Bob Marley and The Wailers



by CrazyFool84 USER (37 Reviews)
February 26th, 2010 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Marley goes (somewhat) militant in an effort to preach African solidarity.

The entity that Bob Marley has grown to become seems to embody at least a few lasting traits with those touched by his iconic music. Whether you equate his spirit to simply that of a carefree pothead or to a voice of change and positivity amongst the human race, it’s all in the interpretation. That was one thing that Marley always seemed fantastic at – relaying one message but then conveying it in another manner. In a sense, to create a strong, culturally significant message all the while backed by that characteristically laid-back Rasta attitude. While it’s true that a lot of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ music has become synonymous with marijuana – and for good reason: 1978’s Kaya was barely more than a relaxed homage to the sticky green stuff – there were records made, like Survival that seemed a direct response to critiques that he was losing his voice of change.

There was, however, a Ying to Bob’s relaxed Yang, and this came in social, political, and somewhat militant tones scattered throughout his work. Kaya’s recording and theme was pretty understandable – Marley had had an assassination attempt a few years prior, the result being the iconic Exodus album, which expressed hope while crying for change. In Kaya, Marley found a purely laid-back and positive outlet for his music, reflecting what he was trying to attain at that point in his life. Unfortunately, criticism comes from many avenues, and eventually his followers found his stance on a united Africa and changes for his people fading from view, and urged Marley to pick back up the banner. Bob Marley and the Wailers responded with Kaya’s follow-up, 1979’s Survival, a record which possessed a somewhat different theme and tone, though Marley never seems to lose his overwhelming sense of hope.

In Survival, Bob and co. probably offer up the most militant approach to their sound at any point during their career. Evident from the disc’s opener So Much Trouble in the World and directly stressed on tracks like Zimbabwe, Top Rankin’, Babylon System, Survival and Africa Unite, there is an urgent cry for unity in Africa. Conceptually, all this can seem a little intimidating or off-putting. This is remedied well in the band’s composition skills, pairing those urgent cries with the stereotypical Bob Marley vibe. Lyrically and musically, Marley still tries to maintain that his message is a still a universal one, making for a much more reliable recording than the disc’s concept may suggest. All of this may admittedly only be apparent to ravenous fans, while casual listeners will probably find the usual laid back sound common to the spirit of the man.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 26th 2010


Great review! However, you really should have delved into the sound of music for those who haven't heard him yet. I myself have only heard a handful of songs and am not sure what a good starting place is. Ironic that for an occasional user of marijuana, I have yet to listen to any of his music while under the influence, or even own an entire record from him. You get a pos from me, but you should extend the length of this review.

February 26th 2010


i thought length was fine, you said what you wanted to say. don't think i've heard any of these songs.

February 26th 2010


Nice writing. Not every review needs to dive deep into whats happening throughout the tracks, evidenced here. Do whatcha like.

February 26th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate it, tried a different approach to reviewing but admittedly tripped myself up a bit, glad to see it didn't blow the whole review out of the water

February 15th 2011


Album Rating: 5.0

This is my favorite Marley album

Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album and an upgrade from the laid back Kaya for me.

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