The Wailing Wailers


The Wailing Wailers is the debut album by The Wailers published on the Studio One label. Originally released in very late 1965 and compiled from various recordings made over the years 1963-1965, it compiles what Clement Coxsone Dodd considered the best Wailers recordings from this period. It is not a studio album in the conventional sense but was the first full length LP released of the band’s work. The album has remained in print since its release, but after the first release (which has a different cover) each release of the album was newly overdubbed to fit with musical trends of the time. The album has never been released on CD with the original tracklisting or cover but all tracks (with and without overdubs) are available across various compilations released by Heartbeat Records in the 1990s and 2000s. The front cover’s band photo was also an inspiration for Walt Jabsco, the unofficial logo for 2 Tone Records, the drawing was created by Jerry Dammers and Horace Panter and is based on Peter Tosh (right).

Bob Marley & The Wailers were a Jamaican reggae, ska and rocksteady band formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963. Additional members were Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Cherry Smith and Aston and Carlton Barrett. The band came to an end with the death of Bob Marley in 1981.

They were known variously as The Teenagers, The Wailing Rudeboys, The Wailing Wailers and finally The Wailers. By 1966 Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith had left the band, which then consisted of the trio Livingston, Marley and Tosh (Neville Livingston being the birth name of Bunny Wailer).

Some of The Wailers most notable songs were recorded with Lee “Scratch” Perry and his studio band The Upsetters. During the early 1970s The Upsetters members Aston “Family Man” Barrett and his brother Carlton (Carlie) Barrett,[1] formed the Wailers Band, providing instrumental backing for The Wailers.

The Wailers recorded groundbreaking reggae songs such as “Simmer Down”, “Trenchtown Rock”, “Nice Time”, “War”, “Stir It Up” and “Get Up, Stand Up”.
The Wailers disbanded in 1974 due to Tosh and Livingston’s refusal to tour. Bob Marley formed Bob Marley & The Wailers with Bob Marley himself as guitarist, songwriter and main singer, the Wailers Band as the backing band, and the I Threes as backup vocalists. The Wailers Band included the brothers Carlton Barrett and “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson playing lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo playing keyboard, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson playing percussion. The I Threes, consisted of Bob Marley’s wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths.
Bob Marley & The Wailers, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer all enjoyed considerable success as reggae music continued to gain popularity during the 1970s and 1980s.
Several of the group’s members have died subsequent to Marley’s death in 1981: Carlton Barrett and Tosh in 1987, Braithwaite in 1999, and Smith in 2008.[2] Bunny Wailer and Beverley Kelso are the only surviving members of the group’s original line-up.

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