He would have been 74 years of age today if he had lived, I probably would have been able to see his live concert. Nah I definitely would see it.
In honour of his birthday (6th Feb 1945), one of my favourite and in my opinion one of the greatest singers ever, Robert Nesta Marley or simply known as Bob Marley; The King of Reggae. I decided to list out some of the most underrated songs coming from the band. As well as the best versions of some of the well known songs.
When one thinks of Bob Marley, the songs that comes to head are most likely the songs from the album ''Legend'' which is a compilation of his most popular songs.
These songs below which I think are great, that deserve more recognition.
A song that's similar to another one if his more famous song, ''Buffalo Soldier''. Both songs tells the tale about slavery. This song is about a slave in transit, and the aftermath of so called freedom.
''Every time I hear the crack of a whip
My blood runs cold
I remember on the slave ship
How they brutalize the very souls
Today they say that we are free
Only to be chained in poverty''
''They say the sun, shines for all
But in some people world, it never shine at all''
This song mostly have themes about socioeconomic clash among the upper and lower social-class. Trench town is a neighbourhood in Kingston where Bob Marley lived after moving in the capital city. This part of the city was much in poverty and gripped in violence, the folks of Trenchtown were seen as low quality, as the lyric said ''They say can anything good come out of Trench Town?''... Perhaps a reference from biblical quote. ''Can anything good come out of Nazareth?''
''We free the world with music, We free the world with music
''They say it's hard to speak
They feel so strong to say we're weak''
Natty Dread song in way tells the birth of Bob Marley's identity. His dreadlocks, walking in Trenchtown on first street, second street, third street and so on with his growing dreads. Don't care what the world says, don't be ashamed.
''Don't care what the world seh (Natty Dread)
I'n'I couldn't never go astray (Natty Dread)
Just like a bright and sunny day (Natty Dread)
Oh, we're gonna have things our way (Natty Dread)
Natty Dread, Natty Dreadlock (Natty Dreadlock)''
Mr.Brown is a song about Mr.Brown. The song conveys about the mass hysteria, a scare among people that happened in Jamaica about a myth where a coffin with three wheels accompanied by two crows asking for Mr.Brown.
''Who is Mr Brown? I wanna know now!
He is nowhere to be found.
From Mandeville to Slygoville, coffin runnin' around,
Upsetting, upsetting, upsetting the town,
Asking for Mr Brown.''
Throughout the career of the band, many live concert had been played and many versions of the song were played. Good musicians sounds the same as their studio record live. The band is a rare example, legendary musicians sounds even more better live and this band is one of them. Many of their famous songs known today were not the studio versions but the live concert version. The best example of this is ''No woman No Cry''
Is This Love
So what makes this version the best. Simply that nice live raspy voice at 2:45.
I Shot The Sheriff
This live version from Boston concert played out more like rock than the usual reggae style, the tempo was slowed and sang with deeper raspier voice than the studio version. A simple alteration in the lyrics, where ''It is I'' was added to the beginning of the chorus instead of just ''I shot the Sheriff'' somehow made it better. And of course my most favourite part, that voice Bob Marley made after singing 'seed' at 2:10 sounds just like a guitar.
No Woman No Cry (Live at the Roxy)
The most famous version of this iconic song was the live concert in Lyceum Theatre in London, UK 1975. However in personal preference the rendition played at The Roxy in West Hollywood, California on 1976 was my favourite version. The tempo was slowed down a bit, the slowness added more emotion to the lyrics of the song making it more melodic to the ears, a very opposite of the original studio version of the song.
No Woman No Cry Live (Easy Skanking In Boston '78)
This rendition from concert in Boston is the second best as it featured the talent of Junior Marvin on the guitar solos. The voice of Bob Marley was bit more raspy that added rawness. The part of the song 'Everything's gonna be alright' was singed twice which is my favourite part of the song.
''Everything's going to be alright
so woman no cry, oh no no
Say it one more time
No woman no cry
Oh my little sister, you can dry your weeping eyes''