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Bob Marley

Reggae's most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley was the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom, in the process introducing the music of his native island nation to the far-flung corners of the globe. Marley's music gave voice to the day-to-day struggles of the Jamaican experience, vividly capturing not only the plight of the country's impoverished and oppressed but also the devout spirituality that remains their source of strength. His songs of faith, devotion, and revolution created a legacy that continues to live on not only through the music of his extended family but also through generations of artists the world over touched by his genius.

Robert Nesta Marley was born February 6, 1945, in rural St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica; the son of a middle-aged white father and teenaged black mother, he left home at 14 to pursue a music career in Kingston, becoming a pupil of local singer and devout Rastafarian Joe Higgs. He cut his first single, "Judge Not," in 1962 for Leslie Kong, severing ties with the famed producer soon after over a monetary dispute. In 1963 Marley teamed with fellow singers Peter Tosh, Bunny Livingston, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso, and Cherry Smith to form the vocal group the Teenagers; later rechristened the Wailing Rudeboys and later simply the Wailers, they signed on with producer Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One and recorded their debut, "I'm Still Waiting." When Braithwaite and Smith exited the Wailers, Marley assumed lead vocal duties, and in early 1964 the group's follow-up, "Simmer Down," topped the Jamaican charts. A series of singles including "Let Him Go (Rude Boy Get Gail)," "Dancing Shoes," "Jerk in Time," "Who Feels It Knows It," and "What Am I to Do" followed, and in all, the Wailers recorded some 70 tracks for Dodd before disbanding in 1966. On February 10 of that year, Marley married Rita Anderson, a singer in the group the Soulettes; she later enjoyed success as a member of the vocal trio the I-Threes. Marley then spent the better part of the year working in a factory in Newark, DE, the home of his mother since 1963.

Upon returning to Jamaica that October, Marley re-formed the Wailers with Livingston and Tosh, releasing "Bend Down Low" on their own short-lived Wail 'N' Soul 'M label; at this time all three members began devoting themselves to the teachings of the Rastafari faith, a cornerstone of Marley's life and music until his death. Beginning in 1968, the Wailers recorded a wealth of new material for producer Danny Sims before teaming the following year with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry; backed by Perry's house band, the Upsetters, the trio cut a number of classics, including "My Cup," "Duppy Conqueror," "Soul Almighty," and "Small Axe," which fused powerful vocals, ingenious rhythms, and visionary production to lay the groundwork for much of the Jamaican music in their wake. Upsetters bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett and his drummer brother Carlton soon joined the Wailers full-time, and in 1971 the group founded another independent label, Tuff Gong, releasing a handful of singles before signing to Chris Blackwell's Island Records a year later.

1973's Catch a Fire, the Wailers' Island debut, was the first of their albums released outside of Jamaica, and immediately earned worldwide acclaim; the follow-up, Burnin', launched the track "I Shot the Sheriff," a Top Ten hit for Eric Clapton in 1974. With the Wailers poised for stardom, however, both Livingston and Tosh quit the group to pursue solo careers; Marley then brought in the I-Threes, which in addition to Rita Marley consisted of singers Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. The new lineup proceeded to tour the world prior to releasing their 1975 breakthrough album Natty Dread, scoring their first U.K. Top 40 hit with the classic "No Woman, No Cry." Sellout shows at the London Lyceum, where Marley played to racially mixed crowds, yielded the superb Live! later that year, and with the success of 1976's Rastaman Vibration, which hit the Top Ten in the U.S., it became increasingly clear that his music had carved its own niche within the pop mainstream.

As great as Marley's fame had grown outside of Jamaica, at home he was viewed as a figure of almost mystical proportions, a poet and prophet whose every word had the nation's collective ear. His power was perceived as a threat in some quarters, and on December 3, 1976, he was wounded in an assassination attempt; the ordeal forced Marley to leave Jamaica for over a year. 1977's Exodus was his biggest record to date, generating the hits "Jamming," "Waiting in Vain," and "One Love/People Get Ready"; Kaya was another smash, highlighted by the gorgeous "Is This Love" and "Satisfy My Soul." Another classic live date, Babylon by Bus, preceded the release of 1979's Survival. 1980 loomed as Marley's biggest year yet, kicked off by a concert in the newly liberated Zimbabwe; a tour of the U.S. was announced, but while jogging in New York's Central Park he collapsed, and it was discovered he suffered from cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs, and liver. Uprising was the final album released in Marley's lifetime -- he died May 11, 1981, at age 36.

