Watch This! Dubbing at Tuff Gong
LP version. Most people associate Tuff Gong with Bob Marley, and rightly so, as he was often called Tuff Gong and his early releases came out on the Tuff Gong label. But Tuff Gong was also the name of a recording complex named after Bob Marley that included a top-level recording studio, pressing plant, and distribution center. Marley had taken over the former residence of Island Records boss Chris Blackwell -- Island House, 56 Hope Road -- around 1974. Two days before the Smile Jamaica Concert, on December 3, 1976, the house was ambushed by gunmen. Marley's manager, Don Taylor was hit five times, Marley was shot in the arm, and his wife Rita was hit in the head by a stray bullet -- but none of the injuries were fatal. Immediately after the concert Marley started his self-imposed exile from Jamaica, settling in London, England. This would lead to the aptly named Exodus album being recorded there in the summer of 1977. It would not be until the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston's National Stadium on the April 22, 1978, that Marley would return to the island. Marley felt it was important to show his commitment to the people of Jamaica, and upon his return to 56 Hope Road, he began the construction of his own recording studio with the help of music mogul Tommy Cowan. Unfortunately, Marley's short life would end on the May 11, 1981, from cancer. His passing would lead to 56 Hope Road being turned into a museum. A new location would have to be found to carry on Marley's work; this turned out to be 220 Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston 11. Rita Marley and Tuff Gong International bought the facility, and hired engineers including Errol Brown (Treasure Isle Studios) and Hopeton Brown aka Scientist, so named for his groundbreaking style by the great producer Bunny "Striker" Lee, who had worked with him previously at King Tubby's studio and Channel One Studios. Watch This! Dubbing at Tuff Gong focuses on the work carried out by the great Scientist on the songs of the Black Solidarity label (run by Ossie Thomas aka Joe the Boss), at Tuff Gong, one of the foremost recording, pressing, and distribution facilities on the Jamaican island, set up from the work of Bob Marley to carry forward reggae music.