Legend (Bob Marley and the Wailers album)

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Legend
BobMarley-Legend.jpg
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedMay 1984 (1984-05)
Recorded1972–1983
GenreRoots reggae
Length51:01
LabelIsland, Tuff Gong (Reissue)
Bob Marley and the Wailers chronology
Confrontation
(1983)
Legend
(1984)
Bob, Peter, Bunny & Rita
(1985)

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 12 million sold in the US, over 3.3 million in the UK (where it is the seventeenth best-selling album[1]) and an estimated 25 million copies sold globally.[2][3][4] In 2003, the album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list.[5] The list was revised again in 2020 with the album now placing at 48.[6]

As of January 2020, it has spent a total of 609 nonconsecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart—the second longest run in history.[7] As of July 2020, it has spent 932 weeks in the top 100 of the UK Albums Chart—the third longest run in the chart's history.[2]

Content[edit]

The album contains all ten of Bob Marley's Top 40 hit singles in the UK up to the time,[8] 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.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[9]
Robert ChristgauA[10]
Q5/5 stars[11]
Sputnikmusic5/5 stars[12]

Legend peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200, making it Marley's highest-charting album in the US. It also 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,[13] surpassed only by The Dark Side of the Moon at 1574 weeks.[14] 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.[15][16]

In the United Kingdom, Legend has been certified 13× Platinum, and is the 16th best-selling album in that country of all time,[17][18] with sales of over 3,380,000 as of July 2016.[19]

As of April 2012, the album has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.[4]

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.[20] 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."[21] 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."[22]

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 Diament) 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. When track No. 13 [Exodus, released on the album "Exodus" by Bob Marley & The Wailers in 1977 by Tuff Gong/Island] begins, the noise at the ending of Bob Marley's "Satisfy My Soul" [released on the album "Kaya" by Bob Marley & The Wailers in 1978 by Tuff Gong/Island] plays at the start.

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]

No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."Is This Love"Bob MarleyKaya (1978)3:50
2."No Woman, No Cry" (Live - 7" Edit)Marley, Vincent FordLive! (1975)4:02
3."Could You Be Loved"MarleyUprising (1980)3:57
4."Three Little Birds"MarleyExodus (1977)3:00
5."Buffalo Soldier" (7" Edit)Marley, Noel WilliamsConfrontation (1983)2:33
6."Get Up, Stand Up"Marley, Peter ToshBurnin' (1973)3:17
7."Stir It Up" (Edit)MarleyCatch a Fire (1973)3:38
8."One Love / People Get Ready"Marley, Curtis MayfieldExodus (1977)2:52
9."I Shot the Sheriff" (Edit)MarleyBurnin' (1973)3:46
10."Waiting in Vain"MarleyExodus (1977)4:16
11."Redemption Song"MarleyUprising (1980)3:48
12."Satisfy My Soul"MarleyKaya (1978)4:30
13."Exodus" (7" Edit)MarleyExodus (1977)4:16
14."Jamming" (7" Edit)MarleyExodus (1977)3:17

