Rastaman Vibration

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Rastaman Vibration
BobMarley-RastamanVibration.jpg
Studio album by
Released30 April 1976
Recordedlate 1975–early 1976
StudioHarry J. Studios, Joe Gibbs Studio, Kingston, Jamaica
GenreReggae
Length35:21
Label
ProducerBob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley and the Wailers chronology
Live!
(1975)
Rastaman Vibration
(1976)
Exodus
(1977)
Singles from Rastaman Vibration
  1. "War"
    Released: 1976
Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[2]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[3]

Rastaman Vibration is the eighth studio album by the reggae band Bob Marley and the Wailers, released in April 1976.

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing for Rolling Stone in 1976, Robert Palmer said that on the album Marley consummately performs "a dual role as spokesman for the Third World's disadvantaged and avatar of a highly commercial brand of popular music". While lacking the forceful, intricate quality of the Wailers' past line-up, "the sensitive, careful listener will learn from Rastaman Vibration something of the pain, rage and determination of Shantytown, Jamaica, and perhaps something of the community's political and cultural fragmentation as well", Palmer concluded.[4]

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said if the record's first side "makes it seem that reggae has turned into the rasta word for boogie—even to a Trenchtown tragedy recited with all the toughness of an imprecation against litter—the unimpassioned sweetness of most of side two sounds like a function of reflective distance, assured in its hard-won calm. Some of it's even better."[2]

The singer Bilal names it among his 25 favorite albums, citing the production's handling of "different rock guitar lines and organ lines".[5]

Commercial performance[edit]

Rastaman Vibration was a great success in the US, becoming the first Bob Marley release to reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart (peaking at number eight), in addition to releasing Marley's most popular US single "Roots, Rock, Reggae", the only Marley single to reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 51. Synthesizers are featured prominently on Rastaman Vibration, adding a breezy embellishment to otherwise hard-driving songs with strong elements of rock guitar. This is one of the three Wailers solo albums released in 1976, along with Blackheart Man by Bunny Wailer and Legalize It by Peter Tosh.

Songwriting credits[edit]

Although the album's liner notes list multiple songwriters, including family friends and band members, all songs were written by Marley. Marley was involved in a contractual dispute at the time with his former publishing company, Cayman music. Marley had not wanted his new songs to be associated with Cayman and it was speculated, including in his obituary in The Independent, that he had put them in the names of his friends and family members as a means of avoiding the contractual restrictions and to provide lasting help to family and close friends.[6]

War audio sample

Vincent Ford, a childhood friend from Jamaica, is credited as the songwriter for "No Woman, No Cry" on the 1974 album Natty Dread, as well as the songs "Crazy Baldheads" (with Marley's wife Rita), "Positive Vibration" and "Roots Rock Reggae" from Rastaman Vibration, along with "Inna De Red" and "Jah Bless" with Marley's son, Stephen.[6][7]

