Bob Marley & The Wailers celebrating ‘Kaya’ 40th anniversary

The Marley Family, Island Records and UMe are jointly (pun intended) celebrating the release of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Kaya on 2 CD and 2 180-gram LP configurations. This most special anniversary edition will feature Stephen “Ragga” Marley’s exciting and vibrant new Kaya 40 mixes of all ten tracks from the original album alongside its original mixes. The digital version will be a standalone release of Stephen’s mixes only. The album will also be available as a limited edition 180-gram 2 LP green vinyl version exclusively at BobMarley.com.

Recorded in London concurrently with the material that ultimately comprised 1977’s Exodus — a record proclaimed by Time Magazine in 1999 to be the Best Album of the 20th Century — Kaya is the perfect sonic-sibling bookend that shares all the joy, spirit, and literal DNA of some of Marley’s most groundbreaking material. Kaya contains a number of the most enduring, heartfelt songs in the entire Marley canon, including “Is This Love,” “Easy Skanking,” and “Sun Is Shining.”

Kaya was initially released just one month ahead of Bob Marley & The Wailers headlining the legendary One Love Peace Concert at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on April 22, 1978, an event that featured 16 of reggae’s biggest acts. One Love Peace was heralded as Marley’s triumphant return to his native soil, following his long exile in London after having fled the country as a result of a December 1976 assassination attempt at his Kingston homestead.

The album was recorded with the then-new configuration of The Wailers that comprised brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass, Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion, and the I Threes — Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt — on backing vocals, along with newest member Julian (Junior) Marvin on guitar. Two of Kaya‘s songs had previously appeared in different arrangements on 1971’s Soul Revolution — the title track and “Sun Is Shining.”

Stephen’s goal in mixing Kaya 40 was to create a balance that drew heavily from the original versions. Using Marley’s vocals from demos from original Kaya sessions that were recorded at different tempos, Stephen synched the vocals with alternate takes and layered it over different instrumental arrangements. Stephen tried to keep the flavor as authentic as possible. To mix the album, he used a similar minimal approach, basing his version heavily off the classic analog concepts they used in the 1970s.

2 CD | 2 LP

  1. Easy Skanking
  2. Kaya
  3. Is This Love
  4. Sun Is Shining
  5. Satisfy My Soul
  6. She’s Gone
  7. Misty Morning
  8. Crisis
  9. Running Away
  10. Time Will Tell
  11. Easy Skanking (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  12. Kaya (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  13. Is This Love (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  14. Sun Is Shining (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  15. Satisfy My Soul (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  16. She’s Gone (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  17. Misty Morning (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  18. Crisis (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  19. Running Away (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)
  20. Time Will Tell (Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mix)

** Digital version with Stephen Marley “Kaya 40” Mixes only

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.