Bob Marley - vocals, guitar; Carlton Barrett - drums; Aston Barrett - bass; Marcia Griffiths - backup vocals; Rita Marley - backup vocals; Judy Mowatt - backup vocals; Tyrone Downie - keyboards; Alvin Patterson - percussion; Julian Marvin - lead guitar
Bob Marley and The Wailers had finally broken through the American mainstream by the time this show (the first of two recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour on the same day) was performed. It had been five years since The Wailers had emerged from Jamaica, on Chris Blackwell's Island Records, and become the darlings of music journalists with classics such as "Get Up Stand Up," "No Woman, No Cry" and "I Shot The Sheriff," the latter of which Eric Clapton had brought to the U.S. Top 10 charts in '74. Abroad, their infectious blend of reggae had found a solid and well received niche in the pop mainstream, and Marley had become one of the most powerful and influential figures in his native country.
With the release of 1977's Exodus, Marley and The Wailers gained an even stronger foothold in the world's collective consciousness. Recorded in London just after an assassination attempt on his life, Marley's album is a reflective statement, political and inspired, despite spawning massive hits like "Exodus," "Waiting in Vain" and "One Love" (the latter has since been adapted for use by the Jamaican tourism board). The success of this record gave the group enough momentum to take the world by storm when they embarked on their 1978 world tour, from which this recording is taken. Marley is fully in control by this time. This, the early show, is a little more laidback than the late one. Marley and company were warming up and seemed to be enjoying themselves during this set, rather than focusing on explosive showmanship.
Highlights include an energetic version of "Jammin'," and a signature Bob tune, "The Heathen," which wasn't performed at the late show. So people get ready - Bob Marley and The Wailers are about to catch a fire.