Bob Marley’s Exodus Turns 40

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.


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‘Exodus’: How Bob Marley Survived A Shooting To Record His Greatest Triumph

If any album could be declared Bob Marley’s masterpiece, it is Exodus. Recorded during a period of exile in London in the aftermath of a gun attack on Marley’s home in Jamaica, it was a musical statement of towering authority which combined visions of Biblical drama with profound expressions of solidarity and tender personal feelings. Released on 3 June 1977, the album housed a string of Marley’s biggest and best-loved hits: ‘Jamming’, ‘Waiting In Vain’, ‘Three Little Birds’, ‘One Love’/‘People Get Ready’ and, of course, the title track. Time magazine pronounced it “the best album of the 20th Century”.

Even before Exodus, Marley had become one of the best known figures in the Third World. As Timothy White noted in Catch A Fire: The Life Of Bob Marley, the reggae star was “quoted as a poet, heralded as the West Indian Bob Dylan, even the Jamaican Jomo Kenyatta [Prime Minister and founding father of post-colonial Kenya]”. This made Marley a key figure of power and political influence, whether he liked it or not, and, on returning to Jamaica after the Rastaman Vibration tour in 1976, he soon found himself caught up in events leading up to the general election of 15 December.

The standing Prime Minister, Michael Manley, cajoled Marley into agreeing to perform at a free concert called Smile Jamaica, sponsored by the Ministry Of Culture, to be staged ten days before the election. Manley reasoned that this “Jamaican Woodstock” would help to defuse tensions on the street before the election, while no doubt hoping it would deliver him a significant propaganda coup into the bargain.


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Bob Marley & The Wailers ‘Exodus’ 40th Anniversary Reissue Announced

Bob Marley & the Wailers Exodus album is coming back like you’ve never heard it before.

This June, The Marley Family, Island Records and UMe will mark the 40th anniversary of Exodus – named the “Best Album of the 20th Century” by Time magazine in 1999 – with a series of four separate reissues, three of which will feature Exodus 40 – The Movement Continues, son Ziggy Marley’s newly curated “restatement” of the original album.

The classic Exodus album (the ninth studio album of the band) was released on June 3, 1977, featuring a new backing band including brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass, Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion, and the I Threes, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Rita Marley on backing vocals, and newest member Julian “Junior Marvin” on guitar.

The album came just six months after an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life in Jamaica in December, forcing him to flee to London, where Exodus was recorded.

As part of the celebration, Ziggy Marley has intimately revisited the original session recordings, uncovering unused and never-before-heard vocals, lyric phrasing and instrumentation, incorporating and transforming these various elements into brand-new session takes.

Bob Marley Wailers Exodus_2CD_ProductShot_TEMP
2CD edition

3CD edition


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Top 20 Telephone Anthems

The telephone was patented this week in 1876 by none other than Canadian innovator Alexander Graham Bell.

Thanks to this nifty little invention, music fans have been able to do so much more. Things like calling our loved ones about new records being released, order concert tickets remotely, and even take our music on-the-go with us… it’s been an incredible 141 years since!

Bell’s contribution to society has also affected the way musicians write songs: once distant lovers can now be reached on a whim (or they can ignore voicemails much easier…)

Even as phones have become smaller, more portable, and closer to our hip than ever, it still continues to be a focal point in many lyrics.

Phones have inspired many countless hits, and we’re counting down our Top 20 landline anthems!

Blondie – Call Me

Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me

The Beatles – Hello, Goodbye


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20 Great Reggae Songs To Get You Through Winter

As the winter blues continue to wear out their welcome, we’re trying to bring a little sunshine back into our lives.

We could go outside and build a snowman… or we could stay in with a hot cup of cocoa and curl up with a great soundtrack!

We’ll go for the latter. Here are twenty reggae songs to help you get through the worst of winter. Spring, we’re ready for you!

Ziggy Marley – “Tomorrow People”

Peter Tosh – “Legalize It”


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