TJR presents… Top 10: Bob Marley

TJR presents… Top 10: Bob Marley

– Celebrating the undisputed King of Reggae.
  • Runtime: 42m.
  • Compiled from 303 collection entries @ 07-Oct-2019.
  • Fantasy Album Rating: 9.99 “An elite masterpiece”
  • To access shuffle-play or avoid in-play interruption due to territorially blocked videos, it might be best playing directly via YouTube external-link.png

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Time Will Tell by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1978)
(Bob Marley)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Kaya” released in March, 1978. Thoroughly entrenched in Jamaican heritage, “Time Will Tell” closes the album mightily. I once got a hotel mento band in Montego Bay to play this song for me – four beers was no price at all, for it was priceless, and one of the most magical musical experiences of my life. Those boys felt that tune; a poignant reminder that it's not all rum, coconuts and sunshine in Jamaica. I’m not one for getting all hippy dippy, but the piece is simply magical, transcendental even, and, for me, stands as Bob’s greatest masterpiece.

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Rastaman Live Up! [album version ’83] by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1983)
(Bob Marley, Rainford Hugh Perry)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Confrontation” released in May, 1983. The roots of this killer cut lie in an April '78 session with Lee Perry, espousing positivity for the Rasta underdog. We're reminded that, in the Old Testament, Samson successfully fought against an army of Philistines, slaying them with the jawbone of a donkey. That's all Perry's doing! The infectious single was released late in '78 and peaked at #3 in the Jamaican charts in February, 1979. To give the posthumously released “Confrontation” a sense of cohesion, backing vocals from the I-Threes were added to the original. Soothing and inspirational, it's perfection from every angle.

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Get Up, Stand Up by The Wailers (1973)
(Bob Marley, Winston McIntosh)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Burnin'” released in October, 1973. This mighty opener digs heavily into War’s 1971 tune “Slipping Into Darkness” for inspiration. It’s sheer dynamite musically, if a little confused lyrically. Of the many messages in this song “we’re sick and tired of your ism/schism game” is probably my favourite bit of Christian bashing this side of Lennon’s “God”, although I doubt I’ll be converting to Rastafarianism anytime soon – apparently, almighty God is a living man. Altogether now: “you can fool some people sometime”… ahem, yes… moving quickly along… it’s brilliant how Bob and Peter take turns with verses on this one – a real show of unity and brotherhood on the surface, even if it belies the reality of inter-group writers credit tensions that exist between the pair. On the militant aspect, my right fist is clenched, with my arm raised high. The album of the year.

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One Love / People Get Ready by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1977)
(Bob Marley - Curtis Mayfield)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Exodus” released in June, 1977. Closing the album, “One Love/People Get Ready”, a tune in the repertoire for some 12 years, is laid down definitively and mightily, a rallying call to stop all this fussing and fighting. I’m not a religious man, but even for me Bob’s message is palatable “Let's get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One Love!), So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!). Have pity on those whose chances grows thinner, there ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation.” Responding to an assassination attempt - the Bob Marley way! It would become his most famous anthem worldwide, and was a fitting way to close his finest LP.

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Exodus by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1977)
(Bob Marley)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Exodus” released in June, 1977. The mighty title-track paraphrases the statement made by Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley who had the slogan “We know where we're going” during the Elections campaign of ’76. Bob completely turns the slogan around by proclaiming “we’re going to our father land” and that this will be the great “movement of JA people”. Typifies side 1 of the album; as tough as old boots, with killer basslines, crisp horns and intoxicating hooks.

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Blackman Redemption [album version ’83] by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1983)
(Bob Marley, Rainford Hugh Perry)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Confrontation” released in May, 1983. Back in the springtime of '78, sandwiched between “Kaya” and “Survival”, Bob and his group had another fruitful dalliance with Lee Perry at Kingston's Dynamic Studio, doing his local reputation the world of good. The original single made #2 in the Jamaican charts in September of that year. This superb 1983 touch-up adds new horns and backing vocals from the I-Threes at the expense of Perry's vocalists, The Meditations.

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Coming In From The Cold by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1980)
(Bob Marley)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Uprising” released in June, 1980. Did you ever see such a positive album cover in all of your life? Just one look at that and the whole world seems a better place. After the relative disappointment of last years’ “Survival”, this set found Bob back to his brilliant mid to late 70s form; it seems to me the band respond to a special set of lyrics with a matching depth, like a fully committed throng in a gospel trance, evidenced on this mighty first-half classic: “Why do you look so sad and forsaken, when one door is closed, don't you know another is open… the biggest man you ever did see was just a baby… it’s YOU I’m talking to.” Feel that brothers and sisters.

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Who The Cap Fit by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1976)
(Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Rastaman Vibration” released in April, 1976. The Bob Marley story was moving along beautifully at this time. There had been no studio albums in ’75 but the live version of “No Woman No Cry” had given him single success in several countries. “Rastaman Vibration” arrived in April ’76 and cemented the growing worldwide reputation of the man and his group, and was a roaring commercial success in all the main territories, especially in the United States where it gave them their first Top 10 album. “Who The Cap Fit” defines the sound of the Wailers in 1976 – an exceedingly soulful vocal from Bob, awesome lyrics (double-crossers, hypocrites and parasites are in the firing line this time), terrific gospel-like wailing from the I-Threes, prominent synths, and deep roots-rocking from the Barrett brothers. It doesn’t get much better.

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Jamming by Bob Marley and The Wailers (1977)
(Bob Marley)

10.0 “Utterly perfect” Reggae
TJR saysFrom their album “Exodus” released in June, 1977. A masterclass in soul salvation “children must unite, for life is worth much more than gold”. At the same time the playful playing of the glass bottle – Lee Perry style – puts a huge smile on the face. Bob Marley, Michael Manley (PNP) & Edward Seaga (JLP) holding their hands together to “Jamming” in front of 32,000 at the One Love Peace Concert in April, '78, was in nobel prize territory. Bob tried his best to clean up a dirty world.

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Simmer Down by The Wailers (1964)
(Bob Marley)

9.9 “All-time classic” Ska / Rocksteady
TJR saysTheir debut single (Coxsone Records) released in 1964. From the off, Bob was preaching peace in a cauldron; simmer down and control your temper rude boy. Blazing hot action from the Skatalites and a well deserved #1 on home soil.




TJR presents… Top 10: Bob Marley (via Spotify)

  • Runtime: 41m.
  • To access shuffle-play or overcome other issues with the embed application, it might be best playing directly via Spotify external-link.png




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