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Today’s Musings: My Tribute to Bob Marley

April 17, 2009
Ahead of tomorrow’s “What I’m listening to this week”, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge my love of reggae music and especially Bob Marley. I first started listening to Bob Marley in college – granted, as most do – when one of my roommates ordered the Songs of Freedom box set we kept seeing advertised on TV in the middle of the night. Needless to say, it was our first experience with reggae, and that brilliance became the obsession of our lives for years as we expanded our Bob collection. Between myself and my husband, and our now former roommate, we own either the album or the live concert of literally every Bob Marley album…and that’s a lot.

It’s been said many times before, but there’s no better way of putting it: Bob is a completely transcendent figure. If you’re a conscientious citizen, you can’t not feel the power of his lyrics and rhythm of his songs, and even if you’re not, there’s something for you. It was Bob’s music that helped shape my world view at a developmental time in my life and I truly learned something valuable from it. Reggae was the first music I obsessed over, Bob the first music idol (no, NKOTB doesn’t count), and even our dog is named Marley. And yeah, that movie pissed me off.

Since college, I’ve obviously expanded my musical tastes, but reggae is omnipresent in my playlists, we still regularly go to Reggae Festivals, and seek out new reggae artists. Finding great reggae is hard because the genre is filled with imitators who not only copy Bob’s message a little too closely, but also his incredible stage presence. Nevertheless, there are amazing up-and-comers, as well as other founders of reggae, who will surely be featured on this blog.

The main reason for this post is to pay tribute to Bob as the main artist who delivered reggae to a broader audience before I start discussing other reggae albums. Most other reggae artists lie in the wake of what he created and even though I most likely won’t be reviewing many Bob albums for my blog, my brain will always subconsciously compare other reggae artists to him, unfairly or not. Consider yourselves warned. Now, onward and upward!

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