Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bob Marley

Happy Birthday today to one of my all time favorite musicians, Bob Marley.

Robert "Bob" Nesta Marley OM (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist. He is the most widely known performer of reggae music. Marley is regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafari movement.

Marley is best known for his reggae songs, which include the hits "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Three Little Birds", "Exodus", "Could You Be Loved", "Jammin'", "Redemption Song", and "One Love". His posthumous compilation album Legend (1984) is the best-selling reggae album ever, with sales of more than 12 million copies.

In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston, Peter McIntosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith formed a ska and rocksteady group, calling themselves "The Teenagers". They later changed their name to "The Wailing Rudeboys", then to "The Wailing Wailers", and finally to "The Wailers". By 1966, Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith had left The Wailers, leaving the core trio of Marley, Livingston, and McIntosh.

In 1966, Marley married Rita Anderson, and moved near his mother's residence in Wilmington, Delaware for a short time, during which he worked as a DuPont lab assistant and on the assembly line at a Chrysler plant, under the alias Donald Marley. Upon returning to Jamaica, Marley became a member of the Rastafari movement, and started to wear his trademark dreadlocks (see the religion section for more on Marley's religious views).

After a conflict with Dodd, Marley and his band teamed up with Lee "Scratch" Perry and his studio band, The Upsetters. Although the alliance lasted less than a year, they recorded what many consider The Wailers' finest work. Marley and Perry split after a dispute regarding the assignment of recording rights, but they would remain friends and work together again.

Between 1968 and 1972, Bob and Rita Marley, Peter McIntosh and Bunny Livingston re-cut some old tracks with JAD Records in Kingston and London in an attempt to commercialize The Wailers' sound. Livingston later asserted that these songs "should never be released on an album … they were just demos for record companies to listen to."

The Wailers' first album, Catch A Fire, was released worldwide in 1973, and sold well. It was followed a year later by Burnin', which included the songs "Get Up, Stand Up" and "I Shot The Sheriff". Eric Clapton made a hit cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974, raising Marley's international profile.

The Wailers broke up in 1974 with each of the three main members going on to pursue solo careers. The reason for the breakup is shrouded in conjecture; some believe that there were disagreements amongst Livingston, McIntosh, and Marley concerning performances, while others claim that Livingston and McIntosh simply preferred solo work. McIntosh began recording under the name Peter Tosh, and Livingston continued as Bunny Wailer.

Despite the breakup, Marley continued recording as "Bob Marley & The Wailers". His new backing band included brothers Carlton and Aston "Family Man" Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl "Wya" Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin "Seeco" Patterson on percussion. The "I Threes", consisting of Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, and Marley's wife, Rita, provided backing vocals.

In 1975, Marley had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, "No Woman, No Cry," from the Natty Dread album. This was followed by his breakthrough album in the US, Rastaman Vibration (1976), which spent four weeks on the Billboard charts Top Ten.

In December 1976, two days before "Smile Jamaica", a free concert organized by the Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups, Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley's home. Taylor and Marley's wife sustained serious injuries, but later made full recoveries. Bob Marley received serious injuries in the chest and arm. The shooting was thought to have been politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a support rally for Manley. Nonetheless, the concert proceeded, and an injured Marley performed as scheduled.

Bob Marley had 13 children: three with his wife Rita, two adopted from Rita's previous relationships, and the remaining eight with separate women. His children are, in order of birth:

1. Imani Carole, born May 22, 1963, to Cheryl Murray;
2. Sharon, born November 23, 1964, to Rita in previous relationship;
3. Cedella Marley born August 23, 1967, to Rita;
4. David "Ziggy" Marley, born October 17, 1968, to Rita;
5. Stephen, born April 20, 1972, to Rita;
6. Robert "Robbie" Marley, born May 16, 1972, to Pat Williams;
7. Rohan Marley, born May 19, 1972, to Janet Hunt;
8. Karen, born 1973 to Janet Bowen;
9. Stephanie, born August 17, 1974; according to Cedella Booker she was the daughter of Rita and a man called Ital with whom Rita had an affair; nonetheless she was acknowledged as Bob's daughter;
10. Julian, born June 4, 1975, to Lucy Pounder;
11. Ky-Mani, born February 26, 1976, to Anita Belnavis;
12. Damian Marley, born July 21, 1978, to Cindy Breakspeare;
13. Makeda, born May 30, 1981, to Yvette Crichton.

