Earlier today I started a discussion about a Bob Marley signed «Uprising» LP that I bought recently – see link below:

Bob Marley signed Uprising LP - opinions welcome - Autograph Live (...

Before and after buying the album I did a lot of internet digging and discovered that there are very few Marley signed LPs around. Given the relatively low numbers and to make better use of my many hours of research, I thought it would be good to start a Bob Marley signed LP census, similar to the Beatles’ one already on this site. I have called it "census - 1" as I'm not sure if it is possible to revise the text of an original post once it is posted and new threads may be needed for updates.

In getting the ball rolling, my methodology has been pretty simple. I have been through the published sales records of as many trustworthy auction houses as I could think of. As all have had at least one signed LP all the auction houses I looked at are mentioned below.

In the census I have not included a «Babylon By Bus» LP that was signed on the inner sleeve such that the signature was not visible through the bus window cut-outs. I also excluded a Marley-signed reggae compliation LP that only included some Marley tracks.

My results are set out below. Details of the relevant auction houses and sale dates/prices are given for reference purposes and to avoid possible double-counting if other LPs are proposed for inclusion. The prices are as listed by the auction houses; presumably the round figure £ amounts do not include buyer’s premium, whereas the $ amounts do. If an LP has been sold more than once it is listed under the most recent seller's name:

Catch A Fire: 2

RR Auction: 11/2020 $18,308.

Omega: 11/2020 £4,500 (back cover and formerly Bonhams 4/2003 £2,820).

Exodus: 3

Sworder’s: 10/2020 £3,900.

Julien’s: 6/2020 $18,750.

Christie’s: 7/2008 £2125.

Kaya: 8

RR Auction: a) 3/2019 $12,484, b) 4/2018 $6,488.

Christie’s: a) 12/2013 £5,250, b) 9/2000 £764.

Heritage: a) 8/2020 $4,500, b) 10/2007 $2,629.

Iconic: a) 8/2020 $13,678, b) 4/2018 $5,797.

Survival: 2

RR Auction: 2/2016 (back cover) $5,525.

Iconic: 7/2017 $4,790 (formerly RR Auction 8/2016 $3,371).

Uprising: 4

RR Auction: a) 10/2019 $10,625, b) 7/2018 $12,384 (formerly RR Auction 2/2015 $4,083 and Christie’s 5/2006 £1,920), c) 11/2014 $8,266.

Christie’s: 6/2013 £2,000.

Babylon By Bus: 4

RR Auction: a) 5/2016 $2,972 (plain reverse of LP back cover seen through cut-out, formerly Iconic 8/2015 $5,781), b) 9/2013 $8,460 (inner sleeve but visible through bus window), c) 3/2013 $6,355.

Fraser’s: 4/2013 £2,000.

Live: 1

RR Auction: 6/2020 $8,060.

The total number of signed albums found was 24, excluding my recent acquisition and a «signed album» sold by Sotheby’s in their sale of 12 June 1999 (no further details available). It could be argued either way as to whether the window-signed «Babylon By Bus» LPs truly count as signed LP covers.

Even if some of the signed LPs are forgeries, and I have my suspicions in a few cases, it seems certain that there are more than 20 signed LPs, contrary to the «less than 20» that Iconic Auctions refer to in their listings.

It is interesting is that:

  1. The list contains no signed copies of half of the fourteen LPs released during Marley’s lifetime (assuming Wkipedia’s listing of LPs is correct).
  2. In 2020 there has been a flurry of activity for "Catch A Fire", "Exodus" and "Kaya". Indeed, both signed copies of "Catch A Fire" were sold this month (11/2020). I wonder if this activity has to do with the pubilicity surrounding Bob's 75th anniversary.
  3. There has obviously been an upward trend in prices but auction results have also been erratic. As well as auctioning half the LPs found, RR Auction has achieved by far the best prices overall.

Given the relatively low number of signed LPs it would not be a mammoth task to include images of them. I could do this at a later date if desired.

Do members have or know of other likely genuine signed Marley LPs that have been sold at auction or privately? Please provide as many details as possible (e.g. auction house, sale date and price).

Tags: Bob Marley, census, reggae, signed LP

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The first of the RR Kaya's (sold 3/2019) is shown as "sold" on a UK record store site - at a very, very low price. No details as to the date of sale. If the record store buyer sold it through RR him or herself they made an extremely handsome profit.

Next up is Survival - only one front cover...

RR Auction: 2/2016 (back cover) $5,525.

Iconic: 7/2017 $4,790 (formerly RR Auction 8/2016 $3,371).

Uprising; of particular interest to me for obvious reasons...

RR Auction: 10/2019 $10,625.

RR Auction: 7/2018 $12,384 (formerly RR Auction 2/2015 $4,083 and Christie’s 5/2006 £1,920).

Christie’s: 6/2013 £2,000 (again from a paper print-out but quite light anyway)

Babylon By Bus, the first of the live LPs:

RR Auction: 5/2016 $2,972 (plain reverse of LP back cover seen through cut-out, formerly Iconic 8/2015 $5,781).

RR Auction: 9/2013 $8,460 (inner sleeve but visible through bus window).

RR Auction: 3/2013 $6,355.

Fraser’s: 4/2013 £2,000.

And finally, "Live":

RR Auction: 6/2020 $8,060.

Thanks for your input Paul.

Where did the above "Catch A Fire" back cover come from? Was it authenticated? Obviously not a typical one given the use of capitals in the surname and the top heavy Bs in "Bob". Did Bob write the inscription underneath his name? Any idea what it says?

Recordmecca sold this one ,. It's authentic 

If you haven't noticed no one gives a hoot!

Thanks again Paul.

I had noticed that we are the only contributors to this thread so far.

I guess that could be down to a few things, the most important of which probably being the fact that a) Many people in the US are busy with Thanksgiving, b) Marley LPs are so rare that new discoveries are likely to be thin on the ground and c) we are not discussing the authenticity of anything currently up for auction.

It would be good to have input from others but putting it together has been educational for me in any case.   

I have a double signed ( front and back ) survival. Quick opinion from Roger Epperson was fine. Happy to send pics if you’d like to add to your census. 



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