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.
bob marley single waiting in vain cover.jpg 
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.

* * *
bob marley & cindy.jpg 
“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.”
* * *
bob marley 67.jpg 
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.
lee ritenour.jpg 
maxi priest.jpg 
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.
annie lennox.jpg 
05 That’s British pop diva Annie Lenox from her album Medusa. This is the version we referenced earlier.
coco tea.jpg
cutty ranks.jpg 
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.
bob marley 70.jpg 
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.
marvin gaye.jpg 
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.
lou pride.jpg 
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.
bill laswell.jpg 
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.
mymp juris & chin.jpg 
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.
jody watley.jpg 
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”).
bob marley 68.jpg 
13 It’s an alternate take by Bob from the Deluxe Edition of Exodus.
marisa lindsay.jpg 
14 Another production from an island; this time Barbados featuring vocalist Marisa Lindsay, available on her debut release Submit To Love.
gilberto gil.jpg 
15 Down to Brazil next with Gilberto Gil from his marvelous Marley tribute album, Kaya N’Gan Daya.
 dianne reeves.jpg
doky brothers.jpg 
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.
bob marley 66.jpg 
17 And here is the bonus track: acoustic Bob jamming in the studio.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 3:48 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Waiting In Vain Mixtape””

vee Says:
November 10th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I can’t find a favorite. It’s one of my favorite Marley tunes, along with 3 Little Birds, and Exodus. I’ve recommended this site old and young music lovers for education and appreciation. be Blessed.

Erinn Says:
November 11th, 2009 at 3:01 am

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Kiini Ibura Says:
November 11th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Baba, this is a wonderful collection of music. It was quite an adventure to listen to. I had, of course, heard the Annie Lennox version before, but in this context it seemed more heartwrenching and somehow made me feel melancholy and pained as if I were really waiting in vain. But then the braggadocious Cutty Ranks quickly brought a smile to my face. I especially enjoyed MYMP the vocalist’s voice was so sweet and the acoustic guitar brought me to an island, a very beautiful, sparkling, and breezy feel to it. And I loved Marisa Lindsay’s she really made the song her own. It was like a funk throwdown, but she kept going back to the familiar structures of the song. I liked the arrangement of the background vocals too. I look forward to hearing more from/about her.

The mixed just seemed to get sweeter towards the end. Loved the drums in Gilberto Gil’s and of course Diane Reeves was beautiful.

Thanks for sharing Baba, it was quite a treat. I think I’ll listen again tomorrow!

Qawi Robinson Says:
November 12th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Aw Kalamu, the Floetry version…they could sing that to me anytime. LOL! The MYMP is a distant second. I agree with Kiini, the Cutty Ranks version was funny with the ad libs, but that’s what I’d expect from him. The Marvin Gaye mash up left me confused…I think my brain started to itch after hearing that one.

The Lou Pride version was the best though and the most sincere. It almost sounds like it could’ve pre-dated the original. The keys on the bridge, the hook and the chorus…what can I say. I had to rewind that one. Marisa’s version was also good. It was like a a funky Erykah Badu version. Good pick. Also got a rewind. Dianne Reeves…can you say classic.

Jody’s??? I got lost in it. The alternate Bob version (#13) was also off a bit. Did they just lay his vocals over a synthed track. Something sounds a little disjoint about this one. The last one though sounds more earthy. Bob was jamming!

Didn’t Lauryn Hill record a version too?

Leave a Reply

| top |