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Performances Song History Lyrics

Trench Town Rock

Music/Lyrics: Bob Marley

Vocals: Trey (lead), Mike, Page (backing)

Original Artist: Bob Marley and The Wailers

Original Album: African Herbsman (1973)

Albums: Star Lake 98

Debut: 1998-08-11

Historian: Mark Toscano

Phish surprised everyone with this left-field cover of Bob Marley’s “Trench Town Rock,” perhaps one of the most raw and meaningful songs ever written. Opening the 8/11/98 Star Lake show, “Trench Town” was greeted with a huge, all-engulfing cheer from everyone in the amphitheater, both those who were Bob Marley fans and those who mistook the song’s opening for “Harry Hood.” 

Bob Marley – "Trench Town Rock"

Phish’s version of the tune is surprisingly strong, considering it was a likely one-timer. The vocals are fine, and the guys get the song’s sound about as right as four white New Englanders could ever get it. Fans curious to hear the original may want to grab the live Marley version from Live! before looking for the studio track recorded on African Herbsman.

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