Which Bob Marley’s album is the most militant?

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Bob Marley album uprising
Bob Marley album uprising

Often times during our blog discussions someone occasionally post a comment along the line of “Bob Marley would not approve of that”. I think in these cases the posters are trying to say that we should not blog on any topic that any person or group could deem offensive. Those comments are always strange to me, because in my opinion apart from Peter Tosh and maybe Sizzla Kalonji, I have not heard any artists who tell it like it is in their music like Bob Marley.

Whenever we get that occasional “Bob Marley would not approve of that” comment, we always smile and say here is a Bob Marley fan whose favorite album is most likely “Legend”. Of course we could be wrong, but I think it is fair to say compared to some of the King’s other albums as far as militancy is concerned “Legend” is pretty mild. I know there is the very militant “I shot the sheriff” on the album, but I think because it was made popular by Eric Clapton it may not come off as threatening as say a “Fuck the Police” by NWA or “Cop Killer” by Ice T. In “Songs of freedom” there is also the line; “how long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look”; I guess the militancy in this one depends on an individual’s perception of the lyrics. It is conceivable that someone might interpret it as peaceful protest to protect our prophets, but would someone else be wrong if they interpret it as armed resistance? After all Bob also sang “Arm in arm with arms we fight the struggle”.

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Then you have in “Talking Blues” where he said “I feel like bombing a church”, I could see some Christians being offended by this. Of course he does not mean physically bombing a church, it is more about exposing the evils and lies of the church, as he went on to sing “now that we know that the preacher is lying”. Of course we can’t forget “We gonna be burning and looting tonight”.

So to the posters who always lecture us, the King’s repertoire is much more than “One Love” there is also “Revolution” where he sang:

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“Kill, cramp and paralyze all weak heart conception
Wipe them out of creation”.

Of the list of Bob Marley albums below, which Bob Marley’s album is the most militant?

The Wailing Wailers – 1965
Soul Rebels – 1970
Soul Revolution – 1971
Burnin’ – 1973
African Herbsman – 1973
Natty Dread – 1974
Live – 1975
Rastaman Vibration – 1976
Exodus – 1977
Kaya – 1978
Babylon by bus – 1978
Survival – 1979
Uprising – 1980
Chances are – 1981
Confrontation – 1983
Legend – 1983



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1 Comment

  1. uprising… I believe it was a prophetic album. He sings about how the system makes us kill each other… not just between black and white or woman or man or countries but them divide so they are stronger. i love him and his gift of music that opens the soul frees the mind and liberates the body

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