Marley's widow and his former manager Danny Sims sued to obtain royalty and ownership rights to the songs, claiming that Marley had actually written the songs but had assigned the credit to Ford to avoid meeting commitments made in prior contracts. A 1987 court decision favored the Marley estate, which assumed full control of the songs.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Positive Vibration"Vincent Ford3:34
2."Roots, Rock, Reggae"Vincent Ford3:38
3."Johnny Was"Rita Marley3:48
4."Cry to Me"Rita Marley2:36
5."Want More"Aston Barrett4:14
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Crazy Baldhead"Rita Marley, Vincent Ford3:12
2."Who the Cap Fit"Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett4:43
3."Night Shift"Bob Marley3:10
4."War"Allen Cole, Carlton Barrett3:36
5."Rat Race"Rita Marley2:50
The Definitive Remastered edition (2001) Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Positive Vibration"Vincent Ford3:34
2."Roots, Rock, Reggae"Vincent Ford3:38
3."Johnny Was"Rita Marley3:48
4."Cry to Me"Rita Marley2:36
5."Want More"Aston Barrett4:14
6."Crazy Baldhead"Rita Marley, Vincent Ford3:12
7."Who the Cap Fit"Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett4:43
8."Night Shift"Bob Marley3:10
9."War"Allen Cole, Carlton Barrett3:36
10."Rat Race"Rita Marley2:50
11."Jah Live"Bob Marley, Lee Perry4:16
Deluxe edition (2002): Disc one: Rastaman Vibration remastered
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Positive Vibration"Vincent Ford3:34
2."Roots, Rock, Reggae"Vincent Ford3:38
3."Johnny Was"Rita Marley3:48
4."Cry to Me"Rita Marley2:36
5."Want More"Aston Barrett4:14
6."Crazy Baldhead"Rita Marley, Vincent Ford3:12
7."Who the Cap Fit"Aston Barrett, Carlton Barrett4:43
8."Night Shift"Bob Marley3:10
9."War"Allen Cole, Carlton Barrett3:36
10."Rat Race"Rita Marley2:50
11."Jah Live" (original mix)Bob Marley, Lee Perry4:16
12."Concrete" (b-side of "Jah Live")Bob Marley, Lee Perry4:24
13."Roots, Rock, Reggae" (unreleased single mix)Vincent Ford3:38
14."Roots, Rock, Dub" (unreleased single dub mix)Vincent Ford3:38
15."Want More" (unreleased alternate album mix)Aston Barrett5:10
16."Crazy Baldhead" (unreleased alternate album mix)Rita Marley, Vincent Ford3:08
17."War" (unreleased alternate album mix)Allen Cole, Carlton Barrett4:03
18."Johnny Was" (unreleased alternate album mix)Rita Marley3:41
Disc two: Rastaman Vibration tour live at The Roxy, Hollywood, California, 26 May 1976
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Introduction"Bob Marley0:38
2."Trenchtown Rock"Bob Marley4:55
3."Burnin' and Lootin'"Bob Marley4:53
4."Them Belly Full (but We Hungry)"Leon Cogill, Carlton Barrett4:12
5."Rebel Music (3 o'Clock Road Block)"Aston Barrett, Hugh Peart5:54
6."I Shot the Sheriff"Bob Marley6:27
7."Want More"Aston Barrett6:55
8."No Woman, No Cry"Vincent Ford5:18
9."Lively Up Yourself"Bob Marley5:44
10."Roots, Rock, Reggae"Vincent Ford5:32
11."Rat Race"Rita Marley7:46
12."Smile Jamaica" (part one, a-side)Bob Marley, Lee Perry3:18
13."Smile Jamaica" (part two, b-side)Bob Marley, Lee Perry3:07

Personnel[edit]

Bob Marley and the Wailers

with:

Source: The Jamaica Observer[8][9]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
position
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[10] 32
France (IFOP)[11] 12
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[12] 20
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[13] 26
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[14] 14
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 45
UK Albums (OCC)[16] 15
US Billboard 200[17] 8
US R&B Albums[17] 11

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, Nathan. "Bob Marley & the Wailers – Rastaman Vibration". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. ^ Abowitz, Richard. "Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  4. ^ Palmer, Robert (17 June 1976). "Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007.
  5. ^ Simmons, Ted (26 February 2013). "Bilal's 25 Favorite Albums". Complex. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b Leigh, Spencer (7 January 2009). "Vincent Ford: Songwriter credited with composing 'No Woman, No Cry'". The Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b Kenner, Rob (3 January 2009). "Vincent Ford Dies at 68; Inspired Classic Bob Marley Songs". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  8. ^ Campbell, Howard (24 January 2016). "Rastaman Vibration!". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Rastaman Vibration Trivia". The Jamaica Observer. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4282a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Select "Bob Marley & the Wailers" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Vibration" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Vibration". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Rastaman Vibration – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Rastaman Vibration in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links[edit]