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Bob Marley and the Wailers - Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers

Bob Marley and the Wailers - Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers

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There are few musicians whose music has indisputably advanced humanity. Reggae figurehead Bob Marley--a songwriter, poet, activist, and visionary--is one of them. The idea that a single-disc collection could represent the depth, breadth, and power of Marley's achievement is far-fetched, but Legend makes an excellent attempt. Every single one of its tracks is outstanding, and the artist's different faces--revolutionary ("Get Up Stand Up"), romantic ("Is This Love"), devout Rastafarian ("Buffalo Soldier"), and prophet ("One Love/People Get Ready") are equally represented.

In addition to his moving message of love and unity, Marley is a master songwriter, as the timelessness of songs like "Stir It Up," "I Shot the Sheriff," and the gorgeous, poignant "Redemption Song" proves. Of course, a true sampling of Marley's output would require some early ska material, the Wailer's debut (Catch a Fire), the definitive Natty Dread, and his later-period opus Exodus, but Legend provides a highly satisfying, if brief, overview of Marley's genius. A record well suited to any location, season, or time of day, it has proven universal in its appeal. The music herein is as essential as air.