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#1 Jun 09, 2022 1:33 pm

New Historian
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The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

Babylon by Bus, Bob Marley and the Wailers perfectly named live double album, was released in November 1978, at the pinnacle of Bob’s fame, summarizing their just-completed wildly successful "Kaya" world tour. This album was hotly anticipated, by me along with the rest of the world, but I didn't want to buy it in Jamaica, infamous for its shoddy vinyl pressings and skimping on album covers. Fortunately, I soon got an overseas copy, and between one album or the other, they were never off my turntable! It was the soundtrack of our lives, and we were living it. We knew Bob, from way back, knew every song, seen his epic concerts, most recently six months previously, at the One Love Peace Concert, when he’d pulled off the seemingly impossible stunt, of getting warring sworn enemies, Prime Minister Michael Manley and opposition Leader Eddie Seaga, to join hands onstage over his head, while he danced maniacally between them. Pity the peace didn’t last, but that’s another story.

First of all: the band. As Bob’s fame grew, so too did his band, the Wailers. Bigger in numbers, better in talent. In the early days, following the success of their groundbreaking crossover album Concrete Jungle, on live shows with just Bob and Peter Tosh on guitars, the band had difficulty in replicating the searing guitar solo on the title track, which was done in the studio by session man Wayne Perkins. Usually, they’d do a keyboard version of the solo, with a guitar filter. But as soon as Bob got famous, and the money started flowing in, he splurged on musicians. Want a lead guitarist? Let’s get two: Al Anderson and Junior Marvin. Ditto organists: Tyrone Downie and Wire Lindo. No band could be complete without Seeco on congas percussion, Bob’s friend and confidante. Then, backing it all up, or you could say topping it all off: The I-Threes. Perfect harmony, perfect presence, perfect headdresses, swaying hips, subtle but softly seductive.

Then there’s Bob: centre stage, centre of attraction, centre of the universe – singing and dancing like a wild man! I’d seen Bob perform many times before, most recently at the One Love Peace Concert, and Babylon by Bus was a faithful reproduction of his live shows, with excellent sound production quality. 

As befitting such a quality double album, the cover had to match the quality of the music, and in this it didn’t fail. Designed as usual by Jamaican artist Neville Garrick, the covers-within-covers featured lots of full-colour photographs of the band, both onstage and relaxing, tour itinerary and other interesting snippets. Given that Bob had already contracted the cancer that would tragically claim his life, three short years after one photograph stands out, poignantly so:

See that big bandage on his right foot? The beginning of the cancer. He’d injured his foot two years ago, doing what he did most afternoons: playing barefoot football in the front yard of his sprawling old colonial mansion on Hope Road: Island House. The nail of his big toe had shorn right off, a painful and nagging injury, that just wouldn’t go away. He even had to cancel shows because of it. Finally, when doctors looked at the wound, they were horrified at what they found: melanoma. At that early stage, it had not spread, much, but the doctors advised Marley, strongly, to play at safe and opt for surgery: amputation.

What!! Cut off mi foot? Yuh mad?? Bob wouldn’t hear it, how could he dance on stage, with one foot? Bob decided to place his faith in Jah, over the doctors: Jah will guide and protect I. Mind you, at that point, Bob could be forgiven, for feeling blessed, invulnerable even. Just months before, he’d survived an attempt on his life, unbelievably escaping with only a flesh wound, when the room was sprayed with over a hundred bullets. That night on Hope Road, Jah did indeed, protect his favourite son. But would he do so again? Only time would tell.

And, as we know, time did tell, and there wasn’t much of it either. RIP Robert Nesta Marley, O.J.

•    Bob Marley – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
•    Carlton Barrett – drums
•    Aston "Family Man" Barrett – bass
•    Tyrone "Organ D" Downie – keyboards
•    Junior Marvin – lead guitar
•    Alvin "Seeco" Patterson – percussion
•    Al Anderson – lead guitar
•    Earl "Wire" Lindo – keyboards
•    Rita Marley – backing vocals
•    Marcia Griffiths – backing vocals
•    Judy Mowatt – backing vocals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmaAp0K … 6770AEA2A5


BbB3.jpg

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#2 Jun 09, 2022 4:30 pm

Dancer
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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

" You Know :
I don't have any of Marley's live albums.
Good .
I will look forward to getting them  ,  taking  me back to fresh music.
chicks too like Marley , not classical  WSS.
Nice little project.

