The Best of Bob Marley – Part 2: The Music – by Rohan Marley

Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 at 9:14 am

As we continue bringing you the best of Bob Marley over the next few weeks, we wanted to include the past and present of his music. There have been countless lists compiled of his best songs, but rather than choosing our favorite Bob Marley songs, we thought we’d choose our favorite covers of his songs. Below we have posted our three favorite covers followed by notes on the Bob Marley originals, including “Is This Love,” “No Woman, No Cry,” and “I Shot the Sheriff.”

Grammy-nominated soul vocalist Bilal Oliver teamed up with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson to render this beautiful cover of “Is This Love”.

“Is This Love” was originally released in 1978 of Bob Marley’s album, Kaya. It topped the UK charts at #9 that year and soon became one of his most popular and well-known songs.

The Fugees released their cover of “No Woman, No Cry” in 1996 on their second studio album, The Score. Wyclef Jean provides lead vocals, and the rhythm directly takes influences from hip-hop and soul. It’s a head-bopping version of the song.

This live version of “No Woman, No Cry” features a sweaty Bob Marley performing with a full band and shows images of the slums of Jamaica. The song itself was released in 1974 on the album, Natty Dread, but gained notoriety for the live version released later in 1975.

Eric Clapton recorded a cover of “I Shot the Sheriff” on the album 461 Ocean Boulevard. The song became a commercial hit, peaking at #1 on the charts and eventually becoming Clapton’s only #1 hit song in the U.S.

Released in 1973, The Wailers’ single, “I Shot the Sheriff,” hit #1 on music charts around the world. Bob had this to say about the song: “I want[ed] to say ‘I shot The Police,’ but the government would have made a fuss.  So I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.”

Bob Marley’s music was so ubiquitous and spanned so many generations that countless covers have been done. We are grateful every day for the music he created and the music he has inspired over the years. Let us know your favorite covers by commenting below! Also make sure to check out Part 1 of the Best of Bob Marley series where we discuss the legacy continued by his children.

Peace and love.

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