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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Exodus

Bob Marley & The Wailers

1977

Exodus

Album Summary

Exodus is a 1977 album by Jamaican reggae band Bob Marley and the Wailers, first released in June 1977 through Island Records, following Rastaman Vibration (1976). The album's production has been characterized as laid-back with pulsating bass beats and an emphasis on piano, trumpet and guitar. Unlike previous albums from the band, Exodus thematically moves away from cryptic story-telling; instead it revolves around themes of change, religious politics, and sexuality. The album is split into two halves: the first half revolves around religious politics, while the second half is focused on themes of making love and keeping faith. On 3 December 1976, an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley's life in which his chest was grazed and his arm was struck with a bullet, but he survived. Following the assassination attempt, Marley left Jamaica and was exiled to London, where Exodus was recorded.The album was a success both critically and commercially; it received gold certifications in the US, UK and Canada, and was the album that propelled Marley to international stardom. In 2017, Exodus was remastered and re-released for its 40th anniversary. Exodus has more tracks on Marley’s greatest hits compilation Legend than any of his other records. Exodus was his tenth album since the debut album The Wailing Wailers in 1965, including the live album Live! (1975).

Wikipedia

Rating

3.93

Votes

6085

Genres

  • Reggae
Reviews
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Thu Jan 07 2021
5

So I’ve always found reggae kind of boring, not all that interesting, but… wow I was wrong. I get why all my friends were super into this. Songs like So Much Things To Say and The Heathen are so interesting and have a lot going on. The guitars are basically kind of part of the percussion. The group vocals sound heavenly, spiritual. Inspired, pointed lyrics, loved the messaging. Just a really brilliant album that I can’t believe I didn’t get to earlier

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

It is easy to pluck out all the hits, but this album as intended, as a whole, is a mood masterpiece. When I listen in its entirety, I am on a spiritual journey with Marley, and all the many sojourners who have left a world of oppression and trekked towards freedom. Exodus is a mesmerizing record that saves us with positivity and hopeful imagery. Whether hiking in the snow, dancing on the beach, or walking through the desert searching for home, Exodus uplifts, relaxes, and affirms. No problem, mon.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Oh Bobby, Bobby, Bobby boy!!! This makes my dick so hard that I could probably impregnate you through this screen. The Wailers are named after your mum.

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Thu Jan 07 2021
4

I feel like I get a contact high just from listening to this album.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Honestly, this listener is not into reggae. "Natural Mystic" however, was a great reset of one's skepticism and built great anticipation for the remainder of this album. Feel good lyrics, religiously inspired, and unapologetically non-aggressive in message and tone will always serve as a brilliant contrast to the reality of humanity. However, that is where this album cheerfully stops while retaining some profundity, and that is at conflict. Love, peace, acceptance are often things that are the result of conflict that resolves through argument, and sometimes even fighting. This album represents the gentle and kind side of fighting, which is letting love and peace be the motivators for a unified struggle instead of through disagreement and animosity. Musically, reggae had always seemed like a very set in its ways approach to arrangement/composition, but where Bob Marley managed to elevate the genre is by using those familiar rhythms to be innovative and different without the stigma of 'not' being reggae. It is hard to explain, but there is reggae and then there is reggae, and Marley's is the latter. Perhaps this is where his talent remains unrivaled and his legacy intact.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

I absolutely loved it! These are songs that I’ve heard forever on the radio and in passing. And because Marley is such a staple in society it can be easy to dismiss Exodus as being an album you’re already familiar with, but to do so would be a huge mistake. There’s a heart and a beauty to this album. This is human music for the soul!

