By Richard Buskin
Bob Marley and the Wailers were the first Jamaican musicians to achieve world stardom. Tracked in Kingston and finished in London by Island engineers Phill Brown and Tony Platt, their breakthrough album was a truly international recording.
Starting as a tape-op at Olympic Studios, London, in November 1967, Phill Brown was initially trained by such industry notables as Keith Grant, Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer while working with artists like the Rolling Stones, the Small Faces, Traffic and Jimi Hendrix. Not a bad start. In 1970, after having built Toronto Sound, Canada’s first 16-track studio, with his brother Terry, Brown then became a house engineer at the newly opened Island Records facility on Basing Street in Central London, where he initially worked with outside clients and stayed until going freelance in 1976. By then his credits included Harry Nilsson, Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin, Robert Palmer and one Robert Nesta Marley, who as a member of the Wailers had first worked alongside Brown on the band’s second Island release, the 1973 album Burnin’.
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