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Bob Marley: A Life

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Overview

One of the 20th century's most iconic cultural figures, Bob Marley was responsible for popularizing reggae music throughout the world. He set records that still stand today and his 1977 Exodus album was hailed by Time magazine as the greatest of the 20th century. His unique blend of politically conscious lyrics and unforgettable melodies won him legions of fans far beyond the Caribbean. Marley's strong attachment to Rasta beliefs and practices and his fierce hostility to the injustice of "Babylon" made him an ...
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Overview

One of the 20th century's most iconic cultural figures, Bob Marley was responsible for popularizing reggae music throughout the world. He set records that still stand today and his 1977 Exodus album was hailed by Time magazine as the greatest of the 20th century. His unique blend of politically conscious lyrics and unforgettable melodies won him legions of fans far beyond the Caribbean. Marley's strong attachment to Rasta beliefs and practices and his fierce hostility to the injustice of "Babylon" made him an important spokesperson for the dispossessed all over the globe.

In this new biography, Steckles follows Bob Marley's life through his early days in rural Jamaica, his arrival in Kingston and first recordings and performances, to his status as an international superstar. He explores Marley's political and religious beliefs throughout, and discusses his relationships with fellow musicians, family, and influential figures. Steckles also focuses on Marley's long-term legacy, including his significant contributions to world music and Rastafarian belief, as well as the extensive, ongoing legal battles over his music and estate.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

There have been over 100 books written about the late, great reggae superstar Bob Marley. In writing this most recent biography, Steckles, a journalist covering reggae and Caribbean culture internationally, had access to the largest Marley archive. However, he treads much of the same ground as previous books and does not unearth many new facts. The book includes an appendix of musicians who played with Marley, but it doesn't differentiate on which recordings they played. Although it is relatively well written, Steckles's biography is not an essential purchase for any but the most complete reggae collections. The best general biography remains Timothy White's Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley.
—Bill Walker

Kirkus Reviews
Chronological birth-to-death sketch of Jamaica's premier musician. St. Kitts-based journalist Steckles, one of the reggae icon's more devout devotees, has spent countless moons cataloging all forms of Bob Marley minutiae. From an overview of Wailers' producer Lee "Scratch" Perry and his notorious royalty rip-offs to a reexamination of the night Marley took a bullet in the arm from an unknown assassin, Steckles squeezes in all the necessary info for Zion Lion neophytes without revealing anything immensely fresh. Even an epilogue about Marley's legacy is basically a collated update of all the lawsuits levied against the estate. The only reasons for yet another book about Bob Marley seem to be that 1) there's a movie about him coming out soon, and 2) Steckles really wanted to write about him. Make no mistake, this debut author can turn a phrase. Yet he passed up a great opportunity to look beyond the hype about a stoic "prophet" and tap into Marley's inner thoughts, motivations and, yes, even his flaws. The volume often reads like a discography, brimming over with excellent trivia. Regrettably, this detailed information is padded every few pages with fanzine-style gushing like calling Marley "one of the smartest human beings on the planet" and stating that he achieved more acclaim than the Beatles and Elvis. Crosses the line from admiring Marley to uncritical celebrity worship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566567336
  • Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 824,266
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Miss Cedella's Son

David Michael Rudder

Introduction So Dem Seh

Birth of a Legend 1

Lost and Found: Bob Goes to Kingston 9

Trench Town and Ska 15

Fame ... but Not Fortune 29

Coming in from the Cold 41

The Night Shift 51

Scratch and Beyond 61

Introduction to Island 73

Catching a Fire 83

Natty Dread 101

The King of Reggae 113

Ambush in the Night 125

Movement of Jah People 139

The Peace Concert 153

The Price of Fame 167

Home to Rest 183

The Legacy 185

So Bob Seh 199

Select Bibliography 205

Index 206

Acknowledgments 211

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