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Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus (1977)

March 3, 2017

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Lovely logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 521/1001]

“It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans”
– Sloan (or rather Sloooooooooooooooooan), Coax Me

If you’re a Bob Marley fan, chances are you love Exodus.

Or at least, part of Exodus.

And you may not have any interest in the other part of Exodus.

Hence the non-overlapping Venn Diagram below:

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Due to side two’s sheer commercial strength, Exodus might be the most unintentionally ironic title on the 1001 list.

Whereas my understanding of term would mean a mass movement away from something, based on the continued & seemingly unwavering popularity of the second-side anthems (Jamming, Three Little Birds, One Love/People Get Ready), I’d imagine there was more of a mass influx of fans during & since 1977, rather than an Exodus.

It’s easy to see the appeal of the massive side two sing-a-longs; the music is upbeat, the tone is optimistic, what’s not to like?

Well, I suppose, despite being somewhat less interesting than the side one material, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the side two Exodus content here.

The record was deservingly a critical & commercial success, I don’t think allegations of “sell out” would be approppriate either.

Instead, Sloan’s post-opening quote may be more apt.

It’s not Bob Marley & The Wailers that Exodus side-one-devotees hate.

It’s their new kind of “fan.”

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at 1:10

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You know “that guy.”

That guy that plays little beyond the side-two hits, embraces Marley as a marijuana poster-boy (literally), giggling if a track length approaches a running time of 4:20, equating the drum roll intro to Jamming as an unignorable cue to, umm, burn one down, completely disregarding Marley’s messages & melodies elsewhere…yeah, I could see how longtime Marley devotees wouldn’t be so keen on that guy.

So while this album may have been the Marley gateway for legions of new fans, perhaps this album marked a smaller-scale Exodus of some one-time Marley fans that weren’t so enamored with this new crowd?

Either way, if fans like “that guy” described above have been a deterrent for further Marley exploration, I’m pleased to report that there’s much more substance to Robert Marley than merely, err, substance abuse.

To modify my favourite Exodus track, he has So Much (more) Things To Say.

And I’m glad that over the past couple years, I’ve been able to get past “that guy” and enjoy hearing the actual messages straight from the source.

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Verbalize the Positive

Tip of the hat to Mr. Marley for setting a good ‘verbalizing the positive’ example for me.

From time to time, it’s just nice to be reminded that “every little thing’s gonna be alright.”

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From → 1970s

20 Comments
  1. Some fans will never forgive their idols for having the temerity to become popular.
    Ah, the scourge of success!

    • Can you imagine, having the nerve, the sheer audacity of becoming successful!
      And I plan on using temerity in a post at the earliest possible convenience

      • The VC thesaurus is always at your disposal (in exchange for some pictorial/graphic representational ideas, of course).

      • I’ll happily sign such an international trade agreement!

  2. Love your description of “that guy”. Polite, but also accurate.

  3. I’ve never thought of fandom divided like that before. I have always liked reggae since I was first exposed to Bob Marley as a pre-teen. It was catchy, it had integrity, I could get into, and it seemed like happy music. Loved it.

    When I started at the record store, there were a few “420 heads” who loved Marley too…I suppose that’s part and parcel for some. I’ve lost track of them today and don’t know if they still worship at the feet of Bob. But I haven’t stopped listening. Aaron sold me a deluxe Catch a Fire…fabulous package.

    • That Catch a fire deluxe package sounds promising – but of course, I’ve come to expect nothing but the best from young Aaron!

      • And that would be a mistake. I still chastise him for buying Jewel – Pieces of You and then selling it back to me a short time later! (That was 21 years ago!)

  4. I can’t think of a better record to introduce Marley to a greater audience, and yet arguably it isn’t his best. I still love it though!

  5. This (and Legend, of course) were my Marley introduction albums. Dare say that has been the case for a fair few folks over the last 40 years!

    • I would imagine so!
      I think this one makes for a particularly effective introduction as it gives a sample of two very different sides of his work

  6. I lovely every nano-second of this and your review. I have to say I think ‘Waiting in Vain’ is such a lovely tender song.

  7. I am a simple man, I see Sloan, I click Like.

  8. Marley is a state of mind, not a t-shirt. You’re right, a lot of people don’t get it properly, but the same can be said for a lot of acts. Bandwagon jumpers and sycophants hoping for cred.

    Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate how incredible it is that all of those songs reside on one friggin’ record. And it’s not a Hits record, it’s a studio album. Once the mind can get around that, then it’s time to go deeper. The messages are there and, as you point out, the heart is (I think) mostly in the right place.

    • It is impressive that it’s not a greatest hits – and even more amazing how concentrated that 2nd side is, I don’t think anyone would accuse Marley of ‘front-loading’ here!

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