica’s citizens. Beckoning to his people that they should “weep no more,” the music of this song signifies some of the newfound freedoms of Jamaicans in the late 1970s and their closeness to Jah.

Five Classic Reggae Artists That Influenced Snoop Lion

ClassicReggaeSongs

While he may be better known as Snoop Dogg, the artist now called Snoop Lion has flipped the reggae world upside down with his new album, Reincarnated. Finding inspiration in classic reggae artists like Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs and Jimmy Cliff, Snoop has paired with producer Diplo to define his own take on the genre.

Reggae has had a strong influence on modern music since its rise from the streets of Kingston decades ago. From classic artists like The Clash and The Rolling Stones to newer pop stars like Bruno Mars and Rihanna, the music has maintained a hold on all kinds of artists. We’ve brought together some of the classic reggae artists that acted as inspiration for the Snoop Lion album. Check ‘em out below!

Bob Marley and The Wailers “Duppy Conqueror”

Aside from inspiring the name of our earbuds, the Conqueror in-ear headphones, Bob Marley’s classic reggae song features an uplifting take on living freely. Marley wrote “The bars could not hold me / Force could not control me / They tried to keep me down / But Jah put I around.”   

Gregory Isaacs “Night Nurse”

The influence of the signature synthesizer sound on Gregory Isaacs’ “Night Nurse” is particularly apparent in Diplo’s production work for Reincarnated. As an early example of mixing electronic music and live instrumentation, “Night Nurse” set a precedent for the entire Snoop Lion project.

The Abyssians “Satta Massagana”

With “Satta Massagana,” The Abyssians went beyond creating a pop hit and wrote a classic hymnal. Widely sang during Rastafarian services in Jamaica, the song shows a connection between religion and reggae, which has been an inspiration for generations of artists.

Jimmy Cliff “You Can Get It If You Really Want”

In learning more about Jamaican culture, listeners will discover the uplifting spirit behind most reggae songs. While many artists have sung about making their lives better, no one has done it better than Jimmy Cliff.

Prince Far I “Survival”

Before producing Reincarnated, Diplo became known for making mix tapes featuring classic reggae artists. From his compilation for VP Records titled Riddimentary: Diplo Selects Greensleeves, the world-famous producer selected Prince Far I’s classic “Survival” as his grand finale track.

The Inspiration Behind Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”

Dive deeper into your Bob Marley records! Feel the grooves of the vinyl and look closer at the labels. Notice anything weird? Here… Take a look:

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Bob Marley is known for his unmatched songwriting, but who is Vincent Ford? How did his name make it onto a Wailers record? Did he really write “No Woman, No Cry?” The answers can be found within Marley history.

Improving the lives of others was constantly on Bob Marley’s mind, a lesson he learned from Vincent Ford. Finding a refuge in Ford’s soup kitchen, Marley discovered how charity worked firsthand from his Kingston mentor.

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Nicknamed “Ta Ta,” Ford did more than just feed local kids. He taught them to pick up guitars and write about the world that surrounded them. Looking around the Jamaican streets, Marley found inspiration during a conversation with “Ta Ta” one day. He strummed and sang:

“I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
Oba, ob-serving the hypocrites
As they would mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have had, oh good friends we’ve lost along the way
In this bright future you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears I say

No woman, no cry”

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When the song was released, Bob Marley gave Ford credit for writing “No Woman No Cry.” By giving away his songwriting royalties to his mentor, Marley ensured that generations of Kingston children would be able to eat.

This story is the birth of the #LiveMarley movement. How are you making a difference in your community? What actions are you taking to create a better tomorrow? The House of Marley wants to hear all about it. Head to our Facebook page, click on the “Share Your Story!” tab and tell us how you are making a positive impact on the world that surrounds you.

 

 

 

The Rastaration of Bob Marley’s Land Rover

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Can you hear it? That’s the sound of Bob Marley’s Land Rover firing up in the distance.  After sitting idle for decades, mechanics have brought a piece of the Marley legacy back to life.

Stripped to the bone and reimagined by the ATL Automotive group, the Land Rover project has been a labor of love. Down to the smallest detail, auto designers and technicians have worked months to make everything the way Bob Marley would have wanted it.

Further putting the Marley stamp on the project, Bob’s eldest daughter, Cedella Marley has created the upholstery for the car’s interior. While the project is still in the final stages of completion, the car has come a long way since its rust-ridden condition of 2012.

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Bob Marley was known for driving his Land Rover around the streets of Kingston, Jamaica and finding inspiration to write his lyrics. Can you imagine being in the car with Bob, witnessing the creation of songs like “Get Up Stand Up,” “I Shot The Sheriff” and “One Love?”

Celebrating the Marley heritage and repurposing items from the past inspires us to create new products, whether it’s Earth-friendly bags, portable audio systems or over-ear headphones. What inspires you? Share your muse with the House of Marley on our Facebook page and tell us what makes you want to #LiveMarley.

BONUS: ATL Automotive is documenting the process of rebuilding Bob Marley’s Land Rover through a unique video series. Check out the video below and watch the ATL team strip the Land Rover to its core.