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Third World releases mini-documentary today

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2020 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Veteran reggae group Third World at the launch of their album, ‘More Work to be Done’, at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
Stephen Marley

Longevity in the music business for bands is rare, and Third World proudly continues to defeat the test of time. For close to five decades, one would think that they have done and seen it all, but for the reggae ambassadors, as their latest Grammy-nominated album proves, there is still ‘more work to be done’.

With a worldwide fanbase of music lovers zooming in on the band’s 22nd studio album, produced by multi-Grammy Award-winning brothers Damian and Stephen Marley, Third World has taken the project one step further. Continuing the momentum of More Work To Be Done, the reggae band will be sharing with fans a rare view of the making of the album inside Damian Marley’s studio in Miami.

Premiering today, the mini-documentary, titled More Work to Be Done: A Look Inside the Studio with Damian Marley and the Legendary Third World, directed by Randall ‘Randy’ Richards and produced by international production house Mochilla, briefly spans the band’s modest beginning as an opening act for the Bob Marley and The Wailers’ World Tour to present times. It starts out with an up-tempo beat with the band’s master drummer Tony ‘Ruption’ Williams and continues on the same pulsating note as the musicians get down to the nitty-gritty, sharing their individual recollections of a dynamic musical history and of music production.

‘Extra Special’

“The album is extra special,” says Third World keyboardist Maurice Gregory in the documentary. “The exchange of ideas, and how it all comes together, is just amazing. It’s proof is in the song.”

“They are relevant in terms of what’s happening today and today’s sound, but when I listen to the music, I always say to myself, if Try Jah Love did release today, if Now That We Found Love did release today, if Sense of Purpose did release today, if Committed did release today, if any of those songs did release today, they would hit same way,” Damian Marley emphasises in one scene.

Marley, who has been around Third World since he was a baby, plays the role of executive producer for the feature while the reggae group skilfully shares an authentic 360-degree tale of their journey as an iconic reggae band. Formed in Kingston in 1973, Third World embarked on their first international tour five years later – the year Damian was born – opening for Bob Marley.

Speaking on the experience as a whole, Third World bassist Richard Daley says: “It’s the connection; for Cat [Coore] and I being in the studio with Bob Marley in the ‘70s to turn around and find Third World being produced by his youngest son, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, some 40-plus years later, fortifies the bond.”

The short film shows that contrast of veteran musicians and recording artistes joining forces with second-generation reggae artistes to create what will become part of a monumental contribution to the growth of the genre and Jamaica’s culture.

“No matter if you have been a Third World fan for five decades or less or belong to a younger generation of music lovers, this behind-the-scenes footage gives the viewer an insight into the magic that sparks creativity amongst everyone from the studio to the stage. In essence, it’s all about the connectivity,” he said.

The reggae group has changed over the years. It is presently outfitted with original members Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore and Richard Daley; Tony ‘Ruption’ Williams, who became the drummer in 1997; keyboardists Norris ‘Noriega’ Webb and Maurice Gregory, who joined in 2007 and 2010, respectively; and A.J. Brown who has been on vocals since 2014 when William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke passed away.

“This documentary means a great deal to Third World, as it was a chance for us to express not only what was done for the making of the album but also the love that exists between us, Damian and the whole Ghetto Youths crew. It’s a whole vibration of how that has worked in favour of the project. It’s always good to know we have something out there that can inspire people in a time when inspiration is needed more than anything,” said Cat Coore.