Thursday, May 11, 2006

Redemption Song

Today is the 25th anniversary of Bob Marley’s unfortunate death (May 11th, 1981) – he was only 36 when he died. Along with John Lennon, I would argue that he is the most global artist. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard his music in foreign countries and by such a wide range of people.

In remembrance I present you two lists. My list of his most underrated songs and my buddy Phil’s list of his favorites. Phil is a better Marley expert than me, so its no surprise that the songs I list are also on his list – he is probably the one who introduced me to those songs. Clicking on each song will show you the lyrics and a description of the song for some. I recommend reading the description behind “Bad Card”, “Soul Shakedown Party” and “War”. All are pretty interesting.

(Album titles are in parenthesis)

Hops’ list of the Top 6 most underrated Bob Marley Songs:

“She’s Gone” (Kaya)

“Kaya” (Kaya)

“Coming in from the cold” (Uprising)

“The lyric is exceeded only by the killing drum rift at the top of the song” – Trey Anastasio

“Trenchtown Rock” – Live (Natural Mystic)

“Bad Card” – (Uprising)

“Soul Shakedown Party” (Songs of Freedom)

Phil’s Favorite Marley Songs

War (Rastaman Vibration)

Coming in From the Cold (Uprising)

Work (Uprising)

So Jah Seh (Natty Dread)

Kaya (Kaya)

Natural Mystic (Exodus)

Things you may not have known about Bob Marley:
- Despite what some people might assume, Bob died of cancer. He got skin cancer in his big toe. He assumed the problem with his toe was a soccer injury (he loved the game). Once diagnosed, he refused to get his toe amputated due to religious beliefs, and it eventually spread to the rest of his body and killed him.

- Bob and his wife once survived an assassination attempt. Both were shot and survived. It was believed the attempt on his life was politically motivated as he held a great deal of power due to his popularity and opinionated lyrics.

-Bob Marley is of mixed races (not sure the PC term). His father was white, or mostly white (there are conflicted stories). Bob didn’t know him and grew up thinking he was half white and half black.

- According to the song “War” (see Phil’s list) is set to music the speech presented to the United Nations by H.I.M Haile Selassie.

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