Bob Deep: “Who Colt the Game”

Words by Jesse Serwer—

Bob Marley has one of the most celebrated catalogs in modern music, yet there are still gems that aren’t acknowledged as much as they should be. In celebration of what would have been the singer’s 67th birthday today, we’ll be spotlighting some of these. First up: “Who Colt the Game.” Yes, there should be a question mark at the end of that title but, then again, Bob leaves no room for doubt who played the bad hand. It’s not natty dready…It must be baldheady. Recorded by Lee “Scratch” Perry at Black Ark Studios in 1978, under some curious circumstances, this raw track was never released during Bob’s lifetime but has turned up in recent years on compilations such as The Black Ark Sessions, and on the 2001 Island release, One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers. But the minimal recording leaves plenty of room for an impassioned—angry, even—vocal performance from Bob that is truly chilling.

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