Posthumous efforts including 1983's Confrontation, the best-selling 1984 retrospective Legend, and the 2012 documentary Marley kept the man's music alive, and his renown continued to grow in the years following his death -- even decades after the fact, he remains synonymous with reggae's world-wide popularity. In the wake of her husband's passing, Rita Marley scored a solo hit with "One Draw," but despite the subsequent success of singles "Many Are Called" and "Play Play," she had largely withdrawn from performing to focus on raising her children by the mid-'80s. Oldest son David, better known as Ziggy, went on to score considerable pop success as the leader of the Melody Makers, a Marley family group comprised of siblings Cedella, Stephen, and Sharon; their 1988 single "Tomorrow People" was a Top 40 U.S. hit, a feat even Bob himself never accomplished. Three other Marley children -- Damian, Julian, and Ky-Mani -- pursued careers in music as well. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Songs Of Freedom

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
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Track List: Fy-Ah, Fy-Ah - The JAD Masters, 1967-1970

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
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Track List: Three Little Birds (Remix) (Single)

Comments

Best music
Makes me ready for summer. Family, friends around a campfire every weekend.
Great Man!
Is This Love: I love Bob Marley's music. Great song. :-)
I love his music
everyting irie,mon , love Jamaica Love Marley
I love bob Marley ��
Make me live again
The legend
tylerdon02
Hi
Come on Mr. Bob Marley, everyone really doesn't understand what u truly stood for. PEACE for all. Stop f-- king the little man.
Murder we wrote....
LOL
S**t
Kinky reggae
Kinky record, nice one. Bob!!!!
An Icon!! Surely Missed!
The best!!!
Reminds me of my first love Valentine Christopher Francis Gurbowski. ...Sunny Rae freshman in hs 1990.....lov e d Val
Nice music from the King Bob sound very nice ,,!!!!!!!
Yeah man,,
Bob's music never ceases to put a smile on my face. He will always be remembered as a legend.
alixgibson
amazing tribute to inspiring music by an inspiring man
Di man dat put reggae on de map ...big up to de King his legacy will live on ...
I love u
More to give to forgotten kids....Givi n g as we receive... My roots are my My Reason. Wishdom keeps my glowing heart...
This song is awesome Marley is awesome
walksinwater 7
What a cool Marley kick a** mix.
matt6579
no other music makes me happier
I love him. in fact I plan to go pay homage at his home. Any advise on how to get there? I have been a true fan ever since I heard him, 30 years. Rasta for life!
Reggae is the ultimate music,it's simple and pure,marley is just the beggining ...there's tons of great reggae bands from New Zealand ,house of shem,from Puerto Rico ,cultura profetica,fr o m Argentina ,Los cafres and the list goes on,reggae is the best music hands down....one love
aliyahsulaim a n
Love is the key
R.i.p Bob marley
He was a good guy although i wasn't born when he was alive but still love his music and i hope his. Legacy lives on
You where amazing rest in peace
R.I.P. Bob Marley, Reggae's Greatest!
aliyahsulaim a n
Just ciding! ����
aliyahsulaim a n
Your right about booooooooo!! ! ! ! ? ! ? ? ? ! ? ? ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Boooooo !!?!!!
You look f**k a** hole
PROPHET.
aturpen97
So much negativity on dis ere post, such a shame. Bob would not be proud of what dis ere world has come to think about him and his music...
I want to Love you,every Day and every night,!#!!
giymo
He's is the dumbest person
Such a Legend....
, Live...
Life
Onelove
Kiss your hand see your crushes name post this on 15 other songs then your crush will ask you out
Show more

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