Legend (Bob Marley and the Wailers album)

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Greatest hits album by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Released May 1984 (1984-05)
Recorded 1972–1983
Genre Roots reggae
Length 51:01
Label Island, Tuff Gong (Reissue)
Bob Marley and the Wailers chronology
Bob, Peter, Bunny & Rita
(1985)Bob, Peter, Bunny & Rita1985

Legend is a compilation album by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It was released in May 1984 by Island Records. It is a greatest hits collection of singles in its original vinyl format and is the best-selling reggae album of all-time, with over 15 million copies sold in the United States and an estimated 28 million copies sold globally.[1][2][3][not in citation given] In 2003, the album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

As of December 2017, it had spent a total of 500 nonconsecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart—the second longest run in history.[4] According to the 20 September 2014 edition of the Billboard 200, nearly 56,000 albums had been sold since some earlier editions, bringing the new peak of the album to #5 on the chart. Currently, the album sells approximately 3,000 to 5,000 US copies per week.


The album contains all ten of Marley's Top 40 hit singles in the UK up to the time,[5] plus three songs from the original Wailers with Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston in "Stir It Up," "I Shot the Sheriff," and "Get Up, Stand Up," along with the closing song from the album Uprising, "Redemption Song." Of the original tracks, only four date from prior to the Exodus album.

The cassette tape release of the album featured two extra songs, "Punky Reggae Party," the B-side to the "Jamming" single, and "Easy Skanking" from the Kaya album. A second generation compact disc remastered by Barry Diament appeared in 1990 on the Tuff Gong label. Although the disc includes the same 14 songs, the tracks are in their original album lengths rather than the edited versions for single release.

On 12 February 2002, the expanded 14-track edition with songs at album lengths were remastered for compact disc with a bonus disc consisting of 1984-vintage remixes for extended dance club singles and dub versions. In 2004, the Legend double-disc deluxe edition was reissued with the music DVD of the same name in the sound + vision deluxe edition. In 2010, Legend was made available as downloadable content for Rock Band. However, it was released without "Get Up, Stand Up", which was later included on Rock Band 3. In June 2012, a high fidelity audiophile version of the album was released on HDtracks in 96 kHz/24bit and 192 kHz/24bit resolutions.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[6]
Robert ChristgauA[7]
Q5/5 stars[8]
Sputnikmusic5/5 stars[9]

Legend holds the distinction of being the second longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine. Combining its chart life on the Billboard 200 and the Top Pop Catalog Albums charts, Legend has had a chart run of 992 non-consecutive weeks,[10] surpassed only by The Dark Side of the Moon at 1574 weeks.[11] As of the issue date of 28 September 2013, the album has charted on the Billboard 200 for 285 non-consecutive weeks. As of December 2017, the album has sold 12.3 million copies in the US since 1991 when SoundScan started tracking album sales, making it the ninth best-selling album of the Nielsen SoundScan era. The RIAA has certified Legend for selling 15 million copies, a total that includes purchases before 1991.[12][13]

In the United Kingdom, Legend has been certified 11× Platinum, and is the 16th best-selling album in that country of all time,[14][15] with sales of over 3,380,000 as of July 2016.[16]

As of December 2014, the album has sold more than 33 million copies worldwide.[17]

Despite its generally positive reception, Legend has been criticized for being a deliberately inoffensive selection of Marley's less political music, shorn of any radicalism that might damage sales.[18] In 2014 in the Phoenix New Times, David Accomazzo wrote "Dave Robinson, who constructed the tracklist for Legend, [said that] the tracklist for Legend deliberately was designed to appeal to white audiences. Island Records had viewed Marley as a political revolutionary, and Robinson saw this perspective as damaging to Marley's bottom line. So he constructed a greatest-hits album that showed just one face of the Marley prism, the side he deemed most sellable to the suburbs. [...] If you're looking for mass-market appeal to secular-progressive America, you don't include songs that invoke collective guilt over the slave trade, nor do you address the inconvenient truth that the bucolic Jamaican lifestyle of reggae, sandy beaches, and marijuana embraced by millions of college freshmen, exists only because of the brutal slave trade. [...] the songs on Legend offer just a brief glimpse into his music. The definitive album of the most important reggae singer of all time is a hodgepodge collection of love songs, feel-good sentiment, and mere hints of the fiery activist whose politics drew bullets in the '70s."[19] Vivien Goldman wrote in 2015, "when he does get played on the radio now, it’s the mellow songs, not the angry songs, that get heard – the ones that have been compiled on albums such as Legend."[20]

Track listings[edit]

When first released in the US in 1984, pressings contained remixes of "No Woman, No Cry," "Buffalo Soldier," "Waiting In Vain," "Exodus" and "Jammin'," done in 1984 by Eric Thorngren. (International pressings substituted the remixes for either album versions or 7" edits.) Two versions of the CD were released in Europe in 1984; one used the same mastering as the US pressing, the other (mastered by Rob Fabroni and Barry Dimanent) used original full length versions for all the tracks. Pressings from 1986 on used the international version of the release until 2002, when a two-disc deluxe version released by Universal replaced all tracks with their respective album versions (except for "No Woman, No Cry," which is the full length version from the "Live!" album) and included the two extra tracks from the cassette release as bonus tracks. That version was released individually as part of "The Definitive Remasters" series.

Original 1984 US album[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."Is This Love"Bob MarleyKaya (1978)3:52
2."No Woman, No Cry" (Live)Vincent FordLive! (1975)4:05
3."Could You Be Loved" (7" Edit)MarleyUprising (1980)3:33
4."Three Little Birds"MarleyExodus (1977)2:56
5."Buffalo Soldier" (Remix)Marley, Noel WilliamsConfrontation (1983)5:24
6."Get Up, Stand Up"Marley, Peter ToshBurnin' (1973)3:17
7."Stir It Up" (Edit)MarleyCatch a Fire (1973)3:38
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."One Love / People Get Ready"Marley, Curtis MayfieldExodus (1977)2:52
2."I Shot the Sheriff" (Edit)MarleyBurnin' (1973)3:46
3."Waiting in Vain" (Remix)MarleyExodus (1977)4:10
4."Redemption Song"MarleyUprising (1980)3:48
5."Satisfy My Soul" (7" Edit)MarleyKaya (1978)3:45
6."Exodus" (Remix)MarleyExodus (1977)5:24
7."Jamming" (Remix)MarleyExodus (1977)3:17

Original compact disc version[edit]

2002 Deluxe edition[edit]

Legend: Remixed (2013)[edit]

30th anniversary edition (2014)[edit]

In celebration of the 30th anniversary, the compilation was re-released (as its "The Definitive Remasters" form) in two formats:

  • A tri-color (red, yellow, green) double 180g vinyl set
  • A CD/Blu-ray 5.1 audio set; the Blu-ray disc contains the studio version of "No Woman, No Cry" and previously unheard alternate takes of "Easy Skanking" and "Punky Reggae Party."[21]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[53] 4× Platinum 240,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[54] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[55] 3× Platinum 150,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[56] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[57] Gold 36,703[57]
France (SNEP)[58] Diamond 1,327,400 [59]*
Germany (BVMI)[60] Platinum 500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[61] Platinum 100,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[62] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[63] 20× Platinum 300,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[64] Gold 25,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[65] Gold 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[66] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[67] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[68] 3× Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[69] 11× Platinum 3,380,000[16]
United States (RIAA)[70] 15× Platinum 15,000,000[12]
United States (RIAA)[71]
Legend video
Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[71]
Bob Marley: The Legend Live
Gold 500,000^
Worldwide 28,000,000[17]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


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