Last edited by Dancer (Jun 09, 2022 4:34 pm)

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#3 Jun 09, 2022 7:03 pm

Wide Sargasso Sea
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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

Boring like Hell! Just repeated songs sung differently. But you must watch another documentary entitled: "Who Shot the Sheriff" It's about the day when they shot Marley. Bucky Marshall's men pulled the trigger. It was a plot concocted by the CIA and Seaga put them up to do it. Politics is a fucking hell in Jamaica. Bucky Marshall and Claudie Massop were later shot down before they became too powerful and could spill the beans. They were stupid rassoles!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbRamkuMUHI

Last edited by Wide Sargasso Sea (Jun 09, 2022 7:05 pm)

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#4 Jun 09, 2022 9:33 pm

New Historian
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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

Ooman could you please know at least 10% of a subject before you start spouting shyte? Bucky Marshall was PNP, he didn't order the hit on Bob, Claudie did! Backed up by the CIA, and their Jamaican puppet JLP leader Eddie Seaga, otherwise known as CIA-ga.

It's 'faction', but read this book: The Brief History of Seven Killings.

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#5 Jun 10, 2022 1:31 am

Wide Sargasso Sea
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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

I am not going into any blasted dispute with you.  Bucky was sent in to kill Bob because he aligned himself with Manley. Bob was not political, and many tried to talk him out of doing the concert in '76.  I am not going to start another shit with you.

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#6 Jun 10, 2022 8:31 am

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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

Wide Sargasso Sea wrote:

I am not going into any blasted dispute with you.  Bucky was sent in to kill Bob because he aligned himself with Manley. Bob was not political, and many tried to talk him out of doing the concert in '76.  I am not going to start another shit with you.

Lawd when a ooman wrong and string. Dearie, I know it was a long time ago and your brain isn't what it was, but:

Bucky Marshall = PNP don gunman

Claudie Massop = JLP don gunman

Get your don gunmen right!  Your apology is pre-accepted

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#7 Jun 10, 2022 8:33 am

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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

New Historian wrote:
Wide Sargasso Sea wrote:

I am not going into any blasted dispute with you.  Bucky was sent in to kill Bob because he aligned himself with Manley. Bob was not political, and many tried to talk him out of doing the concert in '76.  I am not going to start another shit with you.

Lawd when a ooman wrong and strong. Dearie, I know it was a long time ago and your brain isn't what it was, but:

Bucky Marshall = PNP don gunman

Claudie Massop = JLP don gunman

Get your don gunmen right!  Your apology is pre-accepted

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#8 Jun 10, 2022 9:23 pm

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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

Dancer wrote:

" You Know :
I don't have any of Marley's live albums.
Good .
I will look forward to getting them  ,  taking  me back to fresh music.
chicks too like Marley , not classical  WSS.
Nice little project.

I've got all of 'em, and most of his singles too, bought in Jamaica. When I was going back to Jamaica (from my brother's wedding in summer of ’73), I bought three copies of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ recently released hit album, Catch a Fire, with its iconic Zippo-themed album cover, and gave one each to my brothers and a good friend. Wish I’d kept one for myself.



Catch-a-Fire.jpg

PS: Not that I'd ever sell it, or any of my Marley records, I know of 5 siblings who'll be scrabbling over Dad's vinyl collection after he's pegged!

Last edited by New Historian (Jun 10, 2022 9:31 pm)

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#9 Jun 11, 2022 7:05 am

Slice
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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

WSS, please state one thing in this world you are happy.  You complain about every FRIGGING thing.  Ah sorry for you husband or man.  Ah bet you doh have none.

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#10 Jun 11, 2022 10:30 am

Wide Sargasso Sea
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Re: The brilliance of Babylon by Bus, and the significance of its cover

Slice, you could silence your insignificant voice by plugging a tampon into your throat!

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