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Bob Marley: An insightful look back at the impact of an icon

By Andy Richardson | Music | Published:

It’s one of the most popular albums of all time. Bob Marley’s Legend was released in May 1984 and is the best-selling reggae album of all-time, with an estimated 33 million copies sold globally.

Jamaican Reggae musician, songwriter, and singer Bob Marley performs on stage, in a concert at Grona Lund, Stockholm, Sweden. He extends his fist as he sings into the microphone, with an electric guitar. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images).

In 2003, the album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. It has spent more than 600 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart—the second longest run in history. In the UK, it has spent 932 weeks in the top 100, the third longest run in the chart’s history.

The latest episode of Bob Marley’s Legacy documentary series has continued with Punky Reggae Party, an insightful look back at Bob’s time in and impact on London and the rest of the United Kingdom. Dating back from the mid-70s to the present day, Punky Reggae Party explores how Bob’s music and ethos captured the zeitgeist, detailing his signing to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records, and the welcomed arrival of his sound and the impact he had in the United Kingdom, especially with the London-born children of the Windrush generation.

Featuring interviews with music aficionado Don Letts, MP and former shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, award-winning British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE, and Chris Blackwell as well as journalist and broadcaster, Chris Salewicz, British-Nigerian women’s rights activist Seyi Akiwowo and photographer Adrian Boot, this compelling new 22-minute short touches on a post-war, multi-cultural Britain, the rise of punk, and how Bob Marley, the ultimate rebel, fitted into all of this and helped unite a country through his music. Punky Reggae Party is available to watch on Bob Marley’s Official YouTube Channel.

Legend is also now available on limited-edition picture disc. Featuring many of Bob’s most memorable songs, from One Love/People Get Ready to Get Up, Stand Up, Is This Love to Jammin’, Could You Be Loved to Three Little Birds, the album also includes eight more classics, in celebration of #BobMarley75, and is available from today in a limited-edition picture disc presenting the iconic cover shot backed with a previously unseen image of Bob.

Last Sunday, eight-time Grammy Award-winning Ziggy Marley performed an extraordinary one-off, virtual performance, paying homage to his father’s timeless catalogue. Ziggy performed eleven of Bob Marley’s legendary tracks in an intimate setting that was livestreamed on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel. Following the concert, Ziggy participated in an exclusive Q&A on CEEK’s virtual reality content streaming platform, and a select number of 360VR tracks will also be available on CEEK’s platform. The audio of the full performance, Ziggy Marley – Bob Marley 75th Celebration (pt. 1), was available as an e-album, from yesterday. In other news, Ziggy Marley released a brand new single, Play With Sky (feat. Ben Harper) this month. The track, written by Ziggy, comes from his new upcoming family album, More Family Time. This release is a follow up to his 2009 Grammy and Emmy winning album, Family Time, and is due out on September 18.

Members of the Marley family, in conjunction with Tuff Gong International and Amplified Music, have also released a reimagination of the late Bob Marley’s iconic anthem, One Love, featuring musicians from all corners of the globe, artists from conflict zones and children living in vulnerable communities to support UNICEF’s work to reimagine a fairer, more just world for children whose lives have been upended by the Covid-19 pandemic. All net proceeds from the sale of streams of the recording will directly support Reimagine, UNICEF’s global campaign to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for children and to ensure the post-pandemic world is more fair and equal for every child. Visit unicef.org/ONE-LOVE for further information and to donate. Every US$1 donated to ONE LOVE by the public will be matched by jewellery brand Pandora up to the value of US$1 million. The new song and video are available now.

In addition, the Marley Family is announcing the Wrangler x Bob Marley collection that was created through a collaborative process with Wrangler in celebration of what would be the icon’s 75th Birthday. The 11-piece collection launching Monday, July 27, features heavy reggae influences and revivals of Marley’s favorite Wrangler styles, including one men’s and one women’s denim jacket, four men’s and three women’s tees, and two unisex lasered shirts. Wrangler has worked with the Marley family over the past year to design a unique collection that commemorates a music icon who has inspired generations of people through his commitment to fierce idealism and powerful songwriting. In celebration of the collaborative collection, Wrangler will donate $25,000 to The Bob Marley Foundation. The Bob Marley Foundation is a Jamaican non-profit organization focusing on education, music and culture, environmental protection, and the health and wellbeing of the Rastafarian community.

Earlier this month in continued observance of the late and legendary Bob Marley’s 75th birthday, and in honor of the July 1 International Reggae Day celebrations, an official music video for Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry was released. Directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa and shot in Jamaica and New York City, the powerful visual explores two tales of a family divided by country but connected by their love. and want for a better life for their children. We see a strong and loving Mother strive to look after her children in their homeland. At the same time, the father works tirelessly, isolated in New York City, working as a taxi driver to better provide for his family back home. The video shines a light on the importance of family and connection while confronting the genuine struggles many families face in the modern world, often forced apart due to poverty. The video for No Woman No Cry debuted on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel.

Andy Richardson

By Andy Richardson
Feature Writer - @andyrichardson1

Feature writer and food critic Andy Richardson interviews celebrities, writes columns and hangs out with chefs for stories that appear across all group titles.

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