Lost recordings by Bob Marley from over 40 years ago have been unearthed. The collection of lost masters were found and mostly restored after nearly being ruined by water damage in the basement of the Kensai Rise hotel in North London, where Marley and the Wailers had stayed while touring Europe in the 1970s.

Of the 13 reel-to-reel analog tapes, 10 were fully restored after more than a year and about $31,215.00 spent towards repairs and audio restoration. Two of the tapes were blank, and one was damaged beyond repair.

The Guardian reports that the tapes have the original live recordings from Marley’s concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978, including live performances of songs like “No Woman No Cry,” “Jammin,'” “Exodus” and “I Shot The Sheriff.”

Sound technician specialist, Martin Nichols, is the man behind the restoring the tapes. He received them from jazz singer Louis Hoover, who originally got them from his business partner, Joe Gatt.

Gatt is a huge Marley fan and London businessman. He said a friend gave them to him after discovering them while doing a building refuse clearance.

Nichols said he “spent hours on hours, inch by inch, painstakingly cleaning all the [grunge] off until they were ready for a process called ‘baking,’ to allow them to be played safely.”

After the tapes were restored, Hoover said hearing them “made the hair on the back of our necks stand up and genuine shivers ran up our spines with joy.”

“The experience was comparable to, say, finding Van Gogh’s easel, paint pallet and paints in an old room somewhere, then Vincent emerges through a secret door to paint 26 of his finest masterpieces … purely for us,” he told The Guardian.

Whether the rest of us will experience that feeling is still to be determined, as no reports have confirmed whether "the lost masters" will ever be released for purchase.

 

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