Friday, July 04, 2008

Number 482 - Bob Marley

Number 482

Bob Marley

"Could You Be Loved"

Art by Bun8
Gordon bloody Bennett!!! It's soooo frigging cold, only 7 degrees, dunno what that is in Fahrenheit but I'm sure it means cold too.
So what better way to keep warm then to light a ...... fire [not light up a smoke - nice try] and reminisce about the good ole Rasta mon' sounds of Bob Marley. Never have I heard of such a universally accepted artist, who managed to cross all borders musically and culturally.
Bob Marley visited New Zealand in 1979 and was instantly accepted by the indigenous Maori people and shock, the honky's too. Here in this video, is an interview >Click Here<, made here in NZ, its notable for the way the interviewer struggles with the "thick Jamaican accent" also interesting is the interviewers "fake" English accent [which was quite common before 1990], so please have laugh at my country's expense.
BORN to a middle-aged white father and a teenage black mother, Robert Nesta Marley transcended the humility of his poor rural roots in Trenchtown, Jamaica, to become a platinum-selling musician and reggae's biggest star. In the process, he also become a semi-religious icon whose work in promoting peace, justice, and brotherhood nearly outweighed the brilliance of his music. Marley began singing professionally at sixteen with two friends, Bunny Livingston and Peter McIntosh (later known as Peter Tosh). The trio was heavily influenced by American vocal groups like the Drifters and the Impressions, as well as Sam Cooke, country singer Jim Reeves, and the indigenous music developing in Jamaica at the time. Marley cut his first record, "Judge Not," with the Teenagers (a.k.a. the Wailing Rudeboys) in 1962. Later, after adopting the band name the Wailers, Marley and his associates began mixing political content with unusual covers ("And I Love Her," "What's New Pussycat?"). They experimented with slowing down the prevailing ska beat, and called the results "rude boy music." In 1966, Marley married Rita Anderson and moved to the United States, where he stayed with his mother. But heeding the call of his homeland's fast-growing Rastafarian faith, Marley returned to Jamaica the same year.
art by Steven-GH
As ska and rude boy music slowed down further into something called "rock steady," Marley was refining his own songwriting. But it wasn't until 1973, after Marley pleaded with an Island Records executive, that he had a chance (and the budget) to make his first professional recording. The resulting album, Catch a Fire (which included "Stir It Up" and Tosh's "Stop That Train"), introduced reggae to an international audience. With his accomplished band, Marley gave rock fans something new to dance to and a powerfully compelling brand of lyrical consciousness. From there, fueled by his Rastafarian faith and its intoxicating communion ("ganja"), Marley went on to become reggae's ambassador, and his songs of determination, rebellion, and justice found an audience the world over. (On their first U.S. tour, the Wailers opened for, among others, a young Bruce Springsteen.) .
In 1974, after losing Tosh and Livingston but adding the I-Threes (a female vocal trio that included his wife, Rita), Marley released the formidable, moralistic Natty Dread, an album featuring the soon-to-be reggae classics "No Woman, No Cry" and "Lively Up Yourself." Eric Clapton even scored a No. 1 pop single with a cover of one of Marley's songs, "I Shot the Sheriff," in 1974. In the late seventies, Marley had worldwide hits with tracks like "Exodus," "Waiting in Vain," "Jamming," and "Is This Love," while the albums Rastaman Vibrations and Exodus were his American commercial breakthroughs. On a 1977 European tour, Marley and the Wailers played an informal soccer game (his passion) against a team of French journalists. In the process, Marley hurt his foot, and though subsequent treatment for the injury revealed the presence of cancerous cells, he steadfastly refused surgery. Despite his condition, in 1978, Marley toured extensively, once selling out New York's massive Madison Square Garden. To commemorate the event, he released the performance as Babylon by Bus, perhaps the most powerful live recording in the history of reggae. That same year he also played a peace concert in Kingston, Jamaica, and a benefit in Boston for African Freedom Fighters, but the relentless touring was taking a toll on his health. Still, Marley managed to record and release Survival in 1979, a sparse but militant statement that reflected his ever-growing political voice.
BM in NZ
In 1980, again on tour, Marley collapsed while jogging in New York's Central Park. The cancer had spread to his brain, lungs, and liver, and he died eight months later. The music world had lost one of its true and potent activists, a man who had gone from the ghettos of Trenchtown to wear humbly the mantle of musical ambassador the world over. "I don't have to suffer to be aware of suffering," he said to his biographer, Stephen Davis. "So is not anger [I have], but truth, and truth have to bust out of man like a river." In separate incidents, both Wailer drummer Carlton Barrett and Peter Tosh were murdered in Jamaica. Rita Marley continues to run the family's Tuff Gong record label in Jamaica, and Bob's son Ziggy now records with his band the Melody Makers. ~ [unknown:All Music Guide]
For Bruce Springsteen see Number 817
For Eric Clapton see Number 537
What does Rolling Stone think of Bob Marley?
Last year's Survival found Bob Marley close to his peak, boldly appraising global black unity from a Rastafarian viewpoint with his most biting and uncompromised music in some time. Uprising is that landmark album's disquieting successor. The new record finds reggae's foremost poet-prophet in a contemplative and pessimistic mood, secure in his religious beliefs but concerned about a gloomy future. If Uprising doesn't snap one's head back (as Survival did), it certainly proves unnerving with its alternating moments of exaltation and introspection.
1980 Uprising
Though Marley's vision on Uprising is fairly dark, the sound is full and bright, tinged with a lightness similar to the air-headed pleasures of Kaya. As if to dispel the sporadically glowering mood, the singer essays a reggae-disco synthesis in "Could You Be Loved," complete with breathy backup vocals by the I-Threes. In the end, however, Bob Marley leaves us with a stark testament: "Redemption Song," which he sings solo, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. As the artist performs this folk ballad (with its aching cry of "Won't you help to sing, these songs of freedom/'Cause all I ever had, redemption songs," so reminiscent of the young Bob Dylan), one feels a man reaching out and grappling with the dreadful possibilities of liberation and disaster. Such a tour de force, like much of Uprising, is as moving as it is deeply troubling. ~ [Source:Rolling Stone 1980]
For Bob Dylan see Number 491, #841 & #929
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '482nd Song of all Time' was "Im Eighteen" by Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper has not appeared in The Definitive 1000.
Other songs with reference to Bob Marley #590, #643, #935
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Hey we thought 4 others were OK) the Album ranked at (Anyting else bar this)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 76.1 out of 108

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