Saturday, June 3, 2017

Jammin' Till The Jam Is Through

Bob Marley and the Wailers : Jamming

On June 3, 1977 Bob Marley and the Wailers released Exodus, Marley's first album since the 1976 assassination attempt. In fact, Marley had made a personal exodus, departing Jamaica for London where he recorded this album and enough material for Kaya, his 1978 follow-up.  

Side One is made up of political songs, though it might be stretching things to find a tune that directly addresses the assassination attempt. "The Heathern" does have the lyrics "He who live to fight and run away/Live to fight another day". 

The title track, a #1 hit in Jamaica, may very well be a response to Prime Minister Michael Manley campaign slogan "We know where we're going."  Marley sings"We know where we're from./We're leaving Babylon, y'all! /We're going to our Father's land".

But it is side two's devotion to love songs and Marley's classic "Jamming" that have made Exodus a fan favorite. "Waiting in Vain", "Turn Your Lights Down Low" and "Three Little Birds" are gorgeous songs. Add it all up and you have the album of the century Time Magazine declared in 1999.

Exodus was released during Marley's 1977 tour. Fans might have seen the "Tuff Gong"on stage wearing sandals and a bandage on his foot. Marley injured the foot playing soccer and doctors discovered he had skin cancer on a toe. Some doctors suggested the toe be removed, but Marley, who lived for soccer almost as much as he did for music, refused. Marley's skin cancer would spread leading to his death in 1981.

1 comment: