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Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers

Originally formed at the request of their father, Bob Marley, it was only after his death that the Melody Makers came into their own. Although the group remains indebted to their father's musical memory, since then the quartet has gone on to create a unique crossover sound, far removed from Marley's own. Their vision, however, is similar to their father's desire to bring people together through music and the Melody Makers' pop-reggae sound has certainly done that.

The band is comprised by four of Bob Marley's ten children, vocalist/guitarist Ziggy, vocalist/guitarist/drummer Stephen, vocalist Cedella, and vocalist Sharon. As the eldest, Ziggy is viewed by the press as the group's leader, but it is truly a group effort, with Stephen often sharing in the songwriting and lead vocals. The four siblings initially came together as a musical unit in 1979 to record "Children Playing in the Streets." Bob Marley had composed the song four years earlier for his children and wanted to share this gift with children around the world. All royalties from the single were pledged to the United Nations, to aid its efforts during the International Year of the Child. Ziggy and Stephen performed together at their father's funeral on May 21, 1981, dancing alongside the I-Threes and the Wailers, during their brief homage to the great artist. Later that year the Melody Makers released their second single, "What a Plot," which, like their debut, appeared on their late father's own Tuff Gong label. Two years later, the group performed at Reggae Sunsplash, a festival that Ziggy and Stephen were already veterans of, having appeared on-stage there back in 1979 during the Wailers' own set.

In 1984, the Melody Makers began a recording session with English producer Steve Levine that yielded just one single, "Lying in Bed." The following year, the group finally released the debut album Play the Game Right. Although accompanied by the Barrett brothers, who were the solid rhythm section for the Wailers, the group's record bore little resemblance to their father's music. The Melody Makers had a breezy pop style, and while it was impossible not to hear Bob in Ziggy's vocals, this only emphasized the incredible emotional qualities of his own voice. The quartet again performed at Reggae Sunsplash in 1985, while the following year brought a new album, Hey World, credited to Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers. The name change was more SOP to the press than a reflection of any changing roles within the band, in fact, Stephen was now actively composing songs and providing lead vocals. This album laid the groundwork for the group's fast maturing sound. A phenomenal mix of upbeat pop and heavier roots, cemented by hip electro-production, it was evident that the Melody Makers were no longer in the thrall of their father's music, but had found their own voice. Still in their teens, the band's lyrical maturity was quite astounding, as they deftly explored the political morass of "Police Brutality," and took on a host of other cultural and religious themes. In support of the album, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers embarked on their first tour, a veritable Tuff Gong roadshow with Nadine Sutherland and the I-Threes along as opening acts. The group was well received at Reggae Sunsplash the same year and the next. And just to keep things simmering, Ziggy was also releasing exclusive cuts to the sound systems, re-recording classic Wailers' songs with new lyrics revolving around the system itself.

In 1988, the band's popularity was at such a height that they were signed to the international major label Virgin Records. They then went into the studio with Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz of Talking Heads fame to record their third album, Conscious Party. The group had previously performed songs of different styles and they began expertly blending these styles together, shot through with electronics and fueled by strong dance beats. The album grabbed a well-deserved Grammy, and a chart placement at number 23, while its attendant single, "Tomorrow People," was a smash hit. The Melody Makers' follow-up album, released in 1989, continued down the same merry path with the same production team in tow. One Bright Day was the equal to its predecessor, and again earned the group a Grammy, landing at number 26 in the charts. The year was complete with another stunning performance at Reggae Sunsplash and it was two years before the group returned with a new album, Jahmekya. Perversely, although it brought the Melody Makers their most glowing reviews yet, the record itself did not begin to equal the sales of their last albums, and their new single, "Good Time," barely scraped into the bottom reaches of the charts. Although Jahmekya was again nominated for a Grammy, this time it lost out. Still, another blinding performance at Reggae Sunsplash helped soothe the band's jitters.

