There is no more recognizable name in reggae music than Bob Marley. Fusing elements of ska, rocksteady and reggae with his distinctive voice and songwriting skills, Marley almost single handedly raised the profile of Jamaican music worldwide.
Marley formed his group the Wailers in 1963 and in 65 the group had a hit single from their first album. Eleven albums from the group exhibited a shift to more rhythmic songs and louder instrumentation. In 1973 the band found itself stranded in the UK after touring with Johnny Nash who had returned to the US. Island Records Chris Blackwell advanced Marley money to record a new album and pay for their travel back to Jamaica.
The result was Catch a Fire, an album which established Marley on the international stage and is widely considered one of the greatest reggae albums of all time.
Bob Marley was diagnosed with melanoma in 1977 and died from the disease in 1981. His posthumous greatest hits album Legend was released in 1984 and became the best selling reggae album of all time. Amongst his many honors, Marley received the Jamaican Order of Merit and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Now more than 40 years after his death, Bob Marley’s songs of love, faith, and unity continue to touch the lives of millions. Marley had a positive message to relay; a message unrelated to the greed and commercialism that infests most music.