The Wailers were formed in Kingston – Jamaica in 1963. Prior to opting for “The Wailers”, the group was also known as the “Teenagers”, the “Wailing Rudeboys”, and the “Wailing Wailers”. Its members were Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter McIntosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso and Cherry Smith.
In 1964 they recorded Simmer Down, which became their first hit in Jamaica. In 1966, Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith left the group. The remaining members were Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. In the early 1970s the group recorded major hits, like Mr. Brown and the album Soul Rebels. In 1970 that album got a reissue by Trojan Records in UK.
Shortly after that, the band signed with the major record label ‘Island Records’ and issued their first label debut Catch a Fire in April 1973. The album attracted attention, but didn’t hit the charts immediately. In 1974 and 1975 the band recorded hits which made up the Natty Dread album. In 1975, they recorded their live performance at the Lyceum of London and released it on LP. Thanks to that performance, The Wailers became an international sensation. No Woman , No Cry, originally heard on the Natty Dread album, became a hit after the live performance. Marley’s recognition made the old albums that he had recorded with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer appear on British and U.S. music charts – including Catch a Fire, Burnin’ and Natty Dread.
In the following years, Bob Marley and The Wailers released many successful albums. Two of them are the “Rastaman Vibration” and the most famous, “Exodus”. The group continued to make successful hits in the following years. Survival and Uprising followed in 1979 and 1980 respectively. Unfortunately, in May 1981, Bob Marley lost the battle with cancer and passed away.
So great was the legacy of Bob Marley and The Wailers, that even after his death their songs continued to hit the charts. Years after their official break up, Island Records continued to scale up because of them. The album The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers is still doing great on sales, both in the UK and the USA.