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Rolling Stones unreleased: Jah Is Not Dead
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Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas, Jan. 18-Feb. 12 1979
Guest musicians: Max Romeo (vocals), Boz Scaggs (backing vocals, guitar)
From Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012:
Jah Is Not Dead may have been inspired by the 1978 film Rockers which was about Jamaican life and featured local reggae artists. One of these was Winston Rodney who was the man behind the band Burning Spear. Jah Is Not Dead was sung by him on a beach acapella style with the noise of surf lapping to teach another cast member the power of religion within Jah. Keith Richards and Ron Wood were clearly influenced by the sound of reggae.
The Stones recorded Jah Is Not Dead with the help of Max Romeo and Boz Scaggs. It is obviously to a reggae beat but has some raging guitar work which may have been with Boz Scaggs ex of Steve Miller Band and now a solo recording artist in his own right. Mick Jagger performs the vocals for the first part of the song before solo reggae artist Max Romeo takes up the lyrics about 2,000 years of Christianity before ending with Mick and Max skanking and chanting together ‘Jah is not dead’ on this 10-minute epic.