The House of Marley’s Picks For Top Bob Marley Songs

Here at The House of Marley, we do our fair share of listening to our namesake’s legendary music. We live it, we breath it, and we certainly eat our Marley Wheaties every day. Since we are all about audio, we wanted to make our own list of top Bob Marley songs. So, let the inter-office debate/battle royale began!

Whether relaxing in solitude, listening to “Redemption Song” through on-ear headphones, or getting the party started with “Midnight Ravers” on the Bag of Rhythm, Bob Marley has a song for any situation. Considering many different proposed listening situations and “Would you rather?” type questions, we finally settled on our list of The House of Marley’s “Top Bob Marley Songs.” Limiting ourselves to five picks, we’re sure that our faithful readers will have something to say about the list. We can’t wait to hear which are your favorite top Bob Marley songs. Leave them in the comments section below.

With that, we present you with The House of Marley’s “Top Bob Marley Songs”:

Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Destiny”

Bob Marley’s music is remembered for its thundering rhythms, but in his early days, the Wailers knew how cut an upbeat, fast-paced ska track too. “Destiny” is a song that is somewhat lost in the annals of Marley history, but it offers a picture of young Bob. Innocent and carefree, listening to “Destiny” on a pair of in-ear headphones will make any grey day turn bright and sunny.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Smile Jamaica”

How hasn’t “Smile Jamaica” been used by the Jamaican tourism board to promote the much loved island? We can smell the sand and surf right now despite the office walls right next to us. Someone is literally trying to ride one like a surfboard!

Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Stir It Up”

Written for American singer Johnny Nash, “Stir It Up” was Bob Marley’s introduction to the USA in 1971. After backing Nash on his subsequent tour, The Wailers ended up broke and on the door step of Island Records. Their next album and first release on Island, Catch a Fire, would be their first American hit and forever change the course of history. At the album’s centerpiece: “Stir It Up.”

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Midnight Ravers

“Midnight Ravers” is one heck of an on-ear headphones track if we’ve ever heard one. From Peter Tosh’s pulsating organ to the deep bass of Aston Barrett, this Marley-penned song transports listeners to a raging party under the jungle’s dense canopy, deep in the heart of Jamaica.

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Redemption Song

The most epic song ever. Words cannot convey how much “Redemption Song” is the ultimate Bob Marley song. Just listen! If this isn’t in your own list of “Top Bob Marley Songs,” we aren’t sure we trust your taste.

Of course, there are so many honorable mentions and runners-up. Wading through the scores of incredible songs Marley created in his lifetime was quite a process, and a pleasure. We encourage you to do the same and let us know what your Top Bob Marley Songs list looks like!


Bob Marley Inspires National Reggae Day in Brazil

Like the very sun that makes this planet habitable, Bob Marley is a light that will never go out. As one of the most celebrated musicians, philosophers, and humanitarians of all time, Marley received countless awards and accolades in his lifetime. Since his passing, the tributes have not only continued, but they have increased, both in number and scope.

Earlier this month, Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff officially signed into law a national reggae day to celebrate the cultural contributions the genre and its artists have made to the country of Brazil. The new National Day of Reggae in Brazil will be celebrated annually on May 11 – the date of Bob Marley’s passing.

Though the reggae day bill was written to commemorate the importance of reggae music as a whole, not surprisingly, Bob Marley is specifically honored in the new law for his remarkable influence on the genre, and by extension, Brazilian culture and culture globally.

Brazilian Senator and author of the reggae day bill, Rodrigo Rollemberg, wrote that May 11 would serve to honor “the music rhythm spread worldwide by Robert Nesta Marley.” The reggae day bill continues, “The legacy that Bob Marley left the world goes far beyond reggae: it is through this music that many Brazilian artists use the medium to make legitimate social criticisms.”

Bob’s legendary flair for social commentary (recently highlighted in the documentary, Marley) was an integral part of the music he created throughout his career. From The Wailers’ major label debut, Catch a Fire, to his aptly titled final album, Uprising, Marley used his music to shine light on social causes and spark conversation.

Rollemberg sees that tradition continued in contemporary Brazilian artists in particular. The reggae day bill cites, “Cidade Negra, Edson Gomes, Gilberto Gil among many other national artists devoted to continue to push through reggae, messages of peace, love and social criticism to encourage people to fight for their rights, just like Marley.”

