The cover completely transforms the original’s steady swaying groove into a punchy, rock-forward rhythm punctuated by bright horns, buzzing guitar lines and the tag-team vocals of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert and the younger Marley. The track also features Ringo Starr on percussion, his son Zak Starkey on guitar, and drums from another reggae legend, Sly Dunbar, of the duo Sly and Robbie.
Toots and the Maytals’ cover of “Three Little Birds” will appear on their upcoming album, Got To Be Tough, out August 28th via Trojan Jamaica/BMG. The album marks the band’s first full-length LP in more than 10 years. Prior to dropping their take on “Three Little Birds,” they released two new originals, the album’s title track and the politically charged, “Warning Warning.”
“This album is speaking out about injustices while pointing to a better time,” Hibbert told Rolling Stone back in July. “This album is teaching a path to recovery and step to better days on the journey ahead. This album Got to Be Tough is a bind builder of positive objectives.”