The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Present Day Composer #79


Bob Marley (1945-1981)

5 comments :

Mac said...

Say what you want about the songwriting, charisma, politics, whatever, he was one of the finest vocalists EVER.

Kreisler said...

I think he owes Chris Blackwell bigtime. Bob Marley wasn't even the best vocalist in Kingston. Delroy Wilson, Leroy Sibbles, Pat Kelly, Grgeory Isaacs could all claim to be Marley's superior. Anybody see the Island Records tribute on BBC4 the other week? Fascinating stuff in it about Chris Blackwell's friendship with and understanding of Bob Marley. For good and ill Blackwell moulded the Wailers (or Bob Marley and The Wailers as they became) to fit a rock template. Out with group harmonies, in with guitar solos, bingo international success.

Christopher said...

Bunny Wailer of the original Wailers line-up,is the only one that impressed me as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh became more commercial

Rhys Ziemba said...

Marley was a mega genius. The problem is that for so many people all over the world, the entire musical output of Jamaica (easily one of the most musically fecund places on the planet) is substituted by "Legend." It is my opinion that this view from the masses invites musical snobbery from many true fans of Jamaican music. Big up Toots, Delroy, Gregory, Ken Boothe, and all the rest...

Kreisler said...

I can see how what I've said could sound a bit snobbish but I do think the 70s Marley was manufactured. There's no doubt he was, from the earliest days at Studio 1, one of the premier talents on the island but he wasn't some transcendent genius unrelated to everything else. They tried the same trick with Denis Brown later but it didn't take. Spot on about Ken Boothe by the way.