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Lost Bob Marley tapes restored after 40 years

RESTORED: Bob Marley

AS WE celebrate Bob Marley's birthday today (Feb 6) we can also celebrate that some lost recordings by the musician were found in a damp hotel basement in London.

The tapes, which have now been restored after 40 years, are the original, high-quality live recordings of the reggae legend's concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978. Tracks include Exodus, Jamming and No Woman No Cry.

Because of the water damage, they were first believed to be ruined beyond repair. According to Martin Nichols, a sound engineer at the White House Studios, "they were (in an) appalling (condition)... I wasn't too hopeful."

The tapes were found in a run-down hotel in Kensal Rise, north-west London, where Bob Marley and the Wailers stayed during their European tours in the mid-1970s. They were discovered when Joe Gatt, a Marley fan, took a phone call from a friend, who had found them while doing a building refuse clearance.

From the 13 reel-to-reel analogue master tapes, 10 were fully restored, two were blank and one was beyond repair.

Marley, who died in 1981, would have been 72.

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