Exodus was still in the UK chart when its follow-up Kaya was released on 23 March, 1978. This was a testament not only to Bob Marley’s phenomenal popularity at this point but also to the man’s impressive work ethic and his ability to shrug off a worsening health problem.
The toe injury which had forced Marley to cancel two shows at the end of the Exodus tour in May 1977 was diagnosed as Acral Melanoma, a malignant skin cancer. Doctors in both London and Miami advised him to have his big toe amputated to prevent the cancer spreading, but Marley was reluctant to undergo an operation that, contrary to the principle of Rastafarianism, entailed “cutting the flesh”. Eventually, in July 1977, he underwent a complicated medical procedure in Miami, had the cancerous tissue on the toe removed, and the affected area covered with a skin graft taken from his thigh. While the recommended amputation may have saved his life, this compromise measure would prove sadly ineffective in halting the progress of the disease in the long term.
On 22 April 1978, a month before the start of the Kaya world tour, Marley and the Wailers pulled off a gig of unique historical and political resonance when they headlined the One Love Peace Concert at the National Stadium in Kingston. The show marked the first time that Marley set foot in Jamaica since the Wailers’ performance at the Smile Jamaica concert, two days after he had narrowly escaped being shot dead in December 1976. The band’s return to its homeland was hardly any less stressful, since the concert had been organised, in large part, to defuse a bitter political battle between the People’s National Party led by Michael Manley and the Jamaican Labour Party led by Edward Seaga, which had spilled out of the legislative assembly and on to the streets.
The ZZ Top frontman unleashed the lyric video for “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin”, which will appear on his second solo album The Big Bad Blues.
“That was a gift,” Gibbons said when speaking to Billboard. “We had gotten maybe five (songs) recorded, and my lovely sweetheart Gilligan was scribbling away on the couch. I was, ‘Omigod, she’s reading the Chanel catalog. Hide the credit card!’ Then she took a break and the engineers kinda glanced over the scribbling and said, ‘Hey man, this looks pretty good. This could be nice and bluesy if we put something to it,’ which we did.”