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Water-Damaged Bob Marley Recordings That Were Thought Lost Have Been Restored

The tapes were recovered from a West London hotel cellar.

Tapes of Bob Marley and The Wailers' recordings have been recovered from a West London hotel cellar. According to a report by the Guardian, 13 reel-to-reel analog master tapes were found in boxes inside a hotel basement where Marley and the Wailers stayed during their European tours in the 70s.

The recovered tapes are the original live recordings of concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978, and include hits like "No Woman No Cry," "Jammin," "Exodus," and "I Shot the Sheriff." They were recovered by London businessman Joe Gatt, who had received a call from a friend saying they had found the tapes. "He was doing a building refuse clearance that included some discarded two-inch tapes from the 1970s," Gatt told the Guardian. "I couldn't just stand by and let these objects, damaged or not, be destroyed so I asked him not to throw them away." He then passed the recordings to business partner and jazz singer, Louis Hoover.

The tapes were then handed to sound technician specialist Martin Nichols of White House studios in Weston-super-Mare. "They really were in such an appalling condition they should have been binned, but I spent hours on hours, inch by inch, painstakingly cleaning all the gunge off until they were ready for a process called 'baking', to allow them to be played safely," Nichols told the Guardian.

From the 13 tapes, 10 were restored. Now in digital format, there's no word as to when we'll hear the actual recordings. It just goes to show that you never know what you may find in your basement.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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