yayah! thanks for the comments. I agree that "list journalism" can be a bunch of bs and I offer my list with some hesitation. Usually if asked my fav BMW song I say the one playing on the box right now. by the mid-70s Bob and Fams could get together and take pretty much any of their long list of songs and rework it into a masterpiece--at least I think so. (if it wasn't already one!)
Yes, I love and can name lots of reggae artists and enjoy discovering more both new and oldies all the time. I appreciate that many of the "ghetto youth" of Kingston have written brilliant lyrics that challenge the system as did Bob; I discuss this in
Stir It Up. Originally the book contained lyrics of many of the early greats as a means of paying tribute to them; in the end I took out all lyrics to avoid endless legal headaches. I do think though that very clearly Bob is the greatest exemplar. I wouldn't claim, e.g., that Dennis Brown is the greatest musical artist of all time, but I would claim that about Bob without hesitation. In fact I posted on FB just yesterday that I believe Bob should have won a Nobel Prize for both Literature and Peace. Many of my posts on my FB book page are about other artists.
Again, I offer my list as a fun way of talking about Bob and reggae and the whole issue of the CIA destabilization of Jamaica during the Marley/Manley era of the 1970s, a story that unfolds in Stir It Up in a manner to earn the highest praise from Roger Steffens, and we all know who he is, right? It's a story that deserves to be told, i.e., we know about CIA involvement in many places, Iran in the time of the Shah, Guatemala, Chile, etc, but we don't know that much about Jamaica; you and I may know some things but the story is not in the mainstream. I spent 5 years writing the book, including interviewing former First Lady Beverley Manley in her Kingston home. If you love Bob you will probably love Stir It Up.
Final thought on the list: Bob was not just a musical artist but a revolutionary, a freedom fighter, One Love prophet of peace and all the other accolades we can mention. It is with this in mind that I approach constructing a list of his Best (Most Important) Songs.
Here's the link to my FB page if you want to stop by. http://www.facebook.com/StirItUpCIAJamaica
ps Stairway to Heaven sucks