Bob Marley / The Complete Island Recordings CD box, plus vinyl reissues

New good value 11 CD box, plus half-speed mastered vinyl

UMC/Island will in December issue The Complete Island Recordings, a new 11CD Bob Marley box set that features all nine Bob Marley & The Wailers studio albums recorded for Island Records.

This CD box includes all nine Bob Marley & The Wailers studio albums recorded for Island Records from 1973’s Catch A Fire to the posthumous Confrontation, released two years after Marley’s death, in 1983.

The two live albums, Live! and Babylon By Bus, complete this nine-disc set. The discs come in card wallets (don’t expect anything too flashy at this price point) and they are housed in a “brushed silver clamshell box” which is supposed to simulate the larger hinged lighter from the vinyl set of 2015. That’s a slightly misleading description because this will be a card box and not metal!

Talking of that old vinyl package, Universal are now issuing all the studio albums on vinyl all over again, this time as half-speed mastered editions. Miles Showell has done the honours at Abbey Road. Both live albums and Legend (yes, they are reissuing Legend AGAIN) are included, meaning 12 half-speed mastered pressings.

Slightly confusingly, all the same albums are also be pressed at the legendary Tuff Gong International headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, at their newly opened vinyl pressing plant. These aren’t half-speed mastered but do have the Tuff Gong label. The only significant difference is that the Tuff Gong pressing of Catch A Fire is the original Jamaica-recorded version, without the Chris Blackwell supervised overdubs. This version comes with two extra tracks from the sessions and some tracks have longer fades. These Tuff Gong pressings were mastered by Dave Cooley in Los Angeles

The Complete Island Recordings CD box is out on 4 December, but the half-speed mastered vinyl will be available earlier on 20 November 2020.

Townsend Music have a massive half-speed mastered bundle on offer.

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Did anyone find out if they were remastered especially for this collection?


Did anyone manage to find out if they were new remasters? If not which year are they from please?

Klaus Michael Jackason

Awesome getting the Boxset up on only £17 from France… now £26 again

Thanks SDE for letting know, keep up the good work … Merry X-Mas :)


bought with Grab The Deal from Amazon Fr. Very low price for the set. Interesting. Sure Exodus & Catch a Fire are NOT the special edt. with bonus but it’s ok, you can buy the two apart from. for example Discogs at a reasonable price. Cd’s sounds great and the pressing, fr me, it’s perfect.


Just bagged the CD set – £17 from Amazon France

Thanks Jeff – love the website

Ian Ellis

CD box back down to £31 this morning on amazon uk

Paul Berney

£32 on Amazon UK for the CD box set is spectacular. Absolutely the way music companies should release these sets. Looking at overpriced underwhelming items makes something like this even more special. That amount of albums from one of the most iconic artists in music history for such a low price is sheer heaven. Pre-ordered it so fast I nearly broke my forefinger!


CD box £49.99 now.


Just under £32 now on Amazon UK


Thanks Dean. French postage is high, so the uk price works out better.


Thanks Jerry! managed to grab the deal and I’ve mentioned your post on the current deals thread. Will.

peter stevens

Shame they could not issue the cds in a replica of the original wonderful vinyl box set…the maroon one.


don’t expect anything too flashy at this price point. LOL!

The Golden Age Of The Phonograph

This takes me back to when I ordered the Zippo replica LP box from Amazon Italy, unfortunately the cardboard version not the metal version.

I got it at a knock down price hence Amazon Italy, around £60 I think.

It came one Saturday afternoon, my wife answered the door and I heard her talking to the delivery guy. There seemed to be some concern.

Anyhow my wife carried something back in which I could not make out. She said “stay calm” and handed me the package.

Amazon Italy had sent the Zippo box and it was covered in delivery labels and bar code stickers. After saying “what the €#%£$¥# he’ll”, I immediately got on to Amazon Italy Customer Service, a very nice Italian lady phoned me back. I had to explain the importance of the box being in optimum condition to a collector. Fortunately all the LPs were undamaged and after getting her to understand my dilemma she knocked a further 55% of the price! So I got 11 Albums (12 LPs) for £27, a bargain.

The cardboard Zippo box? After carefully removing all the labels, which was quite easy, I was left with an undamaged box with just two very slight dings on a top edge. An even better bargain. Cheaper than that CD box set with plenty change.


To be honest the extra tracks on the Jamaican Catch a fire are worth it alone to me. In my opinion “High Tide, Low Tide” is the greatest song he ever wrote and sang (there is even a spider named the Bob Marley after this very song!) I am in the market for buying the complete set on vinyl but I’m torn between the half speeds and the tuff gongs. I’m swaying towards the tuff gongs as although they are slightly more than the others I have heard early rumblings that the quality of these in the new factory is incredible. That and they are numbered which is a nice touch. Any thoughts welcome…

Ariel Aditya

I agree. High Tide, Low Tide is essential and my personal favorite. If there’s an extra disc(s) for the 2001 bonus tracks would be great for this upcoming cd box set.

Rob M

I’d like to know more about the mastering of the CD set as well: by Whom, where and when. Also, assuming no bonus tracks (which would be a step backward from previous reissues), but would love confirmation of the track lists.


Me too rob. I’d like to get this, but without mastering information will hold off.


any idea if the CDs have the bonus tracks from the original CDs reissues?


The track listing on the official bobmarley.com shop site suggests it’s just the regular albums (as on the 2015 vinyl set).

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

The cost of this bob Marley cd set is nowhere near as high as the man himself ever was!

The only Bob Marley music I own is the Legend compilation on cd…….. and I was thinking of getting a few albums…..
This 11 cd set in a nice box looks great.
As I was reading the article here I was very pleased to see a non-Prince/McCartney price level too.
£40 . . . bargain.

