Rastaman Vibration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rastaman Vibration
Studio album by
Released30 April 1976
Recordedlate 1975–early 1976
StudioHarry J. Studios, Joe Gibbs Studio, Kingston, Jamaica
ProducerBob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley and the Wailers chronology
Rastaman Vibration
Singles from Rastaman Vibration
  1. "War"
    Released: 1976
Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
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.


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 8), 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 no. 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.

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]

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.[5]

War audio sample

Vincent Ford, a childhood friend from Jamaica, is 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.[5][6]

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.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
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
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


Chart (1976) Peak
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[7] 32
France (IFOP)[8] 12
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[9] 20
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[10] 26
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 14
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 45
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 15
US Billboard 200[14] 8
US R&B Albums[14] 11


Bob Marley and the Wailers


Source: The Jamaica Observer[15][16]


  1. ^ Bush, Nathan. "Bob Marley & the Wailers – Rastaman Vibration". AllMusic. All Media Network. 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. ^ a b Leigh, Spencer (7 January 2009). "Vincent Ford: Songwriter credited with composing 'No Woman, No Cry'". The Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4282a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Vibration" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Charts.nz – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Vibration". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Rastaman Vibration – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  15. ^ Campbell, Howard (24 January 2016). "Rastaman Vibration!". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Rastaman Vibration Trivia". The Jamaica Observer. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.

External links[edit]