Poster icon, inspirational figure, messenger for Rastafarianism, eternally young hero… Bob Marley born 6 February ; died 11 May was all those things and more. Musically, however, he truly delivered, and the best Bob Marley songs range from spiritual ballads to political statements, sexy serenades to declarations of love. These 20 songs reveal exactly why. Let us know in the comments section, below. It has worn well, still sounding fresh and buoyant. A Buffalo Soldier is what Native Americans termed the black cavalrymen they fought in the second half of the 19th Century. Bob extended the imagery further, using it to take in the fight that black men faced simply to survive as the sons of slaves in America and the Caribbean. Another song built around a long-standing Marley concept.
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Bob Marley was one of the great romantic songwriters — even though he had bigger matters on his mind. When he turned his attention from expressing the frustrations of the poor Jamaican people he grew up with, and from addressing his more philosophical and spiritual concerns, Marley created some of the warmest, most intimate love songs of all time. Passionate and personal, the 20 best Bob Marley love songs continue to speak to that most timeless of emotions. You bet it is. Bob feels a flutter and knows he wants to care for the object of his affections and treat her right. Marley and his allies bring the good times back to a relationship, offering his heart to rock you steady and give you love. At the time, , The Wailers were enjoying a series of Jamaican hits, and this upbeat ska tune namechecks a couple of them while delivering the lament of a man who is always the victim of love, not its beneficiary.
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Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. And when it comes to that music, the entry point for most fans is Legend , the greatest-hits compilation that is one of the most successful albums released in the history of recorded music. Light and dark, heavy and easy, all at once. This one is just good fun all around. The opening section, with its underlying organ and piano and haunting vocals give off an ominous vibe, before the reggae-rhythm of the guitar kicks it into a traveling groove. The way the bass and organ mesh is much more devastating when given the space to breathe of a live stage setting, and makes the song that much heavier than it ever could be in the studio. For that reason alone it belongs on this list.