On this day in music history: March 23, 1978 - “Kaya”, the tenth album by Bob Marley & The Wailers is released. Produced by Bob Marley & The Wailers, it is recorded at Island Studios in London, UK from January - April 1977. The album consists of tracks recorded during sessions for Marley’s previous release “Exodus”. The album features more laid back, relaxed songs standing in stark contrast to the bands’ more militant, politically motivated material. The release of the album will also coincide with Marley’s return to Jamaica after more than a year of living in London, leaving the country after an attempt is made on his life in December of 1976. It spins off two singles including “Is This Love” and “Satisfy My Soul”. Originally released on CD in 1986, it is remastered and reissued in 1994, with another remaster in 2001 that includes one bonus track. It is also released as a double CD Deluxe Edition in 2013, with the original ten track (plus one bonus track) album on disc one. The second disc features a full concert recorded at Ahoy Hallen, Rotterdam, Netherlands on July 7, 1978. The album is also remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2013. “Kaya” peaks at number four on the UK album chart, and number fifty on the Billboard Top 200.
Born on this day: February 6, 1945 - Reggae music icon Bob Marley (born Robert Nesta Marley in Nine Mile, Saint Ann, Jamaica). Happy Birthday to this musical giant on what would have been his 72nd Birthday.
On this day in music history: April 13, 1973 - “Catch A Fire”, the fifth album by The Wailers is released. Produced by Chris Blackwell, it is recorded at Dynamic Sound, Randy’s Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, and Island Studios in London from May - October 1972. It is the bands’ major label debut on Island Records and includes such classics as “Stir It Up”, “Kinky Reggae”, and “Concrete Jungle”. The first 20,000 copies of the vinyl LP come packaged in a sleeve designed to look like and open and close like a Zippo lighter (designed by Rod Dyer and Bob Weiner). Due to the high cost of producing the original artwork, which also necessitated hand assembly for each jacket, only the initial pressing uses this cover. The album is reissued a year later with different cover art, featuring Marley smoking a spliff. Island Records releases a 2 CD Deluxe Edition of the album in 2001 that features the original Jamaican track listing and without the additional post production overdubs added to the US release. In 2010, the album is remastered again in Japan as a limited edition SHM-CD, with the packaging replicating the original Zippo lighter sleeve in mini-LP form. It is also remastered and reissued on vinyl in 2015, available as an individual 180 gram LP, or as part of the vinyl box set “Bob Marley & The Wailers - Complete Island Recordings. "Catch A Fire” peaks at number fifty one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number one hundred seventy one on the Top 200.