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Cache of early Marley songs to be released

More than 200 songs recorded between '67-'72 in catalog
/ Source: Reuters

Previously unpublished tracks from Bob Marley’s early years will be released this spring, more than 20 years after the reggae icon’s death, Universal Music said Thursday.

The record company said it signed a 10-year global licensing deal with reggae label JAD Records for its early catalog recordings of Bob Marley & the Wailers.

Over 200 tracks, recorded between 1967 and 1972, feature a young Marley with street attitude, influenced by the U.S. civil rights movement and beginning to explore Rastafarianism.

“It is thrilling, both personally and professionally, that Universal is now able to present to fans virtually the entire recorded works of one of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th Century,” Julian Huntly of Universal Music International said in a statement.

Jamaican-born Marley, who died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36, became a global superstar with reggae anthems such as “Stir It Up” and “No Woman No Cry.”

The deal includes songs composed in Kingston, Jamaica, during the early years of the Wailers, the band the godfather of reggae formed with Neville “Bunny” Livingstone and Peter Tosh.

The first release is a three-CD set that will hit stores in March.

Tracks including “Music Gonna Teach,” “One Love True Love” and the Peter Tosh version of “Little Green Apples” are to be released on CD for the first time.

The catalog also includes reggae classics such as “Stir It Up,” “Small Axe,” “Guava Jelly” and “Concrete Jungle.”

Universal said there was “every possibility” more previously unreleased songs could be found.

Universal Music International is the international division of Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi Universal.