On This Day: Bob Marley Releases Exodus

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Six months before Bob Marley and the Wailers released their ninth studio album Exodus, Marley almost lost his life.

On December 3, 1976, two assassins tore into the band’s rehearsal space in Kingston, Jamaica and opened fire with four automatic weapons. Everybody in the room threw themselves to the floor or hid in the bathroom.

Marley was almost shot in the chest, but Don Taylor pushed him to the floor, and the bullet lodged itself in his arm. It would remain there until his death, as doctors said removing it could cause nerve damage in his fingers.

Nobody died from the flurry of bullets.


Following the attempt, Marley left Jamaica and was exiled to London, where he recorded the reggae opus that would become Exodus. With pianos, trumpets and guitars folded into the mix, it was a new step for the group. The lyrical content switched from story-telling narratives to subtextual songs about sex, politics, and personal changes.

This was the album that propelled Bob Marley and the Wailers into international fame, thanks to songs like “Jamming” and “Turn Your Lights Down Low.” Marley’s best selling project, the greatest hits album Legend, features more songs from Exodus than any of his other records.

The album was a hit: it was certified Gold in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. In 1999, Time magazine named Exodus the best album of the 20th century.

Do you own a copy of Exodus? What’s your favourite song? Let us know in the comments below!


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