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Timeless. Touching. Needed in 2021. I never knew all his greatest hits were on this one album. Production is great, his band is legendary, and this album will be listened to for decades to come.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

I an not a fan of Reggae I just am not. This however is so SO good. It features iconic rhythms and tunes and really puts you in a fantastic headspace. Excellent album.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

Really happy to have the opportunity to listen to a full record. Because Bob Marley has existed mostly as a "playlist" or "greatest hits" guy. Turns out, all of his songs are enjoyable and on this cool fall morning, I appreciate the black vibes. We often reach for Bob Marley when driving to a summer vacation/beach spot. Will definitely reach for this one next time that happens. Come for the rhythm, stay for that wondering piccolo snare and the surprisingly great noodley lead guitar.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

I mean, can this get anything short of 5 stars? Marley is transcendent, and this album is no exception. This album gets 5 stars off of Jamming alone, and that's before you get to 3 Little Birds. I listened to it straight through and then just listened to Marley all day.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

I was expecting this album to be one where I would be looking for more variety, like "ugh, not another reggae beat! Change it up!" I was pleasantly surprised how much variety the album had and I liked it much more than I expected I would. What a great ending - Three Little Birds and One Love/People Get Ready were both fantastic. I think I'm going to listen to Three Little Birds every morning to get in a good mood for the work day ("Don't worry...about a thing...cause every little thing...is gonna be alright"). It's interesting to note how positive and hopeful the last few tracks are considering how dark and political many of the earlier tracks are (like "Guiltiness" and "The Heathen." "So Much Things to Say" also has dark lyrics, but the music is so upbeat...guess that's reggae for you). Very clear why this album is on the list. I'm going to call it a 4.5 rounded up to a 5.

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Sat Sep 25 2021
5

Bob Marley is amazing. Some of his best songs are on this album. Each song is an a great listen. Shortly after his assassination attempt, he goes to London and records this album. A mixture of politics and love.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

Brilliant, beautiful album. Spiritual without being preachy. Wonderful performances and production.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

This is one of those records that’s just burned into American subconscious for anyone in my generation, these are lullabies. Legends from an,,ancient time”. Two Little Birds >>> just about everything

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Exodus was recorded at a time when Bob Marley was learning about the unexpected costs of international stardom, but it hadn't yet sapped his creative strengths, and this is one of the finest albums in his stellar catalog.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
4

Though I am more of a fan of his earlier work, especially his recordings with Lee Perry, Marley's music is consistently good throughout his entire career. The production on this album has some real nice touches and flourishes throughout that separate it from more standard reggae recorded in Jamaica at the time. Such a clean sound. Some real classics here. Bob Marley always feels so deeply genuine and authentic no matter the subject matter. So committed to every song. Can't even imagine how captivating and electric it must have been to see him perform live.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
3

“Exodus” by Bob Marley and the Wailers (1977) I’ve never heard this album, and I’m only marginally familiar with Bob Marley’s more popular work. Musically, the song and sound on this album are very good. Instrumentals are well arranged and well recorded. The basic groove is somewhat repetitive, but very magnetic. Lead vocals by Marley are well executed, but lacking variety. Good, tight backing vocals. No distracting flaws. The music is a suitable vehicle for the message of each of these songs, which is the main point of this album. Bass and drums predominate, characterized by heavy runs and clean fills. with rhythm guitar steadily emphasizing the backbeat. Classic reggae. Good lead guitar arranging and execution, with heavy use of wah and phase shift. Horns and piano performed with precision and subtlety. Now, to the message. From the beginning (“Natural Mystic”—and please note that it’s not “Supernatural Mystic”!), the lyrics draw us into the metaphysical realm, evoking images from the Apocalypse of St. John and Gnostic mysticism. Moving on to a reflection (in “So Much Things to Say”) on the examples of Jesus Christ, Marcus Garvey, and Paul Bogle, Marley explicitly challenges hearers to take the message of these heroes to heart. The appeal utilizes a carefully selected series of biblical themes, focusing on one facet of the Black Liberation Theology movement—revolution. The title track, “Exodus” coveys the main theme of Black Liberation Theology, which is a cry for deliverance from the oppression of the dominant (White, colonialist, capitalist) culture. It is a lyrical theme that is in tune with the political/economic philosophy of Jamaican-born economist Donald J. Harris (father of Kamala Harris, who was 13 years old when this album was released. I can’t imagine she wasn’t influenced by it). This movement of deliverance emphasizes the revolutionary stance on the part ‘the people’, meaning those in the oppressed class. They are described in the lyrics as “Jah people”, meaning people of Yahweh (or the LORD as most English translations render it in the Bible). Like most popular expressions of liberation theology, its Marxist roots are disguised. And what is lacking in this overtly political lyric is an honest acknowledgement that Black Liberation Theology is quite distinct from and even opposed to the historical meaning of the symbolism it appropriates. This lack of candor, whether intentional (deceptive) or unintentional (naive), is a serious artistic flaw, robbing the lyric of much of its power. In “Guiltiness”, Marley declaims to the oppressed the guilt of the oppressor. The poetry is eloquent enough, but lacking nuance. The oppressors are spoken of in the third person (“they”) rather than the second person (“you”), a departure from the prophetic mode. Again, Marley misses an opportunity to create a strong and profound poetic vision. If “Jammin’” were simply a jam, it would be fun. But it turns into inflammatory discourse, inciting revolutionary compulsion. “Waiting in Vain” and “Turn Your Lights Down Low” are a welcome relief from the disordered politics of this album, expressing the patient endurance of a lover who’s willing to wait for fulfillment, if only he can be assured of ultimate success. It’s beautiful (and not entirely unconnected with the politics of the first six tracks). “Three Little Birds” is a paean to optimism. Nice. With “One/People Get Ready”, we’re back to politics, bringing together the revolutionary themes of tracks 1-6 with the romantic themes of tracks 7-9, making for an extraordinarily well crafted album as a whole. A lot of artistic excellence here. This album is formally evangelical, assembled in a sermonic fashion. It proclaims a putatively saving faith that is rooted in the western theological tradition. But it is marred by its errant selectivity. In sum, Bob Marley’s album “Exodus” is a beautiful vehicle that is unfortunately headed in the wrong direction—back to Egypt (Numbers 14:4). And that is a poverty. 3/5

