My Top Ten – Bob Marley and the Wailers

In honour of the mighty Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and their fellow Olympian Jamaicans, I give you my Bob Marley Top Ten!

Been planning this one for a while, but the sport’s got in the way a bit just recently. As with all of these top tens, I could do a totally different ten, and it would be just as good. But this one brings back the memories and still works as the perfect summer soundtrack. In every beach bar in the world, who are you most likely to hear?  Yes, it will be Mr Marley.

Take it easy as we work our way through… click on any title to hear the song and then click back on the page to continue reading while the song plays.

10. Johnny Was from Rastaman Vibration

A poignant song about a boy gunned down in the gang wars. The Northern Irish punk band, Stiff Little Fingers, did an amazing version of this song.

9. Buffalo Soldier from Confrontation

Late Marley with a chugging beat and a tale of the black men who fought in the American civil war. My kids always loved the beat to this one in the car.

8. Could You Be Loved (12” Mix) from Uprising

Bob’s biggest dance record. Early eighties. This was on at every party. I’ve put the 12 inch mix on here because this was the one that always got people dancing.  Memories!

7. Redemption Song from Uprising

Maybe the most resonant song he left us with.  A simple guitar thing, with no reggae beat.  But a worldwide appeal. I remember a wonderful version from Joe Strummer, not long before he died. Campfire music.

6. Lively Up Yourself from Natty Dread

Celebration time. Don’t say no!

5. Waiting In Vain from Exodus

Bob’s greatest love song? As Gregory Isaacs sang, cool down the pace…

4. Jamming from Exodus

We’re jamming in the name of the Lord! The ultimate cool celebration.

3. Talkin’ Blue from Natty Dread

Anyone who has read my Top Ten reggae blog will know this was in there as the Marley selection.  So maybe it should be No1. It’s soul, blues, reggae, all in one.

2. Zimbabwe from Survival

This song was written to celebrate the independence of Zimbabwe in the late seventies. It may all have gone horribly wrong in that country, but I still love the rhythm and the intensity of this song.

1. No Woman, No Cry from Live! (and Natty Dread)

Pure nostalgia! The live album in 1975 was the reggae album that started to awaken teenage white boys like me to the wonders of reggae. No Woman No Cry is probably Bob Marley’s greatest anthem. A true hymn.  The studio version on “Natty Dread” is wonderful; the live version a total celebration. It was my awakening…

The near misses!

Alternative ten: So Much Things To Say;  Natural Mystic; One Love; Natty Dread; Them Belly Full; Stir It Up; Bad Card;  I Shot The Sheriff; Trenchtown Rock, Roots, Rock, Reggae….

And so many more.

One more time… lively up yourself!

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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4 Responses to My Top Ten – Bob Marley and the Wailers

  1. Great choices. I haven’t taken a moment in years to listen to any of these. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Third World Band In ATL for 50th Ann. of Jamaica’s Independence – Rialto Series « Highlanda Sound System

  3. Pingback: How do you find good music? | avicenna2020

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