Album Band Release Date Label
The Wailing Wailers The Wailers 1965 Studio One
Soul Shakedown Bob Marley & The Wailers 1969
The Best of the Wailers The Wailers 1970 Beverley's
Soul Rebels The Wailers 1970 Upsetter/Trojan
Soul Revolution The Wailers 1971 Upsetter/Trojan
Soul Revolution Part II The Wailers 1971 Upsetter/Trojan
Catch a Fire The Wailers 1973 Island/Tuff Gong
African Herbsman The Wailers 1973 Upsetter/Trojan
Burnin' The Wailers 1973 Island/Tuff Gong
Rasta Revolution Bob Marley & The Wailers 1974 Upsetter/Trojan
Natty Dread Bob Marley & The Wailers 1974 Island/Tuff Gong
Rastaman Vibration Bob Marley & The Wailers 1976 Island/Tuff Gong
Exodus Bob Marley & The Wailers 1977 Island/Tuff Gong
Kaya Bob Marley & The Wailers 1978 Island/Tuff Gong
Survival Bob Marley & The Wailers 1979 Island/Tuff Gong
Uprising Bob Marley & The Wailers 1980 Island/Tuff Gong
Confrontation (posthumous) Bob Marley & The Wailers 1983 Island/Tuff Gong

1. Bob Marley & The Wailers "I Am Gonna Put It On"
2. Bob Marley & The Wailers "I Need You"
3. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Lonsome Feeling"
4. Bob Marley & The Wailers "What's New Pussycat"
5. Bob Marley & The Wailers "One Love"
6. Bob Marley & The Wailers "When The Well Runs Dry"
7. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Ten Commandments Of Love"
8. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Rude Boy"
9. Bob Marley & The Wailers "It Hurts To Be Alone"
10. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Love & Affection"
11. Bob Marley & The Wailers "I Am Still Waiting"
12. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Simmer Down"
1. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Soul Rebel"
2. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Try Me"
3. Bob Marley & The Wailers "It's Alright"
4. Bob Marley & The Wailers "No Sympathy"
5. Bob Marley & The Wailers "My Cup"
6. Bob Marley & The Wailers "Soul Almighty"
Bob Marley & The Wailers "Rebel's Hop"
Bob Marley & The Wailers "Corner Stone"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "400 Years"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "No Water"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Reaction"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "My Sympathy"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Keep On Moving"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Don't Rock My Boat"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Put It On"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Fussing And Fighting"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Duppy Conqueror"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Memphis"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Riding High"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Kaya"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "African Herbsman"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Stand Alone"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Sun Is Shining"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Brain Washing"
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Concrete Jungle" – 4:16
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Stir It Up" – 3:39
Bob Marley and The Wailers "High Tide Or Low Tide" – 4:45
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Stop That Train" – 3:55
Bob Marley and The Wailers "400 Years" – 3:03
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Baby We've Got A Date (Rock It Baby)" – 4:05
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Midnight Ravers" – 5:09
Bob Marley and The Wailers "All Day All Night" – 3:29
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Slave Driver" – 2:57
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Kinky Reggae" – 3:45
Bob Marley and The Wailers "No More Trouble" – 5:16
# "Is This Love" – 3:52
# "No Woman, No Cry" (Vincent Ford) – 7:07
# "Could You Be Loved" – 3:55
# "Three Little Birds" – 3:00
# "Buffalo Soldier" (Bob Marley/N.G. Williams) – 4:17
# "Get Up, Stand Up" (Bob Marley/Peter Tosh) – 3:16
# "Stir It Up" – 5:33
# "Easy Skanking" – 2:57 (bonus track on original cassette edition/2002 reissue)
# "One Love/People Get Ready" (Bob Marley/Curtis Mayfield) – 2:51
# "I Shot the Sheriff" – 4:41
# "Waiting in Vain" – 4:15
# "Redemption Song" – 3:49
# "Satisfy My Soul" – 4:32
# "Exodus" – 7:36
# "Jamming" – 3:31
# "Punky Reggae Party" –6:52

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