Bob Marley, Concrete Jungle

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on December 1st, 2011 by Willie

I’ve never heard anyone but Bob Marley refer to the sun as the “high yellow moon.”  Fantastic poetry.  “Concrete Jungle,” from Catch a Fire, is one of the bleakest songs about urban dystopia you will ever hear.  It was the lead-off track from Bob’s 1973 masterpiece, Catch a Fire, and is an incredible piece of dark reggae funk.  Bob’s melody is 100% authentic emotion, and his brilliance lies in this fact.  Whenever I hear this song, Bob puts me in his shoes, and lets me stare right through his eyes.  The live performance below is culled from the “Old Grey Whistle Test,” whatever that was, and is just a strait up reminder of what the world is missing today, namely, Bob Marley and the Wailers giving you some of the best music the world has ever heard.  Enjoy.

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Bob Marley, Three Little Birds

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on November 15th, 2011 by Willie

It’s always easy to return to the master of reggae, one Mr. Bob Marley, and this time I have his timeless classic “Three Little Birds” from Exodus.  I always think of this song when trying to convince somebody of Bob’s overall songwriting genius.  I’ll put it simply; this song is as good as anything the Beatles wrote in their prime, reminding me strongly of “Dear Prudence” for some reason.  Maybe because like that song, it’s an elemental masterpiece about living peacefully in nature.  It’s got one of the most guileless melodies of all time, a strait-forward harmonic exultation of love, comfort, and peace.  There must be millions and millions of people worldwide that have been charmed by this three minute gem, and lo and behold, there is an official music video!  Who knew?  Well, I got it here for you to help feed your Bob Marley addiction.  Enjoy.

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Bob Marley Interview

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on September 17th, 2011 by Willie

Here is Bob Marley being interviewed in Aoteraoa, New Zealand talking about reggae music, his Rastafarian beliefs, his dreadlocks, and marijuana.  The interviewer announces that Bob Marley smokes a pound of grass a week.  I thought that was a high number, no pun intended, but I suppose its true.  I liked Bob’s belief that weed is a meditative drug, and that alcohol is not.  I also like his view that the majority of people tolerate marijuana, and therefore in his mind, its legal.  I find this video fascinating because I’ve never actually seen a Bob Marley interview, and it really fleshes out his awesome revolutionary persona.  He goes from talking about running his own newspaper, believing in his own God-given rights, and then his philosophy on life and death.  It’s a stunning portrait of a man who died too young.  I love the last words in the piece where Bob proclaims, “I see myself as a revolutionary…Rasta is the future, yes (laughs) Rasta is the future state.”

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Bob Marley, Pimper's Paradise

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on September 4th, 2011 by Willie

“Every need got an ego to feed.”  If that’s not the lyric of a master, than nothing is.  “Pimper’s Paradise,” from 1980’s Uprising LP, is one of Bob’s best songs.  Anyone else obsessed with the way he sings “Well-ell aelll..?”  How about the line, “Now she is blusing when there ain’t no blues…?”  I’m not really sure what he means by that line, but it makes my spine shiver every time…in the good way.  “She loves to smoke, sometimes shifting coke, now she is laughing when their ain’t no joke, a pimper’s paradise.”  My God, this song is genius.  Not that anyone’s comparing or asking, but Bob was every bit the brilliant songwriter that John Lennon or Bob Dylan were.  I’d go even further to say that he was more natural and fiercely unique than those two guys, as it never seemed that Bob, who struggled greatly in his life, never struggled with being himself like Johnny or Zim.  Please vote!