Gary Hunter

The CD Box set is great value, as for the the vinyl bundle, they are having a laugh with that price!


Way too expensive …sorry. Flat out overpriced for both demand and what u get.


The vinyl from the “Zippo”-Boxes are so rich and fantastic sounding, i doubt Miles Showell can make it any better with his half-speed remaster.


If i didn’t already have copies of the cds already (mainly deluxe editions), i would definitely go for the cd boxset!


No cigarette lighter cover for Catch A Fire?

Diarmuid Dineen

The vinyl is very expensive, apart from making a profit, why have chosen such a high price range?


A great package,but unfortunately I already own al the individual CDs,so it would be daft to spend 40 quid on a box to store them in wouldn’t it?


I think Bowie fans are being challenged with this very issue on that live set.


Maybe the Japanese CD edition with SHM-CDs for 220 dollars (or pounds) looks better and sounds better. I will stick to my deluxe editions that contain all I need. This box is a cheap release and it will be still cheaper after Christmas.


Unlike a lot of these “complete albums” CD boxes, it looks like this one at least includes a booklet of some sort based on the pack shot. Maybe it’s just images of the album front and back?

Also, I wonder if these are just the original album track lists or if the CDs have the 2001 track listings with bonus tracks tacked on the end.


Since Island did not offer a download code for the original vinyl box sets (at least not to my knowledge or in my box), they are offering cheap CD’s. I might actually go for this…


Pay per view footy at £15 a pop, endless re-issues and now this !!! I’ll be destitute in a year or two.

The originals vinyl LP’s sound great, maybe not earth shattering bass but great mids and an airy treble. I’m hoping these sound great but I don’t expect them to sound as good.


Ooh! It’s very tempting, but I think i’ve probably got enough Bob Marley for now.


I second Ariel’s query. Are the CDs newly remastered?


The mastering job on the 2001 reissues was exemplary. They have a fantastically clean, spacious and full sound that is true to the atmosphere of the LPs while taking full advantage of the clarity of digital.

At this point, I would hope that the label would NOT remaster them again, because the most likely result will be unnecessary and unwelcome added compression.


The 1990 Barry Diament remasters are generally praised as best sounding CD’s, also less compressed. But the 2001 Deluxe versions essential because of the bonus tracks. Actually Exodus was remastered again in 2007 and 2017, and the 2001 version is much more compressed than any other version.

The Golden Age Of The Phonograph

Hi Paul, where are the Tuff Gong LPs available? I only want one, `Catch A Fire.` Thanks for any info you have.

The Golden Age Of The Phonograph

Thank you Paul!


Do we already know if the albums have the original artwork (die-cut, posters etc.)?


I guess he is talking about the vinyl…


Maybe, maybe not. I think it will be the same thing like with the Stones Remember the Rolling Stones Box Set (“Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971 – 2016”)? The Box Set includes the original artwork of all albums. Later, they made this half-speed mastered editions but not with the original artworks…


“Complete Island Albums” seems a much more appropriate title than “Complete Island Recordings”, no?



Éamonn Ó Catháin

Was about to write that very same thing. Off the top of my head and discounting remixes, the following at least would be missing.

In no especial order :

Jah Live
Redemption Song (band version)
Reincarnated Soul

Duncan Bartlett

I really like Bob Marley and have all his albums on CD already but would like them on vinyl. Howveer, I am puzzled as to why I would Jamaican pressings. I have a large reggae collection and although it’s fun to have singles on original Jamaican labels, the production process on the island was pretty basic and it was never famous for good sound quality. On the other hand, some of the recent Marley remasters I have heard on streaming services, especially Kaya, sound absolutely amazing.

Stephen Hance

Ah, but Duncan, think about those lovely Tuff Gong labels! I am assuming new plant is an improvement on 1970s record pressing on the island.

David Bly

Duncan Bartlett:

About Jamaican pressings you are very right. Unless they have invested in totally new presses and are going to press things they way they are pressed in the rest of the world, why bother?

I have some Jamaican single sand LPs and the vinyl quality in generally mediocre to bad. An interesting fact with Jamaican records is they they often took singles and LPs that did not sell, and recycled them. And when I say ‘recycled’ I mean they took the viynl, label and all and just reused it. So you would literallly get ‘new’ records of both sizes that had pieces of paper in them, that had come from other records. You’ve never seen or heard a skip until you have a needle jump of a piece of paper IN the records.

As for album covers, well, they didn’t always cut up the paper and cardboard there, they just flipped the cover inside out, and printed a new cover on the INSIDE of an old cover! So you would get an album with the cover of another one visible inside. I suppose some copies of albums might be worth more depending on the cover inside.

And a particular annoyance to collectors, a lot of Jamaican records (at least that I’ve seen in the past) do not have any catalogue numbers, and often not any copyright date. Of course the latter thing made it easier for other companies to bootleg singles that became popular.

Other than for what might be dubious collectability, I don’t think I’d take a chance on Jamaican-pressed vinyl.


I love those old Jamaican pressings. Roots reggae with surface noise just goes together so well; don’t know what it is but it just works for me. You probably think I’m totally weird, but there you go. This only works with reggae, surface noise on other music is just bloody annoying.


Great for gain of space but the deluxe cd albums are excellent! With great live tracks.
The only thing I need is a deluxe version of natty dread to complete.


Looks like a CD version of the 2015 LP box set which was remastered at the time. Sensibly priced package for anyone wanting to probe his work outside of the obligatory “Legend” tracks. I’ve been looking to add his best three albums to my vinyl collection of late (for me it’s “Exodus”, “Survival” and “Catch a Fire”) so with only the latter to get the Tuff Gong release of the original JA version appeals to me.

Ariel Aditya

Hi Paul, any info on the mastering of the CD? Thanks.

Scott Buhrman