Living To Music – Bob Marley & The Wailers ‘Exodus’




YEAR: 1977

This Sunday (June 5th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:

Mainly recorded during Bob Marley’s exile in London, following an assassination attempt at his home in Kingston, Jamaica on December 3rd 1976, ‘Exodus’ was the album that elevated him to international recognition, eventually spawning no less than five hit singles – the title track, ‘Waiting In Vain’, ‘Jamming’, ‘Three Little Birds’ and ‘One Love / People Get Ready’. It was the first Bob Marley & The Wailers album to crack the UK top 10 and would spend over a year on the chart in total (a figure only bettered by the posthumous ‘best of’ compilation ‘Legend’).

For further info see recent post, ‘Marley Remembered’:

Your own memories are always welcomed, and, should you join us for Sunday’s session, it’d be great if you could leave a comment here after you’ve listened to the album sharing your impressions – how the music affected you, who you listened to it with, where you were, plus anything else relevant to your own individual / collective experience.

Exodus Wikipedia:

Living To Music Facebook Event Page:

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11 Responses to Living To Music – Bob Marley & The Wailers ‘Exodus’

  1. TC June 6, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Natural Mystic has healing powers. Despite having some of my favourite people over for L2M last night, my energy levels hindered my ability to be sociable somewhat. However, a minute into Natural Mystic and all ill-ease just melted away. Great musianship, great production and lyrics of both depth and simplicity.
    Exodus is my new favourite Bob Marley tune. It’s infectious rhythms, vocal hooks and harmonies and “spacey” effects and delays make it impossible not to groove.
    The only tune that didn’t move me was “Turn your lights down low”. But the remaining four tracks of side 2 are just so massive. Jamming reminds me of becoming a teenager and a hot long summer. Waiting in Vain is gorgeous! 3 little birds is, on the surface, a simple little infectious ditty but listening in L2M fashion helped me to hear the clashing harmonic notes on the organ that stops this from becoming cheesy and smaltzy. Hadn’t noticed that before. Ending on One Love/ People Get Ready, I hadn’t realised that the verse lyrics was taken from as song Curtis Mayfield wrote for The Impressions until seeing the writing credit, which makes it an early mash up! Catchy hooks galore, driving bass lines, fantastic BV’s, amazing horn sections and Bob’s amazing vocals and lyrics. Quality, all quality.

  2. Paul Wright June 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Bob Marley has featured in my life beyond my own recognition, I cannot recall first hearing his music, it feels like it has always been there and I hold it very dear. In my early teens when so much was changing in my life Bob Marley was very influential and had huge synergy with other musical influences in terms of love and free thinking. Bob Marley’s insights, perspectives and philosophies were and still are a great platform for my voyage of discovery. As teenagers we would listen to Bobs views intently, a section in the documentary time will tell where Bob discusses herb was a big favourite! 😀

    Me and my first girlfriend shared a love of his music and we would swap tapes of various albums and recordings. This shared love was a big part of our unique bond. As students we would have sessions with folks mixing a wide array of musical styles, without fail the missus would always get up and do a Bob Marley set.

    A legendary talent with incredible influence Bob Marley was able to break down racial, social and cultural barriers. Bob conveys so well his grounded view of the world; there are anti-establishment and anti-capitalist views that resonate true to this very day.

    It had been many years since I’d heard this album so was really looking to forward to this session. It was an absolute treat!

    A great start with Natural Mystic, very forward thinking from the offset. It is quite a despairing song in it’s message and a stark confrontation to the order of society. the striking bass drum feels like a calling to his message. Love the mad warbly effects in here. The song sets the scene perfectly, there is an alternative..such clear determination in his message.

    So much things to say is a track I haven’t listened to much, a certain condemnation of society whilst still providing a positive view.

    Musically the album is fantastic, some wicked jazz, vocal harmonies, guitar sections and obviously Bob’s great vocal.

    I agree with TC the title track is absolutely outstanding, stunning. My head was bobbing all over the place listening to this. For me the album starts very well and then really explodes from Exodus, these tracks are pure class!

    Love Bob Marley, really enjoyed listening to this again, cheers Greg!

    All the best

  3. Paul Wright June 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    This is the interview I was talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsfYAJ3dQyY&feature=related.

    Forgot to mention last month somebody introduced me to Bill Laswell’s ‘Bob Marley Dreams Of Freedom – Ambient Translations Of Bob Marley In Dub’, just having a listen now, pretty good stuff!! 🙂


  4. greg wilson June 7, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I picked up on the fact that the opening and closing tracks on the album, both very spiritual, sit on either side of the spectrum and could very well refer to Marley’s own situation, whilst helping him reconcile this.

    ‘Natural Mystic’ is quite weighty and downbeat, with it’s talk of death and suffering, and their inevitability. His own mortality must have been on his mind, having been lucky not to be killed in the shooting, whilst his exile from Jamaica and not knowing when it would be safe to return, was something he had to endure.

    On the other hand, ‘One Love / People Get Ready’ is optimistic and upbeat, with its emphasis on unity and trust in God, which enable ordeals to be faced without fear by providing a sense of well being that stems from the knowledge that we’re not alone.

    This sums up the message of hope, and the belief that good will triumph over evil, which is central to both Marley’s music and philosophy. The negative being turned into a positive as he re-evaluates his position in the world.

