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Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley is shown performing in 1979.  The location is not known.  (AP Photo)
Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley is shown performing in 1979. The location is not known. (AP Photo)

These Bob Marley tapes were ruined in a flood. 40 years later, they were finally restored.


Lost tapes from legendary reggae singer Bob Marley were found after lying in a London basement for more than 40 years.

And after a year restorative work, the tapes are finally useable, The Guardian reports. And these might be gems in Marley's long discography. One listener said the tapes are enough to "send shivers down one's spine." 

The tapes are the original live recordings of Marley's concerts in London and Paris from 1974 to 1978, including "No Woman No Cry" and "I Shot the Sheriff."

I couldn't just stand by and let these objects, damaged or not, be destroyed.
Joe Gatt, who found the tapes

Joe Gatt, a London businessman and Marley fan, found the tapes after his friend said he found them in his basement. He took them to Louis Hoover, a jazz singer, who took them to sound technician Martin Nichols. 

The tapes were in "appalling" condition, Nichols said.

Hoover said the tapes had "plasticized gunk oozing from every inch" and thought their restoration would be "hopeless." 

But Nichols said the quality of the original recordings made the digital remaster that much better. Of the 13 tapes, only one was damaged beyond repair, and two were actually blank. 

It made the hair on the back of our necks stand up, and genuine shivers ran up our spines with joy.
Louis Hoover

Hoover said it was like finding Vincent Van Gogh's paints and then having the master artist "paint 26 of his finest masterpieces ... purely for us."

It's not clear if the tapes will be made available to the public or sold commercially. It cost about 25,000 pounds (roughly $31,000) to restore the recordings.

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