Props to the Brazilian legislature for embracing the cultural role of Bob Marley, reggae, and the arts in general in Brazil. The newly established national reggae day ensures that the spirit of Marley, and the peace, love and unity that he stood for will remain with the people of Brazil for years to come.

1Love: Bob Marley Charity Makes Global Impact

Through music, Bob Marley sent positive vibes that resonated throughout the world. Whether spreading the seed of musical prosperity or helping to provide clean water to third world countries, the Bob Marley charity, 1Love, has continued in his tradition. As one of the major partners of 1Love, The House of Marley is dedicated to these causes as well.

The principle focus of the Bob Marley charity centers around three major subject areas: the world’s youth, peace opportunities and the planet’s eco-system. By channeling its efforts through partnerships with world renowned charities like Save The Children, Every Mother Counts, Protect Our Winters, Invisible Children, and United Nations Environment Programme, 1Love is committed to raising funds for causes that Bob Marley himself was concerned with.

However, 1Love isn’t just concerned with donations. The Bob Marley charity is two-fold, with one avenue that is solely focused on monetary contributions, while the other is a social media campaign funneled through the 1Love website that connects those trying to make a difference to other likeminded individuals. By challenging fans of Bob Marley to take on a “Marley Mission,” 1Love inspires the sharing of good vibes, whether the project is to record an uplifting song or simply be a role model in the community.

While projects of this scope might seem small in nature, 1Love and The House of Marley believe that if simple acts like these can change the course of one person’s day, then it was truly worth the time.

1Love, the official Bob Marley charity, is dedicated to making the world a better place. Gain knowledge and educate yourself by visiting the 1Love website and take a few minutes to watch the video below and learn firsthand what Rohan Marley, Bob’s son, and the rest of the Marley family are doing to make a difference.

Bob Marley Art Debuts On a Bronx Rooftop

Famed NYC graffiti artists Sienide and Fumero recently dedicated a Bronx wall to an immense Bob Marley art mural. On the rooftop along the infamous graffiti epicenter that is the 4 Train in New York, Sienide and Fumero set to work creating a piece that would remind all who saw it of the importance of reggae’s greatest ambassador.
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The House of Marley Presents A Brief History Of Reggae Music

Skrillex, Wiz Khalifa and Bob Marley are all related. No, they aren’t family, per se… but there is a musical web that features straight lines from the reggae rhythms of Bob Marley to the new distinct sounds of Skrillex’s heart-pounding dubstep and Wiz’s smooth flowing rhymes. Through the music of the Marley family, The House of Marley has assembled a brief look at the history of reggae music and it’s influence on today’s popular music.

Whether roots reggae, ska, rocksteady, dub or dancehall, these Marley tracks have consistently bred new kinds of music over the course of the past 40+ years. From hip-hop to dubstep and ska to political punk, through the history of reggae and Bob Marley, the course of music has forever changed.

Roots Reggae: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Get Up Stand Up”
Roots reggae is best exemplified by Bob Marley’s later work. Relying heavily on bouncing bass rhythms, scratchy guitar sounds and lyrics that dealt with beliefs and political stances, the genre would be forever defined by massive hits like “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Get Up Stand Up.” The tradition of catchy music with social themes is carried on today by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Lupe Fiasco.

Ska: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “One Love/People Get Ready”
Featuring an early take on the classic “One Love” and a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” Bob Marley & The Wailers take the offbeat rhythm of rocksteady and amp up its pace in this ska classic. Following Marley and Desmond Dekker’s lead, the ska sound has gone on to be played by large selling acts like No Doubt, Sublime, The Specials and Madness.

Rocksteady: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Rock Steady”
Recorded in the late ’60s, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Rock Steady” is the perfect example of the song’s genre namesake. Rocksteady features less reliance on the organ than ska, and has slower tempos. Closely following the formula of hits used by Motown in the ‘60s, this R&B influenced version of reggae eventually helped breed artists like The Roots, Raphael Saadiq and Black Eyed Peas.