    That call to come together, which he sings of, is about to happen way beyond his imaginings, for, with this album, his music is about to reach a truly global audience with whom his message of ‘One Love’ strongly resonates, as Marley not only becomes a popular recording artist, but a 20th century phenomenon whose message lives on way beyond his mortal passing.

  5. cezza June 7, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Bob Marley has regularly been an aid for me personally, helping me to rise above the struggles of life, and allowing me to develop further an inner strength that I seemed to absorb from his music. He talks of harsh reality and yet also offers the pureness of hope and faith. Natural Mystic for me, is the ultimate and what a track to begin this album with. I was amazed to hear rhythms I had never really got onto within the general grooves of his tracks, again proving the value of actually sitting and actively listening. A really beautiful album from a really beautiful being.

  6. kermit June 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    bob sorry “sir bob” has always been a constant in my life since being a kid, with my parents coming from jamaica i was brought up around the old blue beat tunes and trojan records of their island so when bob sorry “sir bob” became such a global superstar his tunes would be on heavy rotation in our house.so listening to this album gave that feeling of belonging to something bigger than myself i find this to be music of the soul music to wash the soul it seems to speak on so many levels its a barometer of human experience depth of feeling ….wow best choice yet. ….

  7. BrianE June 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    What a band……….. Bob Marley is the Man! but I didn’t realise his band were so groovin! and tight until last night.

  8. Lily June 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    I was not able to listen to ‘Exodus’ on Sunday as I had planned as my player refused to read the CD but I have strong memories of the album. I went to see Bob & The Wailers at Deeside Ice Rink in North Wales in July 1980 – seldom, if ever, can so many rastafarians and black people have been seen in Queensferry ! In those days smoking was still allowed in such places and there was a pall of strongly scented smoke hanging over the crowd – one deep breath and one felt surprisingly floaty !I remember The Wailers came on first and sang on their own for a while before the man himself staggered onto the stage with what looked like a rather large spliff in hand ! It was, though, an utterly amazing performance and I feel privileged to have been present, more especially as Bob died less than a year later.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DeV8ah3Ygc (recording of Exodus at Deeside)

  9. Derek Kaye June 8, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    I don’t have a great knowledge base of reggae but there are definitely moments of my life that it has enriched and been influential for me.
    I wasn’t exposed to much in the way of reggae as a youngster, I remember stuff like Double Barrel and Monkey Spanner which I knew was Dave and Ansell Collins (but wouldn’t get to know about Lee “Scratch” Perry who was the behind the production till many years later!) and various hits through the early 70s.
    I bought an album around 1973 by John Holt (1000 volts of Holt) which someone had suggested I listen to, it was basically a covers album but I remember playing this album relentlessly in my bedroom ! and then telling friends at school that I was “into reggae” like I was some kind of musical guru with knowledge of all ! ! Of course this was at best, about a thousand miles wide of the truth !
    But there was definitely an interest there and a record would come out that would really blow me away and to this day is still amongst my favourite records of all time and that record was . . Zap Pow’s – This Is Reggae Music
    Great record for me and engrained in a point in time of my life, but I was still no closer to being that expert on Reggae !

    The reason for all this meandering is to try and give a little insight and perspective into where I was actually at musically by the time this album came out (bit of a soul boy) with an extremely light and casual knowledge of anything reggae and not looking to be influenced by anything in particular unless it was a good disco track because I was already dj’ing by now.

    I will never forget the first time I heard Exodus !

    I had a part time job in St Johns Precinct in Liverpool in a clothes shop and opposite to our shop was another trendier clothes shop where the owners son who managed the store would play records on a really loud system and most of the time we could hear what they were playing.
    One day he came past our door and said to me wait till you hear what I’ve just picked up and carried on walking . . . . .
    OH MY LORD !!!

    I listened and listened to the point of ignoring customers, and later went over to the store to ask him to let me run off a cassette on his system, he said yes so I ran down to a hi fi shop and got myself a blank C90
    I listened and listened and listened to this album so much, just like I had done with John Holt but this time it was different, it was like there was a relevance to it and to say it blew me away I think would be a huge understatement !!

    I absolutely love this album . . and I can categorically state that it was responsible for me listening to music in a different way, not just the reggae but other sources of lyric that can be mood changing and indeed life changing in so many ways.
    This album did this for me.

    Thank you Bob Marley

    . . . . and thank you Greg for choosing this album for LTM

    (Sorry for the meandering! )

  10. Alexis June 8, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    Lovers rock music, consciousness raising lyrics and poptastic ditties all on one album, bloody fantastic!

    Natural Mystic is possibly my favourite track by Mr Marley (or Sir Bob as Kermit says!), though So much things to say moves me too.

    Love this album, can’t believe i didn’t have it, but have many memories of listening to this over the years with good friends.

    Sang along and Asha loved it too.

    Completely randomly, she also noticed that Grace Jones’ “Walking in the rain” is currently being used in a car ad, but with someone elses voice!

    This here thing is working our ears, hearts, souls and minds.

    Thank you again x

  11. Lou Lou June 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    In a great company of friends with a brilliant system, you can pick out every detail of this frankly chest pounding album.

    I found the first part of the album extremely dense and deep (I wanted to say dark, but not sure if that’s the right expression really). Then building from Exodus, which I found stirred up quite menacing feelings, into much more uplifting sounding tracks. “Don’t worry bout a thing” says it all. I was left smiling and in a calm quiet, relaxed space. Loved the whole experience. The sweetness of his voice and the deep bass in particular.

    Cheers G & T 🙂

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