Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lata, mon. Bob Marley and the Wailers - Legend

Released May of '84 on Tuff Gong/Island
If you asked me who comes to mind when I think of reggae, I'd say Bob Marley.  If you said "yeah, yeah, but besides Bob Marley, who comes to mind..." I'd say " McFeren?  He's reggae, right?"  And you'd say "Yeah, sure.  He counts.  Anyone else?"  Then, I'd probably frown and say "Nope.  That's all I got."

I got a crash course in Bob Marley my freshman year of college.  My roommate had a lot of Jazz and hip hop but the record that got the most play on his side of the room was "Legend."  Now, I had heard a handful of his songs over the years, but I'd never listened to an entire Bob Marley record.

It's great.  It's a really really good record.  He sings with soul and love, preaches equal rights...  I really can't think of a single bad thing to say about his music.  The fact of the matter is I don't need to listen to it anymore.  I know the songs, I can hear them in my head.  In less than a month, it will have been 30 years since he died of cancer at the age of 36.  The world has been able to enjoy his music for almost 50 years.  That's MORE than enough time.  I worry that Marley eclipses an entire genre of music.  For too many people, he is the end all be all of reggae music and that's a shame.

I wouldn't consider myself a big reggae fan.  I don't own any reggae music.  But, in the future, if I find myself in the mood for a little Rastafarian groove, I'd like it to come from new, rising Jamaican talent.  I want to hear the island nation voices of today.  I bet there's some pretty fantastic stuff.  If you know of some, please share!

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