Last week I was moving back into school, so I took last Friday off to get ahead on my studies. But I’m here now to throw it back to 1977, to take a look at Bob Marley’s ninth studio album Exodus. In December of 1976, seven armed men broke into Marley’s home and shot him in the chest and arm, so he decided to take a break from Jamaica for a while. He made his exodus to London and crafted a reggae album unlike any other before or since.
Terrific. Bob Marley’s got one of those raspy voices that makes everything he sings sound cool. In addition to this, he’s an excellent songwriter. Half the songs on the album tackle issues like the religious and political turmoil in his homeland of Jamaica and the other half just cut loose and talk about themes like love and jamming with the boys. Cool voice singing cool words…you just can’t go wrong with that combo.
This is a very interesting album instrumentally. Marley split with The Wailers the previous year, though continued to release albums as “Bob Marley and the Wailers” with a few new recording musicians. One returning member from the original Wailers was keyboard player Tyrone Downie, and his contribution on the keys serves as a backbone for much of the songs on the album. Reggae music is inherently offbeat, so the percussion from Carlton Barrett on this album gets pretty funky at points. Even funkier are the baselines and lead guitar licks provided by Aston “Family Man” Barrett and Julian “Junior” Marvin, respectively. Junior’s riffs and licks just slither around in the background of the album. And underneath all of it is Bob on rhythm guitar. The group comes together to create a sound that’s grounded reggae but also dips a toe in British rock, soul, and Funk.
It’s occurred to me that production isn’t as relevant in these throwback tracks, so I hope Heff doesn’t mind me messing with his format, but I’d like to rename this section…
The X Factor:
In this new section, I’ll highlight anything that could add or detract from the score or just anything interesting I hadn’t mentioned. This is quintessential feel-good music. Go ahead and cook breakfast listening through these tracks and it’d be pretty hard to have a bad rest of your day.
“Jamming”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Punky Reggae Party”, and “One Love/People Get Ready”
It’s some of the best work from the father of reggae music. It’s gotta be……
That’s the review. Don’t wait in vain for my next review, cus I’ve got so much things to say.