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Bob Marley, Duppy Conqueror, Rare Studio Take

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on August 10th, 2011 by Willie

We’re back in the 1974 Catch a Fire sessions as Bob Marley and the Wailers cut a fifth version of “Duppy Conqueror.”  What is a “duppy,” and why is Bob conquering them?  Interesting question.  Well, in Jamaica, duppy is slang for ghost, and Bob was thinking about opening up a Jamaican branch of the Ghostbusters.  Actually, according to legend, i.e. Wikipedia, Bob’s success was bringing a lot of leeches and hangers on, draining his spirit like vampires (duppys.)  Bob was determined to rise above the situation and conqueror them, and presto, a song was born.  The song itself is a beautiful slow harmonized jam about overcoming prisons both mental and physical.  It’s a great abstract metaphor and a great song.  Bob sings it so soulfully, yet again bringing his unique perspective to a universal pop context.  Genius at work here folks.  Enjoy.

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Bob Marley, Get Up Stand Up, Rare Studio Take

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on August 9th, 2011 by Willie

Some very generous youtube benefactors recently uploaded over 30 videos of Bob Marley in the studio recording tracks for his Catch a Fire record.  The video below is a priceless take from the sessions of “Get Up Stand Up,” Bob’s most righteous moment in his career.  This version is a hard slow funky jam of the classic tune featuring Bob putting a delicious spin on the melody that only he can.  Bob Marley was a master of melody, and the way he incorporated the various inflections and subtle changes to the verse is just addictive and breathtaking.  The video too is a brilliant psychedelic cut capturing Bob and the Wailers at their most iconic.   Expect Bob to take over my site for the next few days, until then, enjoy.

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Bob Marley, Could You Be Loved (Rare Studio Take)

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on June 13th, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to part 88 of my youtube countdown!  Today I have a beautifully rare studio take of Bob Marley singing his 1980 masterpiece, “Could You Be Loved,” from Uprising.  This is probably my favorite Bob Marley song for those keeping score at home.  It has everything I love in a Marley song; that driving irresistible reggae rhythm, philosophical lyrics about love and self worth, and a perfect-genius-catchy melody, (a P.G.C.M.)  This video cuts Marley signing a rough vocal crossed with shots of him and others playing some soccer in Jamaica, Bob’s other passion.  This is one of those clips where a video is worth a million words, so just watch.  P.S., I got a secret internet wish.  If someone has an extra pair of the headphones Bob is sporting in this vid, please don’t be shy, and mail me a pair.  Just email me.  ; )

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Bob Marley, Stir it Up

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on May 6th, 2011 by Willie

Part 55 of my countdown grooves on with Bob Marley’s gem “Stir it Up.”  Written in 1967, this was one of Bob’s first songs to gain international fame when Johnny Nash covered it and made it a top 20 hit in 1972 in both Britain and America.  The song is one of Bob’s incredible love songs, featuring a slow jam rocksteady melody, unpretentious lyrics, and beautiful background harmonies.  There is simply not much to add with words to its already self-evident splendor, but I tell you, this is a marvelous video.  Its just Bob and his band, playing a note perfect rendition of the song with Bob looking utterly iconic of course in all his natural coolness.  I hate that he died so young, him and John Lennon, the two people I’d do anything to see play live.  That’s why these videos mean so much to me, because its all I have of these people that changed my life so completely.  Enjoy.

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Bob Marley, One Love/People Get Ready

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on March 27th, 2011 by Willie

In part 24 of my youtube countdown, we’re going to look at Bob Marley’s wonderful posthumous music video, “One Love/People Get Ready.”  Why the slashed title?  Well, when Marley wrote the song in 1965, it was inspired from an old Curtis Mayfield Impressions song “People Get Ready.”  The original cut of the song from 65, was much more heavily reggaefied, but was reworked for his 1977 album Exodus into the poppier version we’re all familiar with today.  This video was cut after Marley’s tragic death and featured many pop stars including members of Bananarama, Musical Youth, and none other then Paul McCartney, providing his immortal stamp of approval as he sings and dances along.  It’s just beautiful.  One other famous guest star?  Future super model Naomi Campbell as a little girl dancing around with Bob.  I think this is one of the greatest pop anthems of all time, a simple and true tribute to love, beauty, and peace written by one of the world’s greatest heroes.  Enjoy.

PS- Why are there Spanish subtitles?  Because youtube, in its infinite wisdom, took down the original.  Oh well, its still perfectly great.



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