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Bob Marley died on 11 May 1981, yet his popularity has never waned.
One of music’s coolest dudes still cut it despite habitually singing about that most unmanly of things: LOVE. Yet he nailed a topic that, whichever way you look at it, is evergreen and cyclical. You can claim to own his albums for his guitar riffs, but don’t tell us the lyrics don’t strike a chord too!
The 1984 album ‘Legend’ regularly sells between 3,000 and 5,000 copies EACH WEEK and he currently has almost 75 million Facebook fans. So why do people still love the man known as Tuff Gong?
He gives good face
You can’t argue with the popularity of Bob Marley and his iconic image has adorned many university and college bedroom walls. When Marley looked towards a camera he lit up the picture and oozed cool from every pore of his body. Usually smoking, or with a guitar in hand, Bob Marley’s face is easily recognised the world over. Definitely the epitome of laid back cool!
His songs can alter your mood
Bob Marley not only made songs crammed full of important political messages, he also made songs that make people happy. Who doesn’t listen to Three Little Birds without feeling immediately uplifted? Just trust in Bob, because as he quite rightly said, every little thing is going to be alright…
He was naughty but nice
Whether it was smoking the herb or fathering illegitimate children, Marley had a reputation for being a bit wayward but those who knew him speak about him with great fondness. He had great empathy and his month in prison for possession of marijuana actually led to him writing songs with a more political message, influenced by some of the prisoners he had met. These songs would go on to become true classics.
He was political but not in an annoying way
These days, when popstars get involved in politics it can be a little tiresome (think Tony Blair and Cool Britannia). But Bob Marley was an activist and genuinely passionate about the cause. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. In fact, he survived an assassination attempt by a gunman who wanted to prevent him from playing the Smile Jamaica concert that Marley helped organise to calm political unrest in Jamaica. Despite the attempt, Marley went ahead and performed at the concert a few days later, turning a scheduled one-song appearance into an epic 90 minute set. Marley became Jamaica’s greatest ever legend.
His lyrics speak to the masses
It doesn’t matter what your religious belief is, what the colour of your skin is, or where in the world you live, Bob Marley’s lyrics speak to everyone. His protest songs showed that he understood the struggles that different people experience – he truly spoke to his generation. He strived for unity and wanted the world to live as one. His lyrics reflected this and continue to live on today.
What a song. Simple, powerful, meaningful and beautiful. We won’t explain it. We’ll let you form your own response. Take a moment to watch and listen to this acoustic version of Redemption Song performed by Bob Marley and the Wailers – 54 million other people have…
You’ll find Redemption Song on the album Legend available to purchase on vinyl.
And if this isn’t enough Bob Marley trivia for you, rest assured we’ve got plenty more!