Thursday, April 24, 2014

46 Legend (1984) Bob Marley

  1. Is This Love
  2. No Woman, No Cry
  3. Could You Be Loved
  4. Three Little Birds
  5. Buffalo Soldier
  6. Get Up, Stand Up
  7. Stir It Up
  8. One Love/People Get Ready
  9. I Shot the Sheriff
  10. Waiting in Vain
  11. Redemption Song
  12. Satisfy My Soul
  13. Exodus
  14. Jamming

I've written fairly extensively about Marley before in his other appearances on the countdown. I wrote about how I didn't really like him much, failed to understand the attraction but could understand what others saw in him. Reggae is like olives, coffee and nightclubs- I don't like them but I can understand how others would.

Unlike the previous efforts I've encountered however, Legend is the cream of Bob Marley without any filler of any kind. It's a collection of his singles packaged together and represents a comprehensive greatest hits package. There is nothing here that Marley himself didn't listen to and think was good enough to release as a single on its own merits.

Unlike a lot of other greatest hits packages which are released to a contentious reception, Legend received, and continues to receive, fairly universal acclaim for capturing the best songs the legend himself ever wrote and recorded. There aren't too many people bleating about glaring omissions or screaming about the inclusion of a track that was only put on the album to appease casual fans. This is definitely his greatest hits compilation.

In other words if you don't like Legend you're never really going to appreciate Bob Marley. If this isn't your cup of tea then there's nothing else that's going to make you a convert. This is pure filtered coffee from the finest plantation in the land loving prepared by coffee artisans and turned into a beverage by the greatest barista on the planet. You don't like this and you don't like coffee.

It just doesn't do anything for me.

I can appreciate the guy's got talent and I can even see how songs like Three Little Birds are timeless classics. I can enjoy the man's voice but the music just leaves me wishing it would stop. I'd really rather it was forced on someone else and I didn't have to endure it. I'm not saying Marley is torture. It's not a painful experience that causes me discomfort it's just not one I'm enjoying and the fact that I'm not is frustrating. Listening to Legend makes me appreciate that it's not Marley, it's me. There is something missing in me, some failing on my part that makes Stir it Up just a tedious song and not a joyous anthem.

To be honest I'm hugely disappointed. One of my hopes in doing this countdown was that I'd encounter new music that I was unfamiliar with but came to enjoy, which occurred several times. The other hope was that artists like Marley, Bowie and Springsteen would become people I could appreciate rather than just respect. in the case of Bob Marley this hasn't occurred. Despite repeated listens to five of his albums now my opinion is the same as it was before I started this project years ago.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Most of the songs here are pleasant enough but Mr Marley is no Chaka Demus and Pliers."

-Who? Sorry who are you comparing one of the world's most famous musicians to? Chaka who and what?

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