Bob Marley's Hidden Gems
As with all great musicians, Bob Marley's music can't be summed up by just one attempt at a definitive collection -- even the definitive definitive collection. 1984's Legend is his oldest best-of, released just three years after he passed away; it also happens to be the best-selling reggae album of all time, with more than 25 million copies sold globally. Incoming college freshmen are basically issued it upon setting foot in their dorm rooms. And while it features some of his greatest and most well-known songs, Legend's oversaturation has cast a shadow on his other great work.
To celebrate the 67th birthday (February 6!) of the man who shared reggae with the world, I decided to celebrate his lesser-known gems. Bob Marley is known for many things, but he was first and foremost a revolutionary: A "Soul Rebel" fighting for equality, inspiring rebellion, and urging us to "chase them crazy baldheads out of town." "All we have got it seems we have lost/ We must have really paid the cost," he wails on the emotional "Burnin' and Lootin'." He was a voice of the vibrant Jamaican people, telling stories of life in the concrete jungle: "Darkness has covered my light and has changed my day to night/ Where is this love to be found?" Though he's usually associated with such feel-good music as "Three Little Birds" or "Stir It Up," much of his work actually involved dark stories of oppression and perseverance. But they were always delivered with genuine passion, uplifting the listener with hope. So check out this playlist of slightly less overexposed songs selected from his original releases, and discover a new side of the king of reggae.