Soul Shakedown Party

Bob Marley has become something of a rite de passage these days, another step alongside a Kurt Cobain hoodie and a Che Guevara t-shirt that symbolises one's transition from sheep-esque child into free-thinking, radical and active young person. Some sort of wall-hanging is obviously the traditional way to show rebellion, although an item of clothing or other such paraphernalia will do in a pinch.

It's ridiculous isn't it? I see kids out today that weren't born when the last Nirvana album came out, strutting around in their black hoodies with the infamous smiley face on, probably bought from a less-than-authentic dealership in a market someplace. Heck, I was still listening to 'I Would Do Anything For Love' when he shot himself, and it made little to no difference to my life when I heard. Oh but his music transcends generations? Sure it does, but really, you're twelve, don't start thinking this early in life that you will be able to identify with other people on the basis of matching eyeliner and an appreciation for, you know, just, like, rocking out. Move on. Same with Che Guevara. How many people with a Che poster have even seen Motorcycle Diaries, let alone understand the politics, principles and ethics of the man? As one of the pictures I could've put in the graffiti post had it - Cliche Guevara. The word 'trustafarian' was coined for people like this.

The thing is, Kurt Cobain had one of those talents that connected with people and spoke to them on an emotional level. Che was a fine figurehead, idealistic and iconic. Bob Marley falls somewhere in between and still manages to have become a throw for sale in Wood Green.
Listening to his first few albums as I have been of late, Bob Marley is first and foremost a soul singer - he has a wonderful voice and the Wailers made maybe the finest reggae of the era. Musically speaking, it's a joy and privilege to listen to, and is all class.
Politically speaking, Marley managed to symbolise an ideal, a culture, even a nation - rightly or wrongly, he's the man most outsiders could most easily name as an obvious Jamaican. Even Americans!

But you know what? Forget all that, he's dead, his work is done. What will last is his great, great music. These tracks are from Soul Revolutionaries, on Trojan, a collection of Bob Marley & The Wailers' early Jamaican albums. You might know Sun Is Shining from the remix, but the original's much more lovely. Stop The Train maybe not, but it's every bit as ace.

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