However, the group decided to change tactics for the next album, 1993's Joy & Blues: Ghetto Youths United. Returning to their roots with a vengeance, and accompanied by former Wailers' bassist Aston Barrett, the album was their final one for Virgin. The label would later bundle up 17 singles and album tracks for the compilation The Best Of: 1988-1993. The Melody Makers now set up their own Ghetto Youth United label, and having signed to Elektra, released the R&B-flavored Free Like We Want 2 B in 1995. The excellent Fallen Is Babylon followed two years later, a more experimental album that ranged from R&B to ragga, and earned the band their third Grammy. They returned to Reggae Sunplash in 1998, and before the millennium was out, the rootsy Spirit of Music arrived. Although album sales for these later records never equalled their earlier peaks, on-stage the group remained unequalled. Permanent proof of this arrived in 2000 with the Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers Live, Vol. 1, a powerful album boasting hits, a cover of their father's "Could You Be Loved," and a celebratory "People Get Ready." ~ Jo-Ann Greene
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Ziggy Marley I like the way that are leading the Melody Makers ,I love Good Reggae Music ,I am fan of your Fathers music so I keep up with Sons too , I really like the Marleys and the Melody Makers, Jah Bless you all keep up the good work that you are all doing, !!!!!!!!!
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Ziggy I am feeling very good about the good work that you are doing ,Keep up the good work , I know that your,Father would feel the same too, One love JAh bless All the Marley,s, !!!!
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Nice MUSIC From Ziggy Marley& The Melody Makers, Boom Shot, !!!!,
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Just saw Ziggy Marley on Additions he's just as good as his father Bob Marley was very impressed by him love he talks about social issues
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Like Father, like Son. There's truly a message in Jah Music. Love is My Religion. Peace...!!!
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1love
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Lovely song ����
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And I like here movies
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Still recieving Jahs message
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Dis song has a good beat and message mon
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Yes Ziggy Marley&Melod a k e r s good music, !!!!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
we be jammin
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Great
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BOB MARLEY WILL BE FOREVER MISS I HATE IT FOR THE KIDS TO DAY THAT REALY LISTAN TO HIS WORDS AND LERAN FOR IT THEY MISSING OUT WE AS A HOLE HAVE TO COME TOGETHER TO TEACH OUR PEOPLE IT NEVER TO LATE WHEN IT TO LATE IS WHEN WE STOP TEACHING OUR PEOPLE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE REALY FREE WE HAVE TO BRING OUR KIDS UP THE WAY OUR FOR FATHERS THOUGT US . IF THERE ANY BIG MAMAS STILL OUT THERE ???? IT TAKES A VALAGE TO RAISE A FAMILY AND THAT'S WHAT IS GOING TO TAKE TO GET IT BACK LIKE BIG MAMA ONCE HAVE I
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dragonlady60 8 8
reggae....ya mon........
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Are You Gettin Are You Gettin Are You Gettin Ja Message ?
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Real as it gets
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Just saw Ziggy last month in Dallas. Fantastic concert. He looked so healthy and fit. His father would be pleased...
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dustinhenson 3 2
Great music it is very good.
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Great personificat i o n s of nature
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JAH RASTA FARI
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Coolllll man
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dragonlady60 8 8
Makes me wanna go to the Bahamas agian!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Yes Mon......reg g a e . . . . !
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Just flow....
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H
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
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I love ziggy Marley and his songs;)����
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Rasta Fari,
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I love the Marleys. Yet Lorin Hill Said ,shed rather have her kids starve before white people buying her music. Then marries a man that's white,in him. ouch they must be hungry? Rast Fari
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Love This Song Really Good Singing Voice. Is Ziggy Marley Still Alive
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Artist are special people that create beauty. We must not judge anything or anyone. Ahh! Feels sooooooooo good to type BEAUTY TOO!! only the hip will get this! :)
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Saw Ziggy couple weeks back in KC. Great music although we could sense he might have been having a bad day, he still put on a good show.
Respect-
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michelle_mui r
Incredible artist and performer! I have had the honor of seeing Ziggy in concert twice most recently July 26 2014 in Maryland, he is very engaging and that voice...! Powerful!
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It was my pleasure to see Ziggy Marley play in Sioux City Iowa on August 5 2014 . Truly amazing! New album is Forward To Love a must have! One love.. Fly rasta
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I love this song soooo much I'm a huge marley girl!! This sounds like stephen ... Whom I very in love with
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cheri.rickar d 1 9 6 4
Hey, just imagine Bob alive to hear and see him it's so surprising the likeness they share...It just continues to surprise me.
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Any version chillaxs me :-) your father is proud...love is my religion too! You and your brothers are each unique and beautiful! All the love Marley family xxx
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askadanma
I like this song a lot lot lot
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Great song .
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Just Seen Ziggy Live in Concert the other day .....25 bucks has never gotten me so HIGH ! the Vibe was amazing and all color and kind of people young and old just dancing and feeling nice together is just priceless ! go and see him when you get the chance because JAH LOVE iS REAL and RASTAFARI shall endure forever! Bless it.
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tellis97
Hi
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1
Report as inappropriate
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works.

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Jkl
Hhjk
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Damn ziggy
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Hits me hard in the heart
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Damn damn dhammmm REPEAT BUTTON PLEASE just let us be able to hit repeat one time per song UGHHHH!
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Just got back from Jamaica, good music 24/7!!!
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Some nights I get in my moods....ton i g h t , well almost every night is my reggae night.....
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