VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Waiting In Vain Mixtape”
We’ve already discussed this song on BoL, and also discussed Annie Lenox’s version in particular, BUT, as this Mixtape hopefully makes abundantly clear, there is still a lot more to be sung/said about Bob’s great “Waiting In Vain” song.
So here goes a major revelation of beaucoup versions of this song including five versions by Bob. That’s right, FIVE versions by Mr. Marley himself. Two are from the Deluxe Edition of Exodus (one is the original release and the other is an alternate version). The alternate is notable for the piano solo and the wobbly-psychedelic guitar background.
A third version is a dub track of unknown provenance but for sure it’s Bob. Four is a Bill Laswell remix from the Dreams Of Freedom release. And the fifth version is a bonus track at the end of the Mixtape. It seems to be a studio out-take. Bob playing acoustic backed by an electric bass, jamming for nineteen minutes. This “Waiting In Vain” acoustic jam is from a tape identified as The Sons of Jah Acoustic, purported to have been recorded in London 1977 in the Island Records studio. Unbelievable, but here it is.
And that’s not even half of the Mixtape. Beyond Bob we have a veritable cornucopia of versions. I guarantee there is music here you’ve never heard before.
“Waiting In Vain” is widely alleged to be written by Bob when he was pursuing Cindy Breakspeare. Cynthia Jean Cameron Breakspeare (born October 24, 1954) is the mother of Damien Marley and in 1976 won the Miss World beauty contest.
In addition to Bob’s reputation as a rebel, he was also widely known as a celebrated ladies man, and as such, wrote a batch of lovely reggae romance songs, major among them is “Waiting In Vain.”
01 The Mixtape opens with the original release from the album Exodus.
02 This is Floetry from their album Flo’Ology. They’ve added an interesting hook and a light vocal chorus background.
03 Ruia out of New Zealand with a Maori version that reflects the Kiwi fascination with all things Marley. Reggae is big down under. This is from an out of print Bob Marley tribute album.
04 Next up is jazz guitarist Lee Ritennour working with British reggae vocalist Maxi Priest. Lee works a Wes Montgomery vibe on this lilting version. Available on Ritennour's A Twist of Marley.
05 That’s British pop diva Annie Lenox from her album Medusa. This is the version we referenced earlier.
06 Dance hall stylee featuring Coco Tea & Cutty Ranks. Look out now, baby girl! Coco Tea is the sweet vocalist and Cutty Ranks is the ruff-voiced Emcee. This is from the reggae compilation Strictly The Best Eighteen.
07 Here is Bob in dub from something identified as The Secret Blackwell Dubs—and I don’t have a clue about the actual origins of this version. Not available commercially but floating around the internet.
08 Now here is a real scream. It’s a mash up, two different songs mixed together: an instrumental of Bob Marley & The Wailers doing “Waiting In Vain” behind Marvin Gaye doing “Sexual Healing.” Again, like the preceding dub version, this mash up is not commercially available.
09 Up next is soul brother Lou Pride offering a bluesy version from the Southside of Chicago. This is from Pride’s Keep On Believing release.
10 Here is a Bill Laswell remix production from the album Dreams Of Freedom: Ambient Translations In Dub. Remixing is Laswell’s thing, a thing he does well.
11 Back to the islands, this time we’re in the Philippines lover's rocking with an acoustic duo known as MYMP (Make Your Mama Proud). This is from their album Soulful Acoustic.
12 Now it’s club time, dance diva Jody Watley drops a house version that has some interesting percussion textures. This is from The Makeover, her recent 2006 album (which was re-produced and re-released in 2009—they took the title literally—but fear not, both versions contain “Waiting In Vain”).
13 It’s an alternate take by Bob from the Deluxe Edition of Exodus.
14 Another production from an island; this time Barbados featuring vocalist Marisa Lindsay, available on her debut release Submit To Love.
15 Down to Brazil next with Gilberto Gil from his marvelous Marley tribute album, Kaya N’Gan Daya.
16 This is my favorite of all the version, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves with the Doky Brothers (pianist Niels Lan Doky and bassist Chris Minh Doky) out of Copenhagen, Denmark, taken from their second album, Doky Brothers 2.
17 And here is the bonus track: acoustic Bob jamming in the studio.
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