Show Music May 11, 2011
30 Years After His Passing, Bob Marley Still Be Jammin'

May 11th 1981 was a huge day in music. That was when one of the brightest lights the music world had ever known went out. Bob Marley died at just 36 years old. Now, 30 years after his death, Bob Marley is arguably bigger than ever.

Think about it. Nearly every radio station format plays at least a couple of his tracks. Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary, Top 40, Hip Hop/R&B - they all play Bob. Okay, maybe not country - although Willie Nelson is said to be a fan...

And over the years Bob's legend has only grown. He remains as iconic a figure today as Muhammad Ali or Che Guevara - his timeless dreadlocked image is on everything from T-shirts to iPod covers. Marley's songs, moral philosophy and revolutionary courage translated across borders. Here's how the CBC marked the day, back in '81.

(Now, we should point out here before you watch this video, that the first picture ol' Knowlton Nash puts up of Bob Marley... well... we're pretty sure that's not actually Bob. Not that it would be Knowlton's fault though. Probably just a mix up. Anyway...)



Marley brought Jamaica's warring political parties together. And when he took a bullet in a chilling attempt on his life, he proved that a pop star could be as important as any world leader. It's estimated that half of Jamaica turned out to mourn his passing. His posthumously released greatest-hits collection Legend is the most popular reggae album ever, with sales of more than 25 million.

And as awesome as 'Legend' is, here are five Marley tracks that dig deeper, capture his spirit and continue to amaze...

Simmer Down - 1964

Marley's first big hit with the Wailers, this soulful plea for ghetto peace was an instant number-one in Jamaica.



Trench Town Rock - 1971

Marley's tribute to his Kingston neighbourhood contains the immortal lyric 'One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.'



Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock) - 1974

The song that defined Marley's trail blazing brand of politicized reggae.



War - 1976

The lyrics are derived from a speech made to the U.N. by Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. Sinead O'Connor covered this one on Saturday Night Live, then tore up a picture of the Pope and got into big trouble.



Punky Reggae Party - 1977

Marley name checks The Clash, The Jam, The Damned and Dr. Feelgood in this tribute to the sound of young London circa 1977.



Miss ya, Bob.


Comments

Comments

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are pre-moderated/reviewed and published according to our submission guidelines.