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Sat Feb 27 2021
3

The album that broke Marley to the masses. While I prefer the earlier, skankier shit it's an undeniable classic.

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Tue Jan 12 2021
2

I am not high enough for this. I used to listen to this a lot as teenager...but somehow gets boring after a few songs. I still think that Bob Marley was an iconic artist and a legend...despite the fact that I no longer enjoy this music...

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Fri Jun 11 2021
2

I'm not a huge Bob Marley fan. I'll happily give his records a spin occasionally, but my humble opinion is that he is far from the greatest reggae artist. He was the most accessible and commercially successful, which is a very different thing. This one is one of the better albums in his discography, and I don't mind the bluesy/rockish elements. But it's fairly lightweight compared to a million other 1976-78 reggae albums, including solo records by his former Wailers (who I think had been replaced with session musicians on this record?). I don't know how many of these are on the 1001 list, but I would definitely rather recommend albums from the same period by Yabby You, Augustus Pablo, Bunny Wailer, Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, and others. When you consider that a masterpiece like The Congos - Heart of the Congos was released in the same year, it basically blows Marley out of the water, in my humble opinion. Another example of an album that made the 1001 for being famous/successful rather than being on par with countless superior albums that didn't make the cut. 2.5 for this.

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Tue Jan 12 2021
1

Oh dear. I lasted 3 songs.

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Sun Oct 31 2021
1

How does Bob Marley like his donuts? With jam in. That's the best thing I know about reggae. I can't stand this genre. I'm sure someone finds this album important, slow dirges over the same rhythm, but I don't want to meet them. Let's face it they're either 13 year old vicar's kid or some twat on a gap year. Best Tracks: Jamming; Three Little Birds; One Love/People Get Ready

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

1977: Exodus, Jamming, Three Little Birds, One Love/People Get Ready

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Tue Dec 01 2020
5

5/5

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Fri Nov 13 2020
5

Sunny and upbeat reggae. The antidote of a November Thursday in lockdown! Every little things going to be alright.

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Tue Dec 29 2020
5

excellent reggae masterpiece

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Great album, highly recommend it.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Beautiful stuff. 5/5. Waiting In Vain is probably Marley's best song?