Dub: Bob Marley w/ U-Roy – “Small Axe”
Dub may be one of the most interesting sub-genres of reggae as producers use instrumental parts of popular reggae songs to create new spaced-out sounds. Pioneers of the genre, including King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry, have had a heavy influence on the creation of dubstep. Dubstep closely follows their formula by adding reverb, echo and delay to samples. Check out the wild sounds of U-Roy mixing Bob Marley’s “Small Axe,” and tell us Skrillex and Bassnectar didn’t pick up a few things from Jamaica.

Dancehall: Damian Marley and Skrillex – “Make It Bun Dem”
A modern take on Dancehall music with a little dubstep thrown in for good measure, Damian Marley and Skrillex make a formidable duo by combining forces on the new track, “Make It Bun Dem.” Sampling a reggae organ, Damian spits fast and furious rhymes over a Skrillex mix that catapults the sounds of Jamaica into the 21st Century. Hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and The Game have found similar success by sampling dancehall for chart-topping hits.

The history of reggae music has had far-reaching effects over the years. From the birth of new music and new listeners, to new collaborations like that of Damian Marley and Skrillex, reggae music has developed into something that stretches far beyond its birthplace of Jamaica. Now the whole world is listening.

Tons of Buzz for the New Bob Marley Movie

The new Bob Marley movie has been in theaters and available online for less than a week, but the Internet buzz is already accumulating for the definitive documentary. From hip-hop heroes and pop divas to the Marley family and director Kevin MacDonald, everyone is talking about this new portrait of the reggae superstar’s life.

Hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg attended the West Coast premiere of the new Bob Marley documentary. When speaking to the press, Snoop weaved a tale of how Bob Marley lifted his conscience to another, more peaceful, level. “Just to be able to have peace and love and harmony in the music that I make, that’s what I feel like I’ve gained from listening to Bob Marley’s music and being influenced by him,” Snoop said.

The love didn’t stop there though, as pop songstress and Marley aficionado Rihanna hit Twitter hard over the weekend with lots of love for Tuff Gong and the new documentary on his life. “I and I love Bob so much iz a shame.” Whether covering Marley songs at shows, her ever-present tri-color shirt or her dedication to charity work in her native Barbados, Rihanna exemplifies the #LiveMarley lifestyle.

Director Kevin MacDonald also has a deep appreciation for the legendary reggae icon, making his work on the Bob Marley documentary project a labor of love. While making his film The Last King of Scotland in Africa, MacDonald noticed, “There were so many people listening to Bob, wearing Bob t-shirts, with murals of Bob up.” MacDonald recalls, “They treated him more like a kind of spiritual figure or a philosopher than merely a musician. And I realized that’s kind of a unique position. Nobody else in popular music has had that position… and that is what really set me off on wanting to make a film about him.” A project years in the making, his vision (and the vision of the whole Marley family) has finally come true.

Director Kevin MacDonald rocking Marley Headphones

The Marley family was also out in full force at many of the film’s debut screenings. They gave MacDonald’s completed project unanimously high marks. Ziggy Marley, Bob’s eldest son, was on board with the movie from the ground up. “When the idea came up, I told the family about it. We have this opportunity to do something definitive on Bob. And everyone was cool about that,” Ziggy remembers.

Bob’s daughter Cedella agreed with her brother about Marley being the end-all be-all document of their father’s life. “It’s something that we have been trying to accomplish for about two or three years. We went from different director to director, but we met Kevin MacDonald and he brought everything that we were hoping for to life.”

Marley Movie Hits Los Angeles

The long-awaited feature-length documentary, Marley finally hit the big screen last night at its Los Angeles premiere. Music icons, A-List actors, international press, and a handful of proud Marley children were among those in attendance to celebrate the legacy of Bob Marley.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin MacDonald, and made with the blessing of the Marley family, and the guidance of eldest son, Ziggy, Marley presents an intimate portrait of a music icon whose own way of life changed the lives of so many. On hand at the LA premiere of the Marley movie were artists like rap icon Snoop Dogg and country superstar Kenny Chesney — polar opposites on the genre meter, but like-minded admirers when it comes to Marley. Check out what both had to say about the universal impact of Marley from the red carpet:

The Marley movie will be screening in select theaters and available worldwide via Facebook, tomorrow April 20, 2012!

