Island plans historic release for Marley 'Exodus'


LONDON -- Bob Marley is to posthumously make history by becoming the first artist to release a full album on the USB Memory Stick format in Britain.

Marley's longtime label home Island Records will issue the reggae star's legendary 1977 album "Exodus" on June 4. The release date also marks the 30th anniversary of the album.

A limited edition of 4,000 unit will be issued in the Rastafarian colors of red, green and gold. The 256 MB stick will contain the 10 original "Exodus" tracks, plus three videos taped at London's Rainbow Theatre in June 1977 and Marley "wallpaper."

Island is also reissuing the album CD as a special edition, packaged in a "hardback" case. A 5,000 limited edition deluxe CD will additionally be released, featuring a separate DVD of 12 tracks from Marley's historic Rainbow concerts in the summer of 1977. Vinyl and DVD releases are also on the slate.

"At Island, we believe it's the role of record labels to offer the consumer choice, and, where possible, to extend our format portfolio," says London-based Island Records GM Jon Turner, in a statement. "The unparalleled range that we are offering on Exodus certainly meets these objectives."

Separately, an "Exodus" book, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and featuring more than 200 images, will be issued to mark the occasion. In the United Kingdom, national broadcaster BBC will screen an Anthony Wall-direct 90-minute film, "Arena: Bob Marley's Exodus 77" at the end of May.

The "Exodus" USB release comes on the heels of the groundbreaking October 2006 U.K. release in the format of the Keane single "Nothing In My Way." The Fratellis' "Baby Fratelli" was also released on memory stick in March of this year. Both USB initiatives were driven by Island Records.