BOB MARLEY and the WAILERS – ” The Capitol Session ’73 “

Posted: February 7, 2022 in MUSIC
Capitol Session '73 CD/DVD

In 1973 Bob Marley and The Wailers found themselves stranded on the West Coast of the United States after being asked to leave the Sly & The Family Stone tour for outperforming them every night. To make the best of the situation the band made their way to Los Angeles. The scene is Hollywood. Bob Marley and The Wailers were filmed in a closed door session at “The Capitol Records Tower” on October 24th by famed producer Denny Cordell, who received the blessing from Marley to capture the band recording 12 songs. Shooting with four cameras and mixing “on the fly” to a colorized tape, this footage, has been painstakingly restored, resulting in an incredible presentation of this unseen live session.

International reggae pioneers Bob Marley and the Wailers are being filmed in a closed-door session at the Capitol Records Tower, by famed record producer Denny Cordell, who has captured the band recording 12 songs. Shot with four cameras and mixed “on the fly,” this footage, now colourized, has been painstakingly restored, resulting in an incredible presentation of this unseen live session.

On September 3rd, 2021, Tuff Gong and Mercury Studios released this concert to the public officially for the first time as “Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Capitol Session ’73″. Long-missing, the newly unearthed film captures a never-before-seen studio session with 12 performances by the legendary band, filmed and recorded live at Capitol Studios in Hollywood.

The session’s at Capitol Studios represented a unique moment in the band’s career. Ten years after their formation, the Wailers had already logged several hits in Jamaica during the ska and rocksteady eras. Gaining recognition stateside, including a few shows with a still-unknown Bruce Springsteen at Max’s Kansas City in New York City, they then went on to tour with Sly and the Family Stone, before being unceremoniously dumped from the tour. This led to the band (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Joe Higgs, Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett, Earl “Wya” Lindo) making its way to Hollywood to do this session.

The footage from that day was considered lost until a freelance researcher uncovered a few frames. For more than 20 years, archives and storage units from New York and London to San Diego were tracked down and searched to retrieve fragments of the film, until it was fully unearthed, restored and remastered.

Evolving into a politically and socially charged unit after being inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights movement, various African liberation efforts and Rastafarianism, which Bob Marley and the Wailers studied from Rasta elders, their music reflected the soul and struggles of the era. Making poignant statements about life, liberty and social justice, the band imbued its sentiments into the songs, which are beautifully brought to life during this session.

Even in 1973, reggae music still had very little presence in the U.S. That had started to change with the December 1972 premiere of the movie “The Harder They Come“, starring singer Jimmy Cliff, as well as the soundtrack album from Chris Blackwell’s Island Records.

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