World Music Legends    Bob Marley    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


World Music Legends    Bob Marley    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
Moroccan Sahara

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





World Music Legends

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Bob Marley
By Chris Nickson

Published October 9, 2005
Style: Reggae

There’s no denying that Bob Marley remains the best-known name in reggae, even more than 20 years after his death. But think for a second about why he’s known—the picture with the giant spliff and dreadlocks, and a few songs like “One Love,” “Three Little Birds,” “Jamming” and, of course, “I Shot The Sheriff” (mostly for the anemic Eric Clapton version). That’s only one part of who Marley really was. It ignores his real revolutionary stance and spirit, which is what helped make him such an icon to most of the non-Western world.

            It also ignores the sheer length of his career. Marley, along with Peter Tosh and Neville Livingstone (later known as Bunny Wailer), made up the Wailers, who scored their first Jamaican hit in 1963, and kept going from there. Even before most of the world had heard of them, they were already major stars who’d gone through some serious musical growth, from the lovely “Stir It Up” through the more politically aware “Simmer Down,” a song aimed at curbing the riots of 1966, to the quantum leap of sound once they joined up with producer Lee Perry and his house band (who basically stayed with the Wailers permanently).

            Many of Marley’s classic songs came from the fertile couple of years he worked with Perry, including the Soul Rebels album cut for Trojan Records in 1970, the first to present Marley to an audience outside of Jamaica. Having become a Rastafarian, his writing took a turn for the serious and conscious, with pieces like “Kaya,” “Small Axe” and “Duppy Conqueror.”

            International stardom came after, but this was the foundation. It allowed Marley to try things, to spread his wings. It might have been a low point commercially, but creatively it was a high.

            It wasn’t an easy jump to global success. The band froze for a winter in England before signing with Island Records, and even then label head Chris Blackwell sweetened up their first album before unleashing it in 1973. Their sophisticated sound, a long way from the pop reggae that hit the U.K. charts, found sympathy with some rock fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

            To many, Marley’s talent flowered fully after Tosh and Bunny Wailer quit the band. Certainly everything rode on his shoulders from that point, both as writer and frontman (a task for which his charismatic stage presence and mellifluous voice suited him). Certainly the first album completely under his own name was a classic: Natty Dread. With “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry),” “Rebel Music (3 O’Clock Roadblock)” and “Revolution” he l

Recommended Recordings

 

Legend (PolyGram)

Live (Island)

Complete Bob Marley & The Wailers, Part 1: 1967-1972 (JAD)
 

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Gnaoua Festtival
Quincy Jones Eagle Rock
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
sonicbids

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net