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Great first album all the way through. Bob Marley is a genius.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
5

Peak reggae, not much else you van day. Listen to the subtlety of the singing in Jammin, Marley was a true genius.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Fucking love bob and the wailers waiting in vain is my absolute favorite

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Stone cold classic.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

LOVE

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Beautiful music, rhythmic and almost hypnotic. A new genre for me.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

I’m really loving the BM on this. There is just so many songs that deserve to be popular.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Best Bob album. Good vibes only.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Great classic reggae

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

one of the best

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Mon May 03 2021
5

Great memories have been made while listening to this album. From childhood to my teenage years to my youth (which was primarily sent at home crying because of the pandemic), this album was always there. Love Bob Marley.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Legend. That's why his greatest hits are named that.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Amazing album. Loved it.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Excellent

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Bob Marley & The Wailers is chill to listen to. The vibe and rythm feels like vacation.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Story of my teens

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

BOB!

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

a classic, obvi!

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Sat Mar 27 2021
5

This one gets a full 10 from me. The songs were different enough that it didn't feel too samey and it didn't go too long. Groovy beats and just made me feel nice and chill

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Sat Mar 27 2021
5

Not really into reggae but this is definitely a good album. 9/10

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

I hope you like jammin' too

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

I love Bob Marley and The Wailers so I knew I'd love the album. And I wasn't disappointed. It was a solid album, although my favourites off the album are the most known tracks - Three Little Birds and One Love / People Get Ready. 5/5 stars.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

Bob had a great energy flowing when he wrote all these songs and put this album together. So enjoyable

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

so good. so very good

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Tue May 11 2021
5

always great..my start to summer album

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

Great album from start to finish. Hard to say if there’s even a bad song on it. Many reggae classics on this. Listened many times before and will continue to listen to it. 9.2/10

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Came out years before I was born. Has there been anything better since?

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Easy listen. Full of great tracks, Jammin’, Three Little Birds, One Love, Exodus. The rest of the album supports those hits and is calming and enjoyable.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Love it

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

Excellent album. Waiting in Vain and Three Little Birds are some of my favorite songs.

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

Gotta love Bob. First track and off to a great start. I imagine it'll be a 4. Oh man, ALL the bangers on this one 🙏 at LEAST a 4. Maybe a 5 cos it's his best Stuff IMO

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

SHACKY don't worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright (this is my message to you).

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

Enjoyed

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

Excellent album full of bangers

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

So much better than I expected, remastered version, awesome.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

It's amazing how these guys can take that simple beat from Jamming and use it / transform it across a bunch of different songs (Natural Mystic, So Much Things to Say) and have it sound new / not tired every time. Whatever the beat or the sound, there's so much energy every time. Marley's lyrics (on the politically charged first half) are second-to-none. And when the lyrics are lighter in tone on the second half, the whole experience of the songs ramps up (and there are still some great lyrics). Of the lesser knowns, I really enjoyed The Heathen (some edgy guitar work). Just an incredible album. As an aside, I hate when they remaster albums and add stuff to it (e.g., tracks 11 and 12). There was a certain feel and seamlessness to the original album, and although Punky Reggae Party is fun, it doesn't fit with the rest.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

Exodus, Natural Mystic, Jammin', One Love.... a great, mellow album.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

I could listen to Bob albums all day. Jamming!!!! One Love, a song that completely barnstormed the entire world, just barely over 3 minutes. All of these tracks are a pleasure to listen to, i wish there was more of it.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

This album is awesome. I had always liked reggae and lover's rock but had never actually listened to a Bob Marley album, and I'm glad I finally did. All of the songs perfectly encapsulate the reggae vibes of the 70s and 80s and all of the singles are still bangers. Fav songs: so much things to say, the heathen, exodus, three little birds, one love/people get ready

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Mon Oct 11 2021
5

Classic album - didn't realise how innovative it was.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
5

One of Bob Marley's best. Exodus is an incredible powerful song. I'm lucky I have a pristine Mobile Fidelity vinyl copy of this record and it sounds incredible. Deep powerful bass and excellent balance overall. Thanks for the reminder on how great this album is. Side one starts out great and just keeps getting better until it gets to Exodus. Side 2 might be even better - it has the better known songs; Jamming, Waiting In vain, Three Little Birds, One Love. 5 stars

