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The Wailers Tuff Gong Sessions 1970/1971

Included here are early Wailers studio recordings from the years 1970 and 1971.  These were pivotal years for Bob Marley, Neville Livingston, and Peter Tosh – The Wailing Wailers. Marley has been in the music hustle full-time now for eight solid years, having laid down his first four recordings for producer Leslie Kong at Federal Records in 1962 (“Judge Not,” “Do You Still love Me?,” “One Cup Of Coffee” and “Terror”). In May 1971 the group entered Dynamic Studios to lay down ten tracks for a yet-to-be-titled album produced by Kong. The Wailers were at a low point. A lackluster talent from Texas had recently gained worldwide acclaim from songs penned and arranged by the group and while he was jet-setting all over Europe living the life of a playboy, they had little to show for it. A series of sessions with other producers on the island yielded little. Kong’s studio band, the Beverleys’ All Stars (aka Gladdy’s All Stars), led by pianist Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson, laid down the riddims that eventually became “Soul Shakedown Party,” “Soul Captives,” “Stop That Train,” “Caution,” and “Soon Come” the following summer when the album was finally issued as The Best of the Wailers on the Beverleys label.

In the summer of 1970 Bob Marley launched the Tuff Gong record label and store, which was located at 127 King Street. In October of that same year the shop was burglarized by five individuals. In total, $1000 worth of guitars, amplifiers, records, record players, congo drums and cash was stolen. Police apprehended only one out of the five burglars. You can read about it in the included Jamaica Gleaner article.

It is in August of 1970 that The Wailers begin collaborating with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry. They spend one year recording at the Black Ark under the tutelage of Perry. Most critics and fans agree that the music that was created during this period is by far the group’s best, most substantive of their career. It is during this period that the Wailing Wailers will meet the rhythm section that will change the sound of reggae forever. Perry’s studio band The Upsetters includes a pair of brothers – Aston Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums). When the group leaves Perry’s studio in March 1971, they leave with a new bass player and drummer in tow.

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Concrete Jungle (Dub) 3:05
Comma Comma 1:53
Pour Down The Sunshine 2:18
Trouble On The Road Again 2:33
Hold On To This Feeling 2:54
Oppressor Man 4:07
Give Me A Ticket 1:57
Black Progress 2:29
Screw Face (I) 2:21
Guava Jelly (I) 2:15
Trench Town Rock (I) 3:27
Satisfy My Soul Babe 2:06
Back Biter 2:31 (See Note 1)
Concrete Jungle 3:08
Craven Chock Puppy 2:51
Lick Samba 2:32
Redder Than Red 3:09
Lively Up Yourself 2:50
Trouble On The Road Again (Ii) 3:31
Screw Face (Ii) 2:18
Guava Jelly (Ii) 2:08
Trench Town Rock (Ii) 2:45
Satisfy My Soul Jah Jah 2:28
Screw Face (Iii) 2:53
Guava Jelly (Acoustic) 0:41
This Train (Acoustic) 1:46
Cornerstone (Acoustic) 1:50
Comma Comma (Acoustic) 1:26
Dew Drops (Acoustic) 2:18
Stir It Up (Acoustic) 2:09
Cry To Me (Acoustic) 1:18
Im Hurting Inside (Acoustic) 2:28 (See Note 2)
Why Should I 3:30
Hammer 3:17
Music Lesson 5:50
Im Still Wailing 2:48
It Hurts To Be Alone 3:14
How Many Times 6:42
Hold On To This Feeling (Dub) 2:50
Give Me A Ticket (Dub) 1:57
Black Progress (Dub) 2:36
Oppressor Man (Dub) 3:55
Screw Face (Dub) 2:16
Satisfy My Soul Babe (Dub) 2:56
Redder Than Red (Dub) 2:46
Trench Town Rock (Dub) 2:56
Lively Up Yourself (Dub) 2:52
Back Biter (Dub) 2:31
Guava Jelly (Dub) 2:13
Lick Samba (Dub) 2:34
Craven Chock Puppy (Dub) 2:37
Screw Face (Iii) Dub 2:56
Satisfy My Soul Jah Jah (Dub) 2:39





  1. ubermize says:

    From what year is that overproduced disco business after the acoustic section?

    1. midnightraverblog says:

      “Why Should I” was remixed for the ‘Songs of Freedom’ compilation and released as a single along with the box set release in 1992. The original wasn’t released until the JAD/Universal box set Man To Man in 2004. The original was recorded in 1971 and features Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer’s backing vocals, which were replaced by The I-Threes on the remix. Horrid in my opinion. I don’t know why it was included in this playlist. Actually I don’t even know where I got this playlist. A lot of rare tunes though.

  2. Jon says:

    You should probably edit your post to clarify that these sessions were not recorded at the Black Ark studio, as that wasn’t built until, what, around 1974? I think these all would have been laid at Randy’s.

    1. midnightraverblog says:

      Maybe its not necessary. I mean, you’re right, in a perfect world it’d be great to know where each track was laid and I have a fantastic book that has all this info – Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography by Roger Steffens and Leroy Jodie Pierson, however I got a full-time job and 3 kids that say I won’t be doing this!

      1. Jon says:

        I didn’t say anything like that, all I said is that you wrote something isn’t correct (that they spent a year recording at the Black Ark) and suggested that you correct it. That would take all of 30 seconds.

        1. midnightraverblog says:

          Oh! I see what you are saying. The Ark wasn’t built until 1973. They spent a year recording with Perry at his home studio. I mistakenly wrote it was the Ark. Thanks for pointing that out!

          1. Jon says:

            No problem, but to be a pendant, I don’t think Perry had a “home studio” prior to the Ark. He recorded mostly at Randy’s (Studio 17) owned by the Chin (VP) family.

          2. midnightraverblog says:

            Damn, you a str8t wizard on the history side! I need to bring you on board. What you like to do in your spare time?

  3. Guillaume Bougard says:

    Thanks a lot, Michael, for this great playlist. Another book worth reading for Wailers fans is John Masouri’s “The Story of Bob Marley’s Wailers: Wailing Blues”

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