Growing up in the seventies and eighties on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean, Bob Marley’s music was everywhere. From the soul-stirring “No Woman, No Cry” to the doleful “Redemption Song”, to the militant “War”, to the upbeat “Jammin”, his music will forever be part of the fiber of my being. As Jann Wanner put it, “Bob Marley was the Third World’s first pop superstar. He was the man who introduced the world to the mystic power of reggae. He was a true rocker at heart, and as a songwriter, he brought the lyrical force of Bob Dylan, the personal charisma of John Lennon, and the essential vocal stylings of Smokey Robinson into one voice.”
Although Bob Marley died prematurely in 1981, at the age of 36, his compilation album “Legend”, released posthumously in 1984, has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. His 1977 album “Exodus” was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine in 1999, and his song “One Love” was designated Song of the Millennium by the BBC.
The beauty and timelessness of Bob Marley’s music have evolved him into a global icon of almost mythical proportions. His uplifting messages of love, the power of the human spirit and the unity of mankind resonate with our souls. He was not just an entertainer, but a musical activist, a prophet, who spoke out on themes of morality, social justice, politics, fashion, philosophy and religion. His music stirs our highest yearnings and touches our deepest needs.
Enjoy one of my favorite Bob Marley feel-good tunes, Three Little Birds, and be sure to catch the Kevin MacDonald documentary on Bob Marley’s life in theaters April 20th.