2002 Deluxe edition[edit]

Disc one: Legend remastered
No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."Is This Love"Bob MarleyKaya (1978)3:50
2."No Woman, No Cry" (Live)Marley, Vincent FordLive! (1975)7:08
3."Could You Be Loved"MarleyUprising (1980)3:57
4."Three Little Birds"MarleyExodus (1977)3:00
5."Buffalo Soldier"Marley, Noel WilliamsConfrontation (1983)4:18
6."Get Up, Stand Up"Marley, Peter ToshBurnin' (1973)3:17
7."Stir It Up"MarleyCatch a Fire (1973)5:30
8."Easy Skanking" (Bonus Track)MarleyKaya (1978)2:57
9."One Love / People Get Ready"Marley, Curtis MayfieldExodus (1977)2:52
10."I Shot the Sheriff"MarleyBurnin' (1973)4:40
11."Waiting in Vain"MarleyExodus (1977)4:16
12."Redemption Song"MarleyUprising (1980)3:48
13."Satisfy My Soul"MarleyKaya (1978)4:31
14."Exodus"MarleyExodus (1977)7:40
15."Jamming"MarleyExodus (1977)3:31
16."Punky Reggae Party" (Bonus Track)Marley, Lee PerryExodus (1977)6:52
Disc two: The Legend remixes
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
1."One Love / People Get Ready" (Extended Version, remixed by Julian Mendelsohn)"One Love / People Get Ready" UK 1984 12" (cat. no. 12IS 169)6:59
2."Waiting in Vain" (Remixed by Julian Mendelsohn)"Waiting in Vain" UK 1984 12" (cat. no. 12IS 180)5:54
3."Jamming" (Remixed by Paul "Groucho" Smykle)"Could You Be Loved" UK 1985 12" (cat. no. 12IS 210)5:33
4."Three Little Birds / Three Little Birds (Dub Version)" (Remixed by Julian Mendelsohn)"Three Little Birds" UK 1985 12" (cat. no. 12IS 236)5:18
5."Could You Be Loved" (remixed by Errol Brown and Alex Sadkin)"Could You Be Loved" UK 1985 12" (cat. no. 12IS 210)5:25
6."No Woman No Cry" (Remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)"Could You Be Loved" UK 1985 12" (cat. no. 12IS 210)4:10
7."Coming in from the Cold" (remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)"Could You Be Loved" UK 1985 12" (cat. no. 12IS 210)5:42
8."Buffalo Soldier" (Remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)Legend (1984, U.S. version)2:52
9."Jamming" (Remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)Legend (1984, U.S, version)3:20
10."Waiting in Vain" (remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)Legend (1984, U.S. version)4:11
11."Exodus" (Remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)Legend (1984, U.S. version)8:48
12."Lively Up Yourself" (Remixed by Eric "E.T." Thorngren)previously unreleased5:16
13."One Love / People Get Ready" (Dub Version, Remixed by Godwin Logie)"One Love / People Get Ready" UK 1984 12" (cat. no. 12 ISX 169)4:55

Legend: Remixed (2013)[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Waiting in Vain" (Jim James Remix)5:04
2."Stir It Up" (Ziggy Marley Remix)3:34
3."Three Little Birds" (Stephen Marley and Jason Bentley Remix)3:00
4."Could You Be Loved" (RAC Remix)4:04
5."No Woman, No Cry" (Stephen Marley Remix)4:41
6."Get Up Stand Up" (Thievery Corporation Remix)4:21
7."Satisfy My Soul" (Beats Antique Remix)6:11
8."I Shot the Sheriff" (Roni Size Remix)5:55
9."Exodus" (Pretty Lights Remix)4:16
10."Easy Skanking" (Stephen Marley Remix)4:56
11."One Love / People Get Ready" (Photek Remix)4:57
12."Redemption Song" (Ziggy Marley Remix)3:54
13."Is This Love" (Jason Bentley Remix)6:10
14."Jamming" (Nickodemus and Zeb Remix)4:53
15."Punky Reggae Party" (Z-Trip featuring Lee "Scratch" Perry Remix)5:34
16."Buffalo Soldier" (Stephen Marley Remix)5:15

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."[23]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Album[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[73] 4× Platinum 240,000^
Australia (ARIA)[74] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[75] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[76] 4× Platinum 200,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[77] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[78] Gold 36,703[78]
France (SNEP)[80] Diamond 1,391,500[79]
Germany (BVMI)[81] Platinum 500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[82]
sales since 2009
2× Platinum 100,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[83] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[84] 20× Platinum 300,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[85] Gold 25,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[86] Gold 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[87] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[88] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[89] 3× Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[90] 13× Platinum 3,900,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[91] 15× Platinum 15,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[92]
Bob Marley: The Legend Live
Gold 500,000^
Summaries
Worldwide 25,000,000[4]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Video[edit]

Sales certifications for Legend
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[93] 8× Platinum 64,000^
Australia (ARIA)[94] Platinum 15,000^
France (SNEP)[95] Platinum 20,000*
Germany (BVMI)[96] Gold 25,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[97] 2× Platinum 10,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[98] Gold 3,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[99] Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[100] Platinum 100,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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