Today I share with you an excellent soundboard recording of one of the many rehearsals held in May 1977 at Island’s Basing Street Studios in London. Bob Marley and the Wailers are slated to play 4 shows at the famed Rainbow Theatre in the Finsbury Park area of North London. The shows, scheduled each night from June 1-4, 1977, are in support of the Exodus album which is released on June 3, 1977.
The rehearsal is held at Island’s Basing Street Recording Studios. Set within an old church that had been deconsecrated, Island’s Chris Blackwell recorded a number of artists there for Island Records, such as Iron Maiden, Bob Marley, Steve Winwood, Free, Bad Company, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, King Crimson, John Martyn, Mott the Hoople, Quintessence, Roxy Music, Sparks, Cat Stevens, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, If, Jethro Tull, the Average White Band, the Lighthouse Family, and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
In addition to recording there, Marley also lived for a year in an upstairs apartment at the studio, and his personal chef cooked at Basing Street for most of the 1980s.
In 2012, the studio, now known as SARM Studios, will be completely redeveloped to accommodate 2 brand new, state-of-the-art recording studios, office premises, a set of luxury townhouses, and a small selection of flats.
It always amazes me when I listen to a Wailers’ rehearsal. The songs are played to perfection in most cases, with Bob adding his own commentary and ad-libs. This set is no different. I absolutely love the versions of “Guiltiness” and “Crazy Baldheads/Running Away” played during these sessions. Carly’s drumming is so perfect and so distinctive. For me, Carly’s drumming is the highlight of this set.
In addition to the audio files, I have included an interesting article that was published in March 2006 in Sound on Sound. Although it focuses mainly on the recording of Catch A Fire and Burnin‘, it includes tons of technical information and stories about the Basing Street studios while Bob Marley and the Wailers recorded there.
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Bob Marley and the Wailers
Basing Street Rehearsals
May 31, 1977
02. I Shot The Sheriff
03. No Woman, No Cry
04. No More Trouble
05. Positive Vibration
06. Natty Dread
09. Natural Mystic
10. Lively Up Yourself
11. Crazy Baldheads~Running Away
Transfer: Sony D3 (Azimuth adjustment) > Jet Audio (>PCM 44,1000 kHz, 16 Bit, Stereo) > CDWav > Flac Level 8