BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS Catch A Fire (1973) – Marley’s Previously Unreleased Jamaican Version

Catch A Fire (1973)
Bob Marley’s Original Jamaican Recordings… Before Chris Blackwell Had His Say…

Island Records’ Chris Blackwell was a visionary. No dispute. He alone saw the worldwide potential in Bob Marley’s Wailers and, like Brian Epstein with The Beatles, took a hands-on approach to cleaning up Marley’s act to introduce him to the rest of the world. Marley had been recording and performing for years in Jamaica and was no rookie, but Blackwell knew that wouldn’t be enough. So he tinkered with Marley’s formula – already fully realized, but lacking in the sophistication that Blackwell would provide. BMW’s 1973 debut for Island, Catch A Fire, was the result, and it is lauded to this day. But… what of the original, Marley-produced material that Blackwell had to work with? This is it! The first, Jamaican version of Bob Marley’s major label debut – more raw, more naked and more indicative of Marley’s vision… or limitations, depending on how you hear it. These tapes sat in the can for nearly 30 years before being combined with the better-known 1973 Island release for the 2001 Deluxe Edition of Catch A Fire. Here’s the music – in its original form – that gave Chris Blackwell visions of the future, and the world one of its most credible musicians. There’s more Marley in the archives, including… Live At Leeds (HERE), Live At The Roxy (HERE), The Record Plant, December, 1973 and Exodus “Scratch” Demos, 1977 (both HERE), BILL LASWELL/BOB MARLEY Dreams Of Freedom: Ambient Translations Of Bob Marley In Dub (HERE) and VARIOUS ARTISTS Sacred Sources, Vol. 1: Live Forever (HERE). Find the Catch A Fire Deluxe Edition, with the original Jamaican tapes, at Amazon, HERE.

Concrete Jungle (4:16)
Stir It Up (3:40)
High Tide Or Low Tide (4:45)
Stop That Train (3:55)
400 Years (3:03)
Baby We’ve Got A Date (Rock It Baby) (4:05)
Midnight Ravers (5:09)
All Day All Night (3:29)
Slave Driver (2:57)
Kinky Reggae (3:45)
No More Trouble (5:16)


  • ksn
    February 3, 2010 - 15:52 | Permalink

    hot DAMN!

  • Capt. Willard
    February 3, 2010 - 14:40 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Anonymous
    February 3, 2010 - 23:11 | Permalink

    Another big Thanks to The Captain ! I REALLY can't wait to hear just how far CB "cleaned up".. esp as I love very early Marley

  • snakeboy
    February 3, 2010 - 23:11 | Permalink

    Incredible! Thanks for this.

  • Capt. Willard
    February 3, 2010 - 23:39 | Permalink

    It's not too radical. Blackwell was smart enough not to fuck with brilliance. Thanks for all the comments.

  • Art Ducko
    February 4, 2010 - 07:27 | Permalink

    Great stuff, Cap. It's funny that my two most favorite Marley albums are "Natty Dread" & "Kaya", one being his most political while the other is probably his most commercial release. Yet they both still rock & groove with a righteous sound. A wizard, a true star. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous
    February 4, 2010 - 10:32 | Permalink

    Stunning Marley Posts these I have come across a few earlier moment in the past..Always like the rougher versions…Thank you

  • lemonflag
    February 4, 2010 - 16:33 | Permalink

    I remember the story as Blackwell gave them STG 5,000 (about $8,000 at the time) to go back to Jamaica to make the album. Blackwell's friends told him he would never se the money again. Months later Bob turns up with the tapes we now have here. Blackwell decided to make them a bit more palatable for the "rock" market. Either way we can now enjoy them both ways. The best of both "worlds". Thank Jah.

  • Tyro
    February 4, 2010 - 18:10 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for this. Never heard it before.

    Quick question: The MP3s are tagged as disc 1 of 2. Is there a second disc, or was that just a typo?

    Thanks again for everything.

  • Capt. Willard
    February 4, 2010 - 18:14 | Permalink

    It's referenced in the text.

  • casper
    February 5, 2010 - 15:50 | Permalink

    Thanks for this one and all posts so far (was about time to comment)

  • Slidewell
    February 8, 2010 - 21:26 | Permalink

    I was so sure I was going to find the raw, less produced version better than the official release, (despite how much I like the official), but damn, even after a few listens, I'm finding Blackwell's version more engaging. Really facinating to compare, but this is a case where I think the icing makes the cake better! Still, very cool to hear how Marley would have released it. Thanks for this!

  • Capt. Willard
    February 8, 2010 - 23:08 | Permalink

    Blackwell knew what he was doing, no doubt.

  • Terry
    November 23, 2011 - 07:20 | Permalink

    Many thanks

  • David
    April 25, 2012 - 07:12 | Permalink

    Thanks for loads of great shared music

  • BT
    April 6, 2014 - 17:03 | Permalink

    Yet another major find. You consistently brighten my days!!!

  • Joe
    April 7, 2014 - 09:19 | Permalink

    VERY cool! Thanks!

  • Grant
    April 7, 2014 - 14:33 | Permalink

    Awesome, thanks Willard!

  • tony O
    April 8, 2014 - 22:58 | Permalink

    Thanks so much for your incredible posts!

  • Nick
    April 14, 2014 - 19:02 | Permalink


  • Anonymous
    January 27, 2016 - 21:47 | Permalink


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