True Colors: the Bob Marley Colors of Green, Yellow and Red

Bob Marley practiced what he preached. Not quite the choir preacher you see at church, but WOW, did he create a movement with his voice. Bottom line? At the House of Marley, we are heavily influenced by those same vibes. It makes our knees wiggle. But how do we stay focused? What reminds us of Bob’s values? The Bob Marley colors of green, yellow and red. They are a symbol of the Rastafarian movement and most importantly, “One Love.”

Marley’s album covers (like Live!, Uprising, and Kaya) all had a hint of the iconic green, yellow and red. It’s like a rainbow of passion. We see it when we surf, when we board, when we think, and when we breathe. But what does the green, yellow and red mean? Here, let us give you the lowdown on the Bob Marley colors’ meaning:

The Color Green
Earth, gravel, sand… green represents the homeland of Rastafarians: Ethiopia. The green is more than just a symbol, though. It is a call to action and a reminder that the Earth needs nurturing and protecting. We agree. The House of Marley takes this to heart by making eco-conscious products with recycled and FSC-certified materials. You know what FSC means? As Bob once said, “All you got to do is give a little, take a little.” For every tree we use for the wood in our products, we plant one back.

The Color Yellow
Next up is the color yellow. Yellow represents the sun, light, and warmth. The light of Rastafari similarly shines on all of us, providing a source of one love, one light for everyone to share. The sun lets us live. It lets us surf, skate, jump, run, and be FREE. The sun gives us life.

The Color Red
Red is the final color. It symbolizes the blood of those in Africa and Jamaica. Red is a cry for equality and fairness that stems from oppression and struggle.

At the House of Marley we have chosen to embrace these colors because they give us strength. Strength to accomplish our goals and reach our dreams. For us, the colors are a reminder of the land, the love, and the community we cherish and actively strive to improve.

One love.

Bob Marley Colors

Why the World Needs a Bob Marley Hologram

Your newsfeed is probably still recovering from the wild onslaught of hologram Tupacs that have basically taken over the Internet since Sunday, when the presumed-dead rap legend made a surprise Coachella appearance thanks to some mind-bending Hollywood SFX. Yeah, James Cameron’s visual production house, Digital Domain, succeeded where all the Tupac-death-skeptics and die-hard fans have failed: they brought ‘Pac back to life.

Amateur YouTube clips from the crowd capture everyone’s stunned amazement best – a mixed bag of reactions, which is to be expected when you confront 25,000 people with a rapping ghost. Now, there’s talk of taking holo’Pac on the road for a proposed Tupac/Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg tour, and you know there’s a boardroom full of record industry suits somewhere trying to figure out if they can design a hologram Mariah Carey, because the real one is just too hard to work with.

Since more musician hologram stunts like this are inevitably on the way, we got to thinking… What could we do with some futuristic hologram technology of our own? If you said, conjure the late, great Bob Marley himself… well, yeah. I mean, wouldn’t you? Let’s consider the limitless reach of a Marley hologram.

In the 30+ years since his passing, Marley’s legacy has expanded to heights unparalleled in music. In life, he was more than a successful reggae singer. He was a poet, a philosopher, a peacemaker, and a world-changer.

Even today, 2012, Bob still serves as the figurehead for an idealism and ideology that resonates with passionate people the world over. Imagine if all those people had the opportunity to actually see – with their own eyes – the immortality of Marley’s legacy manifested before them. Not as a ploy to sell concert tickets or boost iTunes downloads, but to make a difference and continue spreading the Marley vision of unity, equality and authenticity.

Where demonstrators peacefully protest human rights injustices, Marley hologram could be there to stand among them in solidarity. Where Earth-conscious individuals come together as one to plant trees or construct community gardens, Marley hologram could join in as inspiration for their efforts. Where scores of kicked-back beachgoers spread out on their towels or their surfboards to soak up the sun, well Marley hologram could be there too, setting the mood for enjoying Mother Earth. And yeah, let’s be honest: it would be pretty damn awesome to witness Marley hologram lead 25,000 people through the chorus of “No Woman, No Cry” in 2012.

By now, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single human being with an internet connection who hasn’t seen video of hologram Tupac brushing shoulders with Snoop and Dre. But the story kind of ends at high tech smoke and mirrors. If the future of departed entertainment icons is indeed upon us, here’s to hoping this surreal technology will take the next step and give us the opportunity to witness Bob Marley in his element in 2012: changing the world.