Bob Marley, the internationally renowned Jamaican musician, activist and undisputed king of all things reggae, certainly has no shortage of great songs, with many a classic among his chart topping discography. But which are his best? When it comes to Marley, choosing favourites is a difficult task. Here is a countdown of the top ten.
10. Is This Love
No top ten list would be complete without a love song, and this one, with the timeless and romantic lyric “I wanna love you and treat you right, I wanna love you every day and every night,” is a true classic. Released in 1978, the song has become a firm favourite amongst music fans and romantics everywhere, and has been used to soundtrack films such as 50 First Dates and Lake Placid.
9. Get Up, Stand Up
A motivational, mood enhancing song that became an instant classic on its release in 1973, this song is about standing up to oppression and prejudice, and was written by Marley, who partook in human rights activism all his life, in response to the abject poverty he saw in Haiti.
8. I Shot The Sheriff
Most people will be familiar with this great track that was made most famous by Eric Clapton who covered it on his 1974 album 461 Ocean Boulevard. Another song with a deep message, I Shot The Sheriff is about justice and rights and has had significant cultural and political impact.
7. Stir It Up
This too was made famous by another artist, namely Johnny Nash, but remains one of Marley’s greatest creations and was notably his first truly successful song outside of his home of Jamaica, catapulting him to world success.
6. Three Little Birds
A happy go lucky song that is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face as Marley reassures the listener, “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right.” This has become one of his most covered songs.
5. Buffalo Soldier
Another political anthem that became widely thought of as a symbol of black resistance, Buffalo Soldier is a reggae classic about Africans enslaved by the USA. The song was recorded at one of Marley’s final sessions in 1980.
4. Redemption Song
Considered by most to be one of his greatest songs of all time, Redemption Song is a heartfelt track penned by Marley just after being diagnosed with cancer. It deals with the sensitive subject of mortality and is unique in that it is a solo acoustic recording. In their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, Rolling Stone ranked it 66.
A happy, upbeat dance song that embodies Marley’s party spirit, Jamming is uplifting, upbeat and celebratory. It has appeared on various shows and in popular culture, including The Simpsons, Friends and Miami Vice.
2. One Love/People Get Ready
One of his earliest tracks, One Love/People Get Ready is a real classic and one of his best loved songs. It is a call for the unification of mankind and for people to love and respect another, with Marley encouraging everyone to “get together and feel all right.”
1. No Woman, No Cry
Easily his most played song, everyone knows No Woman, No Cry. It’s a real sing a long anthem that has been lovingly covered by an ever growing list of artists, and deservedly sits at number one in this top ten list.