Robert Nesta Marley was born on this day in 1945 in Jamaica and soon after Bob Marley would help bring reggae music to the attention of the world at large. From his early days with The Wailers in the 1960s through his massively successful solo career that peaked in the 1970s, Marley developed a songbook of compositions that made him one of the most influential artists of all-time. It’s that collection of tunes that’s the focus of this week’s Spotify Playlist – Covering The Legend – featuring 20 covers of songs that originated with the acclaimed musician. .
Marley lost his battle with cancer at just 36-years-old, passing on May 11, 1981 in Miami. While Bob’s influence on music is undeniable, his political activism and Rastafari beliefs were of equal impact during his all-too-short life. Evidence of Marley’s role in bringing the sound and style of Jamaican music to the masses can be seen in the frequency artists cover his songs. From street buskers to the most polished studio records, Marley’s music continues to fill the air of the world he left behind.
The Spotify Playlist below showcases a diverse group of musicians, with Phish (x2) and fellow jam-oriented artists The String Cheese Incident, The Derek Trucks Band, The Black Crowes and Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio offering Marley covers. Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia also leads his solo band on a Marley favorite.
There are also bluegrass takes by New Grass Revival and the Pickin’ On Series, as well as jazz-forward approaches by Grover Washington Jr., Charlie Hunter and Nina Simone. Veteran rockers like Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen and others appear alongside such revered performers as Stevie Wonder and Annie Lennox.
Stream the Bob Marley covers playlist below (each cover is followed by a version recorded by Bob Marley and The Wailers):
Covering The Legend: A Spotify Playlist
(May require free Spotify sign up.)