During my annual summer binge on Bob Marley and the Wailers, I had cause to listen to Exodus in the car. It’s a beautiful album that confirmed Bob Marley’s status as a global superstar, shifting truckloads all over the world.
When it was released in 1977, I felt a little let down by it. After the radical militancy of his previous albums, Exodus sounded embarrassingly commercial to my less-than-tolerant teenage ears. It wasn’t reggae as I recognised it. I felt certain that the people of Jamaica thought so too. It was a shiny album with rhythms that purr like a finely tuned Bentley, produced by Bob himself, full of soppy love songs. In the year of peak Punk, Bob Marley and the Wailers had become a frivolous Pop group.
Of course, these days I view it differently. Yes, Exodus is packed with infectious, bouncy tunes designed to brighten day-time mainstream radio, but side one is as subversive a collection of songs as any Bob has written. Side One is a manifesto for insurrection. Natural Mystic sets the scene of a world in turmoil that is still relevant today. The sequence of So Much Things To Say/Guiltiness/Heathen eviscerates those in power » Continue Reading.