Bob Marley's 70th Birthday Celebration Kicks Off With 'Easy Skanking' Live Album

Yearlong commemoration of reggae legend's music will feature reissues, new collections and plenty of unreleased material from the Marley family vaults

Bob Marley, circa 1970. In celebration of the singer's 70th birthday, his label will releasing material culled from the Marley family vaults throughout the year. Credit: Echoes/Getty

Bob Marley would have turned 70 in 2015, so the reggae singer's family is marking the milestone with a yearlong commemoration of his music and legacy. For the first time, the Marleys are granting Universal Music Group access to its extensive and private vaults of previously unreleased music to make for stocked reissues, video releases and new live albums.

First up on the calendar – and the perfect thing to watch after lighting up some Marley-branded marijuana – is Bob Marley and the Wailers' Easy Skanking in Boston '78, a never-before-released live CD/DVD. Footage from this gig was filmed on a handheld camera by a fan that Marley gave permission to stand front-and-center. The release is due out on February 17th.

During their 1978 tour, in support of Kaya, Marley played a pair of gigs at the Boston Music Hall on June 8th. It's unclear whether Easy Skanking was culled from the early or late show, but both gigs feature the same setlist, with early Wailers tracks mixed in with legendary cuts like "No Woman, No Cry," "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Get Up, Stand Up."

While the audio of the live album is complete, since only one camera filmed the action, the cinematographer was forced to change rolls during the performance. Those gaps on the visual side will be filled with new animated footage created and directed by S77 and Matt Reed, who have worked on music videos for artists like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Cee Lo Green.

Universal intends to announce more new Marley collections and deluxe editions of some of his most enduring LPs, featuring unreleased bonus material, throughout 2015.