Years ago someone once told me that Bob Marley’s music got them through a very bleak period in their life. At the time, I was only familiar with the more mainstream elements of the Bob Marley and the Wailers‘ catalog so I couldn’t properly internalize the sentiment. Years later, after experiencing some pretty bleak times of my own as well as expanding my knowledge of Bob Marley‘s work and reggae music in general I experienced firsthand what a powerful anti-depressant listening to Bob Marley’s music can truly be.
I put together a list of 15 Bob Marley tracks because it wouldn’t be fair to keep all the positive vibrations to myself. It is my opinion that every song on this list will instantly lift your spirits or at least soothe your soul in times of trouble. If your life is fabulous don’t worry this is still a good playlist in any event.
1. Soul Shakedown Party -This is an early Bob Marley and The Wailers‘ tune. The harmonizing is reminiscent of a doo wop group but the ska and reggae influences are dominant. Highly danceable.
2. Corner Stone – Bob is always disseminating wisdom through his music as this song beautifully demonstrates. I included a rare acoustic version as well as the more popular studio version.
3. Small Axe – I interpret this song to be a celebration of the concept of Karma. It’s very soulful and soothing. This summer I saw Bob’s son, Stephen Marley perform an acoustic version of it at The Hollywood Bowl.
4. My Cup– This song is a tiny bit haunting and uplifting at the same time. Is it about eternal optimism? Lost love? Both? Whatever the answer, the melody and lyrics will lift you higher and higher.
5. Sun is Shining – Classic Marley. Soulful, inspirational, soothing. The words I just used do not do this song justice. Listen for yourself.
6. Misty Morning – See above description.
7. High Tide or Low Tide – This is a simple but beautiful ballad. It also sounds a lot like a lullaby. I would definitely play it for my children during bedtime.
8. Kaya– Another upbeat and catchy tune. Also highly danceable. Will definitely lift your spirits.
9. Natural Mystic– I almost lost my breath the first time I heard this song. (I’m kinda passionate about music in case you didn’t notice.) It is meditative and rhythmic at once. Great song to lose yourself to. Like many of Bob’s songs there are quite a few different versions of it. My personal favorite is the one produced by Lee Scratch Perry.
10. Lively up yourself! – The name of this one says it all. This song is like a good-natured order to cheer up or a musical message for your grumpiest friend.
Honorable Mention: Trenchtown Rock – This song embodies the whole purpose of this list, it needed to stand alone. Sublime did a righteous cover of it once upon a time.
Those of you that are not that familiar with Bob’s music I hope that this selection of songs makes you an instant fan. If you are already a die hard Marley fan please feel free to comment with your own selections. Thanks for stopping by the blog everyone! Have an awesome week!