The list compiled by Rolling Stone magazine that ranks the top 50 songs recorded by reggae legend Bob Marley was originally published in 2014, but it is offered now in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the singer’s birthday. In addition to ranking the songs, Rolling Stone offers the story describing the genesis of each song.
After Marley’s death in 1981, Rolling Stone published an obituary written by Marley’s biographer Timothy White in which he noted that the most prominent image of the singer shows a happy Rastafarian who enjoys smoking ganja with a carefree demeanor. However, in actuality, Marley had a strong religious faith and heart-felt political beliefs. White described him as a man who came up from poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in two decades. In 2020, his influence continues into its fifth decade, and his stature has only become stronger over time. He is an icon of the 21st century music scene, and his songs have been covered by numerous artists since his death. His musical influence can be felt across many music genres, and his commitment to social justice remains a major element of his legacy.
The Top 5 Marley songs as ranked by Rolling Stone are, in order:
1- “Get Up, Stand Up” from 1973
2- “No Woman, No Cry” from 1975
3- “Redemption Song” from 1980
4- “Trench Town Rock” from 1971
5- “I Shot the Sheriff” from 1973
Robert Nesta Marley was born in Nine Mile, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica in 1945 He died of melanoma in Miami, Florida, in 1981. He married Rita Anderson in 1966. He had eight children. Marley started his professional music career in 1963 after forming the group Bob Marley and The Wailers, which released its first album in 1965. When the song “One Love” from the album became a worldwide hit, it established the group as a major influence on the reggae scene. Marley converted to Rastafarianism in the 1970s, which had a strong impact on his music. He survived an assassination attempt in 1976 and was diagnosed with melanoma in 1977.
Source: Rolling Stones Website