World-A-Reggae’s Jah Raver reviews Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 which will be released February 17, 2015.
Forty years ago this year, Island released Bob Marley’s landmark album Live!. The album, which includes live tracks from his performance at London’s Lyceum Theatre, captured the energy and essence of that amazing performance like few live albums have. The forthcoming Universal/Island release Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 is a tremendous live recording and Marley’s best live album since 1975.
Bob Marley’s 70th birthday year (2015) will include a variety of releases and events to commemorate the legend, his work and iconic impact. Over the course of the year, his legacy will be remembered by new releases of rare and unreleased material as well as fan favorite deluxe editions of his most memorable work. The first release will be available on February 17. Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78, features two historic live shows from Boston’s Music Hall, June 8, 1978. This new and unreleased performance is from the Marley family giving unprecedented access for the first time to their personal material from their private collections and their vaults. The album will be available on blu-ray/cd combo pack as well as dvd/cd and standalone cd versions. Additional newly created animated material will also be a part of this release, marking the first time the family has incorporated this technology into any official Marley releases.
Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 is a brilliantly produced live recording. It has been well-documented that Marley’s band rehearsals were endless, sometimes lasting 12 hours at a time, and it shows in this performance. The Wailers are spot-on throughout (although Marley flubs a line in “I Shot The Sheriff” – a truly rare event! See if you can recognize it). While many live albums consist of a remixed version of the original soundboard recording, it is clearly apparent that Marley’s sound engineers mic’d both the players and the audience. The recorded audio was mixed to near perfection as each instrument and vocal comes through loud and clear. The crowd noise is also included in the mix and instead of interfering with the sound from the band it only heightens the energy, making for a much better recording. Film footage of Marley performing on-stage in Boston is fantastic – a testament to how hard he worked on his craft while not on tour.
This timeless live performance by the “King of Reggae”, and one of the best posthumous Marley albums to date from Island/Universal, is well worth the price of admission and proof positive that there will never be another Bob Marley.