Review #48: Legend, Bob Marley & the Wailers
#48: Legend, Bob Marley & the Wailers
After the Ramones album, traffic began to clear up. It was early afternoon and I had made it through Indianapolis. Now I was just cruising through a field in the cold sunlight.
I wouldn’t call myself a reggae fan, much less a Bob Marley fan, but I was really moved when I heard Legend. Something about all those alternatively profound and cheerful songs — I don’t think I’ll ever forget what that felt like.
Fun Fact, my betta fish is named after a Bob Marley song because of how happy this album made me. Everybody should be listening to Bob Marley right now.
“Is This Love” — Immediately I knew that this would be one of those albums I knew every song on.
“No Woman, No Cry (Live at the Lyceum, London/1975)” — I’m one of the people who thought this song meant the same thing as “99 Problems” (a common misconception), but it turns out it’s more like, “Don’t cry, my love!” So there you go.
“Could You Be Loved” — It makes sense that this album follows the Ramones, since both artists are very into repetitive lyrics.
“Three Little Birds” — If this song doesn’t make you smile nothing will! Although I’ll admit that the movie I Am Legend almost ruined it for me.
“Buffalo Soldier” — A classic.
“Get Up, Stand Up” — Another classic.
“Stir It Up” — You definitely didn’t see me scream “THIS IS BOB MARLEY?!” alone in my car somewhere on the highway in Indiana.
“Easy Skanking” — I don’t know what that means and I refuse to look it up, because I think the song is funnier that way. The backup singers are doing the most in this.
“One Love/People Get Ready” — I want to sing this song in church.
“Waiting In Vain” — Another “Oh, this is Bob Marley?” song. I didn’t realize Bob Marley had fistfuls of gorgeous love songs.
“Redemption Song” — This song is extremely heartbreakingly beautiful. Chris Cornell does a gorgeous version of this.
“Exodus” — A lot of these 6–7 minute jam songs sound exactly the same to me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy them.
“Jamming” — Aw yeah, this is the song I was waiting for.
LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:
“I Shot The Sheriff” — Why does this song drive me up the wall? Maybe it’s that American Idol audition.
IS RS FULL OF IT?
One of my aunts called to check in during this album, and I explained that I was pretty sure I was listening to a Bob Marley greatest hits album. “Well, that doesn’t count!” she said, astonished. “Why not just include everybody’s ‘Greatest Hits’ albums? No, that’s crap.”
That was what got me started thinking about what albums “deserved” to be on the list of the 500 ‘Greatest’ albums of all time. It wasn’t just the quality of the music that determined what belonged, as my aunt rightfully pointed out. Otherwise we could just compile the 500 Greatest ‘Greatest Hits’ Albums and call it a night. Yet limiting it to only studio albums isn’t quite right either — after all, the album that “brought reggae to the world” was the soundtrack to the movie The Harder They Come, included on the RS list at #174. That album includes “You Can Get It If You Really Want” by Jimmy Cliff and “Rivers of Babylon” by The Melodians, songs which most people are familiar with (ever seen Hitch?). I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but I think these are both cases where the exception proves the rule.
According to the RS blurb, this is the bestselling reggae album of all time. That fact, coupled with the fact that I basically had a religious experience in Indiana, I think indicates that this particular ‘Greatest Hits’ album has a place here.