Classics: Bob Marley & The Wailers – Stir It Up (Wail’n Soul’m)
Peter Tosh came to write his name in history as a core member of The Wailers. This along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer with whom he would perform prior going solo from 1974.
‘Stir It Up’ happened to be some common work by Bob Marley who composed it and his wife, Rita who wrote the lyrics. It initially saw the light back in 1967 as a Reggae Rockststeady jam on The Wailers‘s own Wail’n Soul’m’ label.
It’s not until 1973 though that ‘Stir It Up’ got popular. This after Johnny Nash covered it. Then The Wailers eventually re-recording it as a part of their ‘Catch A Fire’ album. With the latter markin’ their debut that same year on Chris Blackwell‘s Island Records…
Peter Tosh tragically died on Sept. 11, 1987, aged 39. This soon after his return to his home in Jamaica. Tortured by three burglars in an attempt to extort money from him. With Dennis ‘Leppo’ Lobban, a guy who he previously befriended and helped to find work after a long jail sentence, shooting him in the head.
Among the other victims were some of Tosh‘s friends who’d come to greet his return. Beginning with DJ’s Doc Brown and Jeff “Free I” Dixon who also died.
In Oct. 2012, Tosh posthumously received the Order of Merit.
To the ones of you who might wonder about the presence of Bob Marley on these shores, we’ll try to make it as simple as possible…
First, the man happened to be a messenger. Being to his art, people and country what Fela Kuti and Gil Scott-Heron happened to be to their respective ones. But also because, like all the bass-driven forms of music, Reggae happened to be groovy. As a matter of fact, let’s not forget as to how Reggae got some inspiration from the latest R&B from American radio stations whose broadcasts reached Jamaica, and eventually the new Ska music.
That’s pretty much where one could find Marley. This by the time he relocated from his native Nine Mile to Kingston, Trenchtown. Most likely sharing most of his life at the time with Bunny Wailer who was like a brother to him. Then eventually finding themselves in a vocal group with Peter Tosh, Beverley Kelso and Junior Braithwaite. With Joe Higgs of the Higgs and Wilson fame eventually teachin’ Marley how to play guitar.
In 1963, Marley, Wailer, Tosh, Braithwaite, Kelso and Cherry Smith were called the Teenagers. They later changed the name to the Wailing Rudeboys. Then to the Wailing Wailers, at which point they to the attention of record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally turned themselves into the Wailers. Their single – ‘Simmer Down’ – for the Coxsone label became a Jamaican #1 in February 1964. Meanwhile selling an estimated 70,000 copies.
Regularly recording for Studio One, the Wailers came to collaborate with famous Jamaican musicians. From Ernest Ranglin to keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and saxophonist Roland Alphonso.
By 1966 though, Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith left the Wailers. Therefore leaving the core trio of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh keepin’on pushin’ the flame…
The life of Bob Marley pretty much reflects the history of Jamaica musicwise and its political evolution. This to an extend one couldn’t be extracted from the other and vice versa. With the man givin’ voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of Jamaica. His biggest classics including ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and ‘Could You Be Loved’. But also ‘Stir It Up’, ‘Jamming’, ‘Redemption Song’ and ‘One Love’. If not ‘War / No More Trouble’, ‘Lively Up Yourself’ and ‘Sun Is Shining’.
Suffering from an acral lentiginous melanoma (a skin cancer) since 1977, Bob Marley sadly died at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami on May 11, 1981. He was 36.