Exodus (Bob Marley & the Wailers album)

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Studio album by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Released 3 June 1977
Recorded Harry J. Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, 1976 and Island Studios, London, January–April 1977
Genre Reggae
Length 37:24
Label Island
Tuff Gong (reissue)
Producer Bob Marley & the Wailers
Bob Marley and the Wailers chronology
Rastaman Vibration
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media (8.4/10)[3]
PopMatters (favorable)[4]
Robert Christgau B+[5]

Exodus is the ninth studio album released by Jamaican reggae band Bob Marley and the Wailers. On 3 December 1976 an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life in which his chest was grazed and his arm was struck, but he survived.[6] Following the attempt Marley left Jamaica and was exiled to London where Exodus was recorded.[2] It was on 3 June 1977 that Exodus was released on Island Records. Exodus is widely considered to be the album that propelled Marley to international stardom.[6] In 2007 Exodus was remastered and re-released for its 30th anniversary. The re-release sparked new interest in the album which many argue is one of Marley’s best works. Exodus has more tracks on Marley’s greatest hits album, Legend which is the highest selling reggae album of all time, than any of his other records.[6]


Jamaica in December 1976 was going through elections. There was a substantial amount of political discourse on the island. A candidate by the name of Michael Manley used the campaign slogan “We know where we’re going.” In response Mr Marley wrote “Exodus”, which is the title track of the album. The Rastafarian collective believe the song was an appropriate reply to Manley’s proclamation. Marley’s lyrics say, “Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you’re living? We know where we’re going, we know where we’re from, we’re leaving Babylon into our father’s land.” The song became a No. 1 hit in Jamaica as well as England and Germany.[7]

On 3 December 1976, an attempt was made on Marley’s life. It was this attempt that drove him out of Jamaica, In addition to Marley's assassination attempt,"his wife Rita — one of the I Threes, whose singing on Exodus is first-rate"[8] was also shot and survived. During this time Marley saw that the Rastafarians were "struggling to be free" and needed direction in life. Many of the songs produced in the "Exodus" album are just that. He sincerely wanted to bring his people out of oppression and by producing the "Exodus" album he moved many Rastafarian people towards their dream of overcoming oppression.


"Jamming", "Waiting in Vain" and "One Love/People Get Ready" were all major international hits. Exodus peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200 and at number 15 on the Black Albums chart, as well as remaining in the UK charts for 56 consecutive weeks, where it peaked at number 8.

As described by Rolling Stone magazine Exodus is an album with "the magnificent rhythm section of Aston Barrett, bass, and Carlton Barrett, drums, and the spidery lead guitar of Julian "Junior" Marvin — and the flatness of the material Bob Marley has given them to work with"[8] With this mixed review presented in 1977, it has managed to take on several awards and accolades.

Exodus has been recognized by music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 1999, Time magazine named Exodus the best album of the 20th century.[9] In 2001, the TV network VH1 named it the 26th greatest album of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 169 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bob Marley, unless noted.

Original album (1977)[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Natural Mystic"   3:28
2. "So Much Things to Say"   3:08
3. "Guiltiness"   3:19
4. "the Heathen"   2:32
5. "Exodus"   7:40
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Jamming"   3:31
7. "Waiting in Vain"   4:16
8. "Turn Your Lights Down Low"   3:39
9. "Three Little Birds"   3:00
10. "One Love/People Get Ready" (Bob Marley / Curtis Mayfield) 2:52

The Definitive Remastered edition[edit]

Tuff Gong Cat# 548898-2, released 24 July 2004.[11] Tracks 1–10 included.

Bonus tracks
No. Title Length
11. "Jamming" (long version) 5:52
12. "Punky Reggae Party" (long version) 6:50

Deluxe Edition – disc one[edit]

Tuff Gong Cat# 586 408-2, released 16 October 2001.[12] On disc one, tracks 12 and 14 are previously unreleased.

EXODUS additional tracks
No. Title Length
11. "Roots" (b-side of "Waiting in Vain", released 19 August 1977) 3:42
12. "Waiting in Vain (alternative version)" (previously unreleased) 4:43
13. "Jamming (long version)" (12" single, released 11 November 1977) 5:52
14. "Jamming (version)" (previously unreleased) 3:04
15. "Exodus (version)" (b-side of "Exodus", released 24 June 1977) 3:08

Deluxe Edition – disc two[edit]

Tuff Gong Cat# 548898-2, released 16 October 2001. On disc two, tracks 1–5 and tracks 8, 9, and 10 are previously unreleased.

EXODUS tour (Live at the Rainbow Theatre, London, June 4, 1977)
No. Title Length
1. "the Heathen"   6:48
2. "Crazy Baldhead / Running Away" (Rita Marley / Vincent Ford) / (Bob Marley) 9:21
3. "War / No More Trouble" (Allen Cole / Carlton Barrett) / (Bob Marley) 7:44
4. "Jamming"   7:07
5. "Exodus"   11:46




  1. ^ Cam. "Bob Marley and The Wailers – Exodus". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Hilburn, Matthew. "Bob Marley & the Wailers – Exodus". Allmusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Klein, Joshua (7 December 2007). "Bob Marley & the Wailers – Exodus: 30th Anniversary Edition". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Sanders, J. Victoria (13 November 2001). "Bob Marley – Exodus (Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Bob Marley & the Wailers". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Taylor, Angus (2007). "Bob Marley and the Wailers Exodus: 30th Anniversary Edition Review". BBC. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Bradshaw, Jon (14 August 1977). "THE REGGAE WAY TO 'SALVATION'". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Marcus, Greil (14 July 1977). "Bob Marley – Exodus". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Best Of The Century". Time. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "169 – Bob Marley and the Wailers' 'Exodus'". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 1 November 2003. 
  11. ^ "BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS – EXODUS – DEFINITIVE EDITION". Sternsmusic.com. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Exodus (deluxe edition)". Musicbrainz.org. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 

Further reading[edit]