Sat | Dec 2, 2023

Wailers Ltd plans release of 'Soul Rebel 50' album

Published:Saturday | April 10, 2021 | 4:46 PM
Born April 10, 1947, today is the 73rd anniversary of Bunny Wailer's birth.
Born April 10, 1947, today is the 73rd anniversary of Bunny Wailer's birth.
The cover of the 'Soul Rebel 50' album recorded by The Wailers Trio Tribute Band.
The cover of the 'Soul Rebel 50' album recorded by The Wailers Trio Tribute Band.

To commemorate the anniversary of Bunny Wailer's birthday today, Wailers Ltd announced the planned release of the Soul Rebel 50 album recorded by The Wailers Trio Tribute Band.

The tribute band is actually a conceptual group of young artists that had spontaneously come together as a celebration of the launch of a maquette of The Wailers statue, sculpted by renowned sculptor Paul Napier in order to develop a life-size model of the group. Napier had sculpted a bust of Bunny Wailer for presentation at the IrieFM Lifetime Award event in February 2018.

"We are using this occasion to mark Bunny Wailer's birthday with this announcement because The Wailers is his true north, and this album will celebrate Bunny's burning passion, which has always revolved around The Wailers. The album Soul Rebel 50 reflects, and is an outcome of, his concern with the legacy of the group, and that drove and was incorporated into many of his creative decisions," entertainment consultant Maxine Stowe said.

Soul Rebel 50 is the last project that Bunny Wailer co-executive-produced alongside his business and cultural partner Maxine Stowe. The project, which boasts six tracks and six dub tracks, was conceptualised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wailers' recordings, that is, the original Soul Rebels album in 1970 and its follow-up album, Soul Revolution, in 1971.

Soul Revolution is the third album by The Wailers, and was produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and The Wailers.

"The Wailers met the Barrett Brothers and Earl Wire Lindo working on the Soul Rebels album under Lee 'Scratch' Perry as part of his band, the Hippy Boys. Because of the Soul Rebels album, the Barrett brothers became the musicians behind The Wailers next album, Catch a Fire, in 1973, and served as the backing band," Stowe recalled.

The Wailers Trio is also eyeing the 50th-anniversary commemorations of their groundbreaking, seminal albums, Catch A Fire in April 1973 and Burnin' in October 1973.

Catch a Fire is the fifth studio album by the reggae band The Wailers, released in April 1973. It was their first album released by Island Records. The album's supporting concert tour throughout England and the United States helped establish the band as international stars. Catch a Fire peaked at No. 171 on the Billboard 200 and No. 51 on the Billboard Black Albums charts. Critical acclaim has included the album being listed at No. 126 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, second only to Legend and inducted in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It is regarded as one of the top reggae albums of all time.

Burnin' is the sixth studio album by Jamaican reggae band The Wailers, released in October 1973. These albums incorporated songs by all three members and was produced by The Wailers and Chris Blackwell. The latter was a commercial and critical success in the United States, with Burnin' being certified Gold and later added to the National Recording Registry, with the Library of Congress deeming it historically and culturally significant.

"On the album, Bunny played percussions and Nyabinghi drums, Bob and Peter played the guitars, Catch a Fire launched their international careers," Stowe said.

In addition to Soul Rebels 50, the Wailer's legacy is further bolstered by the achievement of lobbying and receiving the National Heritage Status for The Wailers home on 19 Second Street in Trench Town, with the Trench Town Development Association and Wailers Ltd. In Trench Town, there are plans for a museum and cultural site dedicated to the history of The Wailers.

"The site is also to be restored as an architectural replica of the 'Yards' that made Trench Town such a historical space for the creation of some of the great stars of Jamaican music," Stowe said.

Stowe said the site is an extension of Culture Yard on First Street and Wailers Museum at the Livingston Family home at 10 Darley Crescent in Washington Gardens that establishes and explores his Solomonic solo career and its history built from the group.