Bob Marley gave his final concert, in Pittsburgh, in 1980. The next year, the Jamaican-born reggae singer died of cancer in Miami at the age of 36.
On Feb. 1, Universal Music Enterprises/Tuff Gong International will release the recording of that last public concert, “Bob Marley & The Wailers–Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pa.” The performance, long prized by collectors but unavailable in any official form in the U.S., includes “No Woman, No Cry,” “Get Up, Stand Up” and other songs.
The Marley family has been involved in a number of new ventures in recent years, including the launch of a new social-networking and charity website called 1Love.org, and helping to establish House of Marley LLC to oversee the sale of the rights to products bearing the Marley name. Rita Marley, Bob’s widow, has been involved in the marketing of the new release.
Roger Steffens, a Marley historian and co-author of “The Reggae Scrapbook,” said the Pittsburgh show was significant because Mr. Marley had been given a few weeks to live not long before the performance. Even so, he flew to Pittsburgh.
“As you listen to the show, There are no signs of any strain or weakness,” Mr. Steffens says. “So the emotionalism of the event is truly extraordinary—going on stage knowing that this is likely to be his ‘last word.”‘