The Legend Live
November 16, 2003
|Format||DVD - Region 2|
|Subtitles||French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch & English (on the extras only)|
|Length||Approx. 150 minutes|
Taken from the Trojan Video Archive, the rare and compelling Bob Marley & The Wailers concert performance from November 25th 1979 at California's Santa Barbara County Bowl is presented here on DVD for the very first time. Coming only a year before the reggae superstar's death, this is one of the final Bob Marley performances committed to film.
The DVD boasts remastered picture and audio, while the original 70 minute version has been meticulously extended to include an additional 7 songs from the set not featured in the original VHS release, thus taking in a running time in excess of 90 minutes. Furthermore this special edition DVD includes a previously never-before-seen documentary from the Trojan vaults entitled "Prophecies & Messages". Running at approximately 50 minutes, this fascinating fly-on-the-wall backstage interview footage features Bob Marley and the Wailers' keyboardist, Tyrone Downie.
The film looks at Marley's Rastafari faith and the times he was living in and is an interesting insight into the man behind the music. Further extras are a video introduction and sleeve notes by Chris Salewicz and fan interviews from the Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation Benefit, Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, 27th November 1979. Given the age of the material, the image is more than acceptable. The colours are a little too vivid at times and there's a certain amount of colour bleed due to the source material, which makes the image quite soft but that's pretty much unavoidable. For the sound we are offered two mixes: a stereo and a 5.1 mix. However, the music sounds too diluted in the 5.1 mix and it actually adds very little to the stereo version. All in all the quality of the sound is quite good.
Fresh from half a dozen dates in Harlem (at that time an attempt from his management to sell him to the African American community) Bob Marley arrives on stage in his usual manner. Backed by two I-Threes singers - Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley - and The Wailers band with an additional horns section consisting of Glen D'Acosta (saxophone) and David Madden (trumpet), Marley delivers a very satisfying performance in front of an almost exclusively white audience. The band rips through song after song and Bob seemingly relives each one, amplifying the message with exaggerated stage gestures.
The worthwhile extras on the DVD plus the fact that the film of the concert has remained in the vaults for far too long makes this a must buy for any Marley (and reggae) fan!
These are the songs from the live performance :