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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:32 AM
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Bob Marley: Rastaman vibration
from the Independent UK:

Bob Marley: Rastaman vibration
Thirty years after his death, Bob Marley's legend lives on. But no other artist has matched his enduring influence on music and culture. Why?

By Ian Burrell
Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'A lyrical message of rare power'; Kim Gottlieb-Walker photographed Bob Marley at his home in Kingston at the height of his career. Thirty years after his death, her images are being shown at a new exhibition in London

Neasden, north London. 1971. The man who would become the first musical superstar to emerge from the developing world is cooped up in a freezing house in one of the capital's greyest and least fashionable suburbs. He has no money, no passport and no work permit. This was Bob Marley at 26, standing on the verge of greatness. His drab, monochrome surroundings belied the fact that he would soon be painting the planet red, gold and green, electrifying audiences on all continents with an original sound that carried a lyrical message of rare power. But less than a decade after Marley left that house in Neasden to make the journey to the Island Records office in Basing Street where he would secure a career-defining deal for the Wailers the band he formed with childhood friends Bunny Livingston and Peter Tosh he would be dead.

It is 30 years since we lost Bob Marley. You can't believe it? Just a moment's consideration of music culture now should be enough to tell you how long he has been gone. The flame that, for most of his international audience, began with the albums Catch A Fire and Burnin', shining a new light on injustices and inequalities that had previously been widely ignored, blazed intensely but only briefly. Now it feels like the candle lit in his memory is all but extinguished.

It's not just that the current charts are almost bereft of serious thought or spiritual feeling. Pop music flourished when Marley was alive when he was in that house in Neasden the British No 1 was "Ernie", a ditty about a milkman by Benny Hill (and still an all-time favourite track of the current Prime Minister). The sad thing is that, in an era when the tourist stalls have replaced the once ubiquitous T-shirts of Bob or John Lennon with football tops branded with Rooney or Ronaldo, there's almost no one singing about anything of importance. When aspiring artists are encouraged by reality television shows merely to replicate the hits of the past, it's tough being a singer-songwriter, let alone one that wants to change the world.

Marley encouraged musicians to think differently. He was an inspiration to British punk bands in the late 1970s and acknowledged their spirit in his own song "Punky Reggae Party". His success encouraged the explosion of World Music in the 1980s with South Africa's Lucky Dube and Ivory Coast's Alpha Blondy among the artists who sought to emulate his songs of protest. .........(more)

The complete piece is at:

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:39 AM
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1. Bob never died. I carry around his "Songs of Freedom" wherever I go.
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 08:43 AM by leveymg
He helps me get through. Same with John and many other worthies who have passed over but are still in our ears and hearts. They are our redemption songs.

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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:18 AM
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2. Same here - 'Redemption' songs, I like that. K&R n/t
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:27 AM
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3. "There is no death;
only a change of worlds." -- Seattle

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