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Marley albums make iTunes mark second time around

Published:Wednesday | May 10, 2017 | 12:15 PMMel Cooke
Bob Marley
From left: Bunny Livingston, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as The Wailers.
Images of Bunny Wailer (left), Peter Tosh (centre) and Bob Marley in the narrative about their solo albums of 1976.

Bob Marley's commercial breakthrough in the US was Rastaman Vibration of 1976, certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 500,000 copies. According to Billboard's website, it was the first Bob Marley and the Wailers album to reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200, peaking at number eight.

On May 10, a few hours before the anniversary of Bob Marley's death in 1981, Billboard's website had Bob Marley and the Wailers songs listed on 21 charts. Among them were the Billboard 200, where Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers peaked at number five on September 20, 2014, and Live Forever: September 23, 1980, Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania topped out at 14 on February 26, 2011.

In Catalogue Albums Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers hit the top spot on October 16, 2004, nine years after Legend: Bob Marley and the Wailers was number one on that chart on May 2, 1995. Exodus reached number 50 on October 18, 2008.

Bob Marley and the Wailers have had 22 entries on Billboard's Reggae Albums Chart, half of which have been number one.


Repackaging, remastering and re-releasing Bob Marley and the Wailers albums is an industry in itself and it is on the iTunes Reggae Albums chart that second comings of their full-length sets dominate. Fixtures at the top of the charts are Legend (Remastered) and Legend (Deluxe) in first and second places, respectively, and that was their ranking before yet another anniversary of Bob Marley's death. Legend was originally released in 1984.

Forty years after its initial release, Exodus (Remastered) was at number 23 and another version of Legend, the Rarities Edition, was at 24.

Confrontation (Remastered) was at number 46. It was originally put out on 1983, two years after Bob Marley's death, and includes Chant Down Babylon, Buffalo Soldier and Rastaman Live Up. The remastered version of Uprising, first released in 1979, was at number 50. Among its many memorable cuts on the last Bob Marley and the Wailers album to be released on Island Records while he was alive are Zion Train and Redemption Song.

The live performance set Babylon By Bus (Remastered) is at number 57, the original release year being 1978. Punky Reggae Party is on that set. Survival (Remastered) has an original release year of 1979 and held the number 61 iTunes spot. It is famed for its cover design of African countries' flags and slave ship below decks layout as it is for Africa Unite, Zimbabwe and So Much Trouble in the World.

Rastaman Vibration (Remastered) is at 63, the Deluxe Edition of Catch a Fire is at 66 (it was first released in 1973 when Bob, Bunny and Peter were still a unit. Legend Remixed was at 68 and Burnin' (Remastered), the last album before the trio parted company was at 72. Exodus (Deluxe Edition) held the number 92 spot and the remastered Talkin' Blues interview/song set, originally released in 1991, was at 96.

For good measure the box set, Songs of Freedom, was at number 51.