Marley's unknown legend that could sell for pounds 60m

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Previously unreleased tracks by the late reggae singer, Bob Marley, have been put up for sale for pounds 60m by his former producer.

Danny Sims, who signed Marley to his JAD record label between 1969 and 1971 before the legendary Jamaican switched to the Island stable, has the rights to 200 tracks produced by the artist.

"Bob has surpassed being just a music legend," said Mr Sims. "He has become a leader of a worldwide musical faith kept alive by his family, those who love the man and his music and the sheer originality and quality of his voice and songs."

Marley, nicknamed the Poor Man's Pope because so many of his songs preached revolution and freedom from oppression, was born in 1945, the son of a British army captain and a Jamaican woman.

Brought up in Kingston, he worked as an electrical welder before forming a reggae group, Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1963. Hits such as "No Woman, No Cry" and "I Shot The Sheriff" catapulted the band to fame and made Marley an influential political voice.

In 1976 he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt which left his wife, Rita, seriously injured. Five years later the committed Rastafarian died from cancer in Miami at the age of 36.

In recent years re-releases of Marley's music have enjoyed success in the British charts and, with the news that a session by Paul McCartney and John Lennon made after the Beatles had split could be worth pounds 2m, Sims is expecting multi-million pound bids for the tapes.

Included amongst the tracks are solo compositions by Marley, early versions of Wailers' hits and cover versions of songs by American artists such as James Brown.

Jeremy Collingwood, President of the British Marley Appreciation Society, believes the discovery of new material is significant. He said: "There are many gems amongst these tapes. It could be thought of as the equivalent of discovering a roomful of early Picassos."