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

5.0 - To me, this is the definitive Bob Marley album, more so than "Legend." Most of my favorite songs of his best songs are here. Such an awesome record that I can easily play on repeat.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
5

perfect Friday album

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

Rating: 10/10

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

Loved listening to the entirety of the album. Its a journey from such an influetial and all star artist. LEGEND

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Wed Oct 27 2021
5

The quintessential Bob Marley album. Some great songs on here

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Thu Oct 28 2021
5

Very good, possibly their best album. I know there is a lot of historical context with this album, and I believe that adds to it. It's a pretty political album.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Classic album. Loved it, as always.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Starts great with Natural Mystic but it drags in the first half where it starts to build up to a climax at the end.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

First song gets you in the mood immediately

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

Iconic album and great melodies

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Sat Nov 27 2021
5

Uno de los mejores de esta lista.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
5

Really solid, legendary album. Had not previously heard the story about the assassination attempt on his life just before he recorded this. Makes the songs even more powerful in that context.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

So many hits on one album! Time Magazine named this the best album of the 20th century, so who am I to argue? A joy to listen to from start to finish.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

This is such a good album. I remember dismissing it when it came out since my hatred for disco made me turn away from anything dance floor oriented. I fortunately got over that and have loved this album for a while. Bob’s move to London resulted in his music getting fused with music from the London club scene at the time. This set the stage and trajectory for reggae in the 1980s and 90s and allowed sub-genres of reggae such, as dancehall, to be more easily accepted.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

Some of Bob Marley’s most well known songs are in this album. Aside from that, this album is a joy to listen to. The music is purposeful, catchy, and driving. Marley’s lyrics span religion, politics, sex, and love

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

One of the best records ever

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

Absolute classic

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Already knew this would get a 5 before the listen, just a fantastic album filled with a ton of classics. Great vibes throughout.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Perfect

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

I'm not sure how anyone could not love Bob Marley. There was something really special and magical about him. This album is an absolute classic. 5 stars.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

I'm woefully unfamiliar with Marley's work and Reggae at large (FOR NOW)—loved this album on first listen. The performances are striking and backed by a truly wonderful layering of rhythms.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

We jammin, we jammin, we jammin

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

Perfection - a quality listen the whole way through! I've looped it all morning and it's the most productive I've been in a long time. Endlessly listenable, it's such a joyful album. It puts me into a perfect mellow, chill mood. I love that Bob's message still carries tremendous weight, it isn't lost or diluted by the way it's been packaged and presented: calmly, from a place of peace and love.

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Sat Feb 12 2022
5

Muito bom, Bob Marley me fazendo ouvir reggae. Melhor música: Waiting in Vain e Turn Your lights down low

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

A reggae classic, and one of my favorite Bob Marley albums

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

Legendary. Waiting in Vain is his best song.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

The best album from the king of reggae. An album full of genre defining songs

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

Perfection

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Two stars for Jamming, which reminds me both of The Simpsons and my one trip to the Caribbean as a kid, where Bob Marley still seemed to be the most played artist, 20 years after his death. One star for the ultimate feel-good good feelings of Three Little Birds and One Love / People Get Ready. Another star for the darker, more purposeful grooves of Natural Mystic, The Heathen and Exodus. Half a star for the total disregard of grammar on 'So Much Things To Say'. That's 4.5. And I'll round up because Bob was a Spurs fan.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

I LOVE this album. Such a classic!

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

The production on this album is perfection. The drums are so crisp and tight; the bass is thick and funky; and the horns blend beautifully, sounding like an organic extension of the rest of the band. And a lot of great guitar. There's some killer psychedelic shredding and I was totally drawn in by that strange tone on the guitar in "The Heathen." I found his vocal performance particularly entertaining. I love the flow of his vocals on “So Much Things to Say” - I’ve never heard Bob Marley sing like that. (The bonus single “Punky Reggae Party” even has him scatting.) Throughout the album, he sounds so free and expressive. Some really soulful stuff here. There are a lot of classic songs on this album but I also really enjoyed the album cuts. Some songs on here I've never heard before. P.S.: Remind me to show you a music video my friends and I made in high school for “Jamming.” 😎😂

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