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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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Replies to This Discussion

Images would be great!

Roger Steffens in La , has a number of signed Marley albums but mainly the f out at recordings on 45 from Jamaica,  he has signed posters. The blokes on YouTube showing his collection.

Thanks Paul, do you have a link to the You Tube video? I found one that is about 8 mins long but Roger didn't show any signed LPs in it. 

Thanks Paul, that is the video I had watched. I also watched another that was somewhat similar but lasted 70 mins or so. I didn't see any signed LPs in either video. I also read an interview that Roger gave the Washington Post in which he said that Bob never signed any LPs for him. That doesn't mean that he doesn't have any signed LPs of course - in the videos he refers to having bought things on the open market too. Is the "Babylon By Bus" that you posted from Roger's collection?

Roger has a signed poster by bob and the wailers but tosh wouldn't sign it because bob had signed it and I'm sure he has a 45 sleeve signed by bob.

My record is from a press conference in Australia not from Roger. 

Tracks had an lp for sale this year. I know one of the wailers has an exodus signed lp, also a dealer was trying to sell me a signed Marley and Wailers last year as they do. They think collectors are brokers! 

Would there be any chance of posting a better image of your "Babylon By Bus" cover? It looks like a nice clear undedicated signature - of which there are precious few.

Any idea which LP Tracks were offering? Presumably not the inside sleeve from "Babylon By Bus" that they currently have on eBay. 

I offered to add images to the census. Although I haven't been overwhelmed with requests to do so, I thought I may as well do it. I'll use a separate post for each LP so we can add other exemplars if and when they turn up. 

We start with Catch A Fire:

RR Auction: 11/2020 $18,308

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

Now Exodus:

Sworder’s: 10/2020 £3,900.

Julien’s: 6/2020 $18,750.

Christie’s: 7/2008 £2125. This was signed twice so I have included both signatures. The Christie's site only includes links so I had to print out the images and scan the prints. 

The Julien's Exodus was apparently sold through the Nate D. Sanders' auction of October 2019 for $7,563, including buyer's premium. Seems a little odd for the buyer to sell it again less than nine months later unless it was just to make a quick profit. If so, the strategy certainly worked.

Here we go with what appears to be the most often seen signed LP - Kaya:

RR Auction: 3/2019 $12,484.

RR Auction: 4/2018 $6,488.

Christie’s: 12/2013 £5,250 (again, scanned from a print-out as Christie's only provide image links).

Christie’s: 9/2000 £764 (scanned from a print but autograph also virtually invisible on the Christie's site)

Heritage: 8/2020 $4,500.

Heritage: 10/2007 $2,629.

Iconic: 8/2020 $13,678.

Iconic: 4/2018 $5,797.

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