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BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS “CATCH A FIRE” TURNS 40!

Catch a Fire, the album with set The Wailers — Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer — ablaze internationally, turned the big 40 yesterday (April 13)

The set which spawned hits such as Slave Driver, Concrete Jungle, No More Trouble and Stir it Up, was the first to be released by Island Records founded by the now-legendary Chris Blackwell.

BLACKWELL… I was blown away by the album after I heard the first single, Concrete Jungle

In an interview with the Internet site theboombox.com, Blackwell speaks of meeting the trio who happened to be stranded in London to record music for a film which did not get off the ground and he was drawn to the group.

“I asked them if they were signed to anyone and they said they weren’t. I suggested that the way I would like to present them would be as a black rock group. Bob was intrigued a little bit, but Peter and Bunny were less so. They were really trying to break into the American R&B market,” he is quoted as saying on theboombox.com.

As the story goes, Blackwell would pay the artistes an advance, send them back to Jamaica and await a an album

“I went out to Jamaica after the record was finished and told them I’d love to hear it. When I heard it, I was just blown away. I felt I could do some stuff to it to make it stand out. This is why I put a very special cover on it initially. The cover you see on it now isn’t the initial cover. The initial cover had the title Catch a Fire and the cover looked like a Zippo lighter,” Blackwell told the website.

“I was blown away by the album after I heard the first single, Concrete Jungle. I still get goose bumps when I listen to it today. I thought it was such an incredible, progressive song. Then the second one was Slave Driver and I just loved the groove of it. It was from Slave Driver that I got the idea for the title. Slave driver the tables have turned, catch a fire and you’re gonna get burned. I thought Catch A Fire was such a great title for a launching of a new movement,’ he added.

In reflecting on the album 40 years later, the music mogul expressed pride in in being part of such a monumental moment in the history of reggae music

 

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