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Bob Marley and the Wailers Live at the Rainbow

95 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

First time on DVD. Bob Marley & The Wailers came to London's Rainbow Theatre in the summer of 1977. The Exodus album was riding the British charts. The band's potent, magical music was everywhere; on the airwaves, the jukeboxes, the sound system, hi-fi's. Live At The Rainbow captures a moment in time at the height of Bob Marley's popularity with a digitally enhanced picture, remastered DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and Dolby Digital stereo. As a special bonus, the award-winning documentary Caribbean Nights: The Bob Marley Story and recently shot footage of The Bob Marley Museum, Tuff Gong Studios and Nine Mile have been included on this special two-disc DVD set.

On June 2, 1977, London's Rainbow Theatre "caught fire"--in the best possible way, of course. At the time, Bob Marley and the Wailers, already huge in the UK, were on tour in support of the locally produced Exodus. While the show starts off with the slow-burning "Trenchtown Rock" (1973's African Herbsman), Marley's performance grows increasingly incendiary until, by the time they get to the climactic closer, "Exodus," it looks as he's in another world entirely. The turning point is an extended version of "Crazy Baldhead" (1976's Rastaman Vibration), in which Marley seemingly enters a trance, performing primarily with eyes closed. By the late-1970s, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer were long gone, making the electrifying Marley more the focus than ever before (and for the first few songs, the rest of the band is barely visible). Other highlights includes "Lively Up Yourself" (1974's Natty Dread), in which Julian "Junior" Marvin throws some Hendrix-style moves into the mix, and "Get Up, Stand Up" (1973's Burnin'), in which the audience echoes Marley's words, as lost in the moment as the man on the stage. This two-disc set includes the 1984 BBC documentary Caribbean Nights (AKA The Bob Marley Story). It features performance excerpts ("Slave Driver" from 1972, "Stir It Up" and "Rastaman Chant" from 1973, "Bad Card" from 1980, etc.), and interviews with Tosh, Joe Higgs, Chris Blackwell, Judy Mowatt, wife Rita Marley, and mother Cedella Booker. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Island
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000654YR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,310 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on May 31, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Back in 1978 I was fortunate enough to have seen the king of reggae perform in a small amphitheatre. When Bob Marley and the Wailers hit the stage the audience knew they were in the presence of very special human being. When you watch this video for the first of a guaranteed many times you will be astounded by the magical charismatic vibe Bob Marley delivered to his audience. This excellent live performance captures the essence of his spiritual being and the dynamic energy he displayed. The accompanying musicians are minus Bunny Livingston and the late great Peter Tosh but have no doubt that this version of the Wailers was more than competent. The backup vocals by the I-Three's, which included his wife Rita Marley are as soulful as it gets. See Bob prance and contort on the stage like a shaman, with his wild dread locks flowing about as he casts his magic on the crowd. the interaction between Bob and the audience is a symbionic delight. Whether it is a down tempo number like "No Woman No Cry" or an exuberant original version of "Jamminng" Bob Marley struts his stuff like a man possessed. He had a message to convey to the world and in his short life of 36 years he achieved immortality and accomplieshed his goal of reaching many people. Twenty years have passed since his death and his music lives on and this live concert captures the vitality of his music. If you have never seen him perform this is a good video to get to see why he was and still is such a favorite throughout the world. See this video for a live performance nearly 25 years old but powered and fresh as a mystic breeze blowing in from Jamaica. Long live the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley!!!
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By an acquaintance on February 21, 2005
Format: DVD
So it falls to me to review this first? This June 1977 concert at London's Rainbow Theater captures the recently reconfigured Wailers ending a European tour to promote the masterful 'Exodus' album. The rare videotaped performances of 'Trenchtown Rock' and 'Rebel Music', and 'Crazy Baldhead', dating from the earlier Wailers repertoire, and performed well here, are the highlights of this collection, however. Missed notes on some songs, including the beginning of 'Exodus', and guitarist Junior Marvin's failure to notice his boss Bob about to start singing 'Lively Up Yourself', are minor annoyances, as is the loss of Aston Barrett's famous distinctive bass line in 'No More Trouble', jettisoned in favor of a 'new', harder sound (surely a reaction to the exciting energy of London's 'new wave' summer of 1977). By the way, it always annoyed me that the front cover picture on the VHS and now the DVD editions is most definitely not from this 1977 show, but rather is the same photo that graces the 1975 Live at the Lyceum album. I wish those responsible would show some commitment to historical accuracy, and use a photo from the actual show in '77. The DVD sound and picture are good, considering the age of the videotape source. I purchased my DVD copy of 'Live at the Rainbow' from Amazon France, and it includes an accompanying DVD entitled 'Carribbean Nights', which is an informative look at Marley's life and times. While 'Caribbean Nights' contains no full-length performances, it does contain several enjoyable if brief film clips of various performances such as the Leeds, UK 1973 show with Peter Tosh. Hopefully these early performances will someday make it onto DVD as well.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Geeky Lion on October 13, 2005
Format: DVD
Even though this concert is probably Bob Marley's most used performance, it is still a relief to see it on DVD. It is definitely a must have for all Reggae fans. I think it's too bad that they are still releasing the edited version on DVD. The actual performance is actually almost three hours long. The highlights of the show is when Bob sings Crazy Baldheads. I agree with the first reviewer on the fact that the concert in Dortmund, Germany is long overdue but so overlooked and it is in my opinion Bob Marley's best performance. The great news is that there is so much more to come for Bob Marley's fans like maybe the concert in Zimbabwe...

The documentary that originally aired on the Entertainment Channel under the name "The Bob Marley story", then oddly "Caribbean night" is one of my favorites. It's too bad that they edited out the Bunny Wailer interview featured in the original version for contract/money issues. I'm not sure if they made their way back on this DVD as I am reviewing this from my knowlegde of the VHS tapes.

If you were craving something "fresh" from Bob Marley, here it is?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Kurtz on August 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
What was I thinking? Why did it take so long for me to add this incredible video to my collection? Bob Marley...the Wailers...the I-Threes...rhythm as strong as any you'll ever hear and a magnificent performance by a totally mesmerizing ambassador of reggae. Do yourself a favor, even if you're just a marginal reggae fan, and invest in "Live At The Rainbow". You won't be sorry.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on June 24, 2006
Format: DVD
Marley fans know what time it is with this title.

This is an excellent (and economical) 2-DVD set. Disc 1 is Marley live at the Rainbow (London) in June 1977. A MUST for Bob fans. Check out his dancing throughout and spinning like a top onstange during "Exodus" and his prophet-like stance through much of the proceedings. Mostly tunes from "Exodus" and "Natty Dread." Powerful.

Disc 2 is "Carribean Nights.' Early cable fans will recognize this as "The Bob Marley Story" which used to air a lot on A&E and "USA's Night Flight" (of sainted memory) in the late 80s and early 90s. Lots of REALLY rare footage that did not appear on television when it was orginally aired. We see Bob's pal Jimmy Cliff performing a ska set while very young in the early 60's, unedited interviews with Bob's mom, Peter Tosh, and Rita, and Bob performing at the Zimbabwe independence celebration in 1980.

There are also some really interesting interviews. A Canadian interviewer gets downright rude with Bob, asking him "Don't you think that most conservative people would think that you look strange?" (remember, dreadlocks were rarely seen outside of Jamaica during the 70s). I won't spoil it by telling Bob's answer, but let's just say our reporter friend had met her match.

But enough of this, just SEE it!
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