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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 11:21 GMT
Rare Marley songs to be released
Bob Marley
The songs are said to shed light on Marley "in the prime of life"
Rare and previously unheard tracks from Bob Marley's early years are to get official releases for the first time.

The rights to 211 songs recorded from 1967-72 - before Marley found global fame - have been bought by record label Universal from reggae label JAD.

The catalogue includes six previously unreleased songs, with the possibility of more being discovered.

Marley, who died in 1981, became a reggae legend with album sales of more than 17 million around the world.

A Universal spokesman told BBC News Online the tracks shed light on a young Marley who had street attitude, was influenced by the US civil rights movement and was at the cutting edge of music.

Bob Marley
Marley went on to be a hugely influential and popular reggae artist
And there was "every possibility" that more previously unreleased songs could be found in the future, he said.

"There are still vaults coming to light that could be part of the deal," he said.

Many of the 211 songs had only previously been released on unofficial albums - with no royalties going to the musicians or their families.

The catalogue includes well-known tracks like Stir It Up, Small Axe and Guava Jelly.

CD plans

"The early repertoire has been ruthlessly exploited by a variety of backstreet record labels," another Universal spokesman told BBC News Online.

Marley's children, the estate of late Wailer Peter Tosh and surviving band member Bunny Wailer will now receive royalties from Universal releases.

The first release will be a 71-track, three-CD set, which will hit shops in March.

It will include two of the previously unreleased songs - One Love True Love and Music Gonna Teach.

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