Survival (Bob Marley and the Wailers album)

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Survival
Studio album by
Released2 October 1979
RecordedJanuary–February 1979
StudioTuff Gong Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica
GenreReggae
Length38:02 (original)
44:25 (2001 remastered)
LabelIsland/Tuff Gong
ProducerBob Marley & The Wailers, Alex Sadkin
Bob Marley and the Wailers chronology
Babylon by Bus
(1978)
Survival
(1979)
Uprising
(1980)

Survival is the eleventh studio album by Bob Marley and the Wailers released in 1979.

Survival is an album with an outwardly militant theme. Some critics speculate that this was due in part to criticism Marley received for the laid-back atmosphere of his previous release, Kaya, which seemed to sidetrack the urgency of his message.[1] In the song "Africa Unite", Marley proclaims Pan-African solidarity. The song "Zimbabwe" is a hymn dedicated to later-independent Rhodesia. The song was performed at Zimbabwe's Independence Celebration in 1980, just after the official declaration of Zimbabwe's independence.

Survival was originally to be called Black Survival to underscore the urgency of African unity, but the name was shortened to prevent misinterpretations of the album's theme.[1] The album was partially censored in South Africa because of their apartheid regime.[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[3]
Christgau's Record GuideB[4]
Smash Hits5/10[5]
A sample of "Zimbabwe"

Track listing[edit]

Original Tuff Gong LP[edit]

All tracks are written by Bob Marley, except where noted

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."So Much Trouble in the World"4:00
2."Zimbabwe"3:51
3."Top Rankin'"3:10
4."Babylon System"4:21
5."Survival"3:53
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Africa Unite" 2:54
7."One Drop" 3:51
8."Ride Natty Ride" 3:50
9."Ambush in the Night" 3:12
10."Wake Up and Live"Bob Marley, Anthony Davis4:58

Original Island Records LP[edit]

All tracks are written by Bob Marley, except where noted

ILPS 9542 (1979)
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Wake Up and Live"Bob Marley, Anthony Davis4:58
2."Africa Unite" 2:54
3."One Drop" 3:51
4."Ride Natty Ride" 3:50
5."Ambush in the Night" 3:12
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."So Much Trouble in the World"4:00
7."Zimbabwe"3:51
8."Top Rankin'"3:10
9."Babylon System"4:21
10."Survival"3:53

Tuff Gong cassette[edit]

All tracks are written by Bob Marley, except where noted

Jamaican pressing 7910 DP (circa 1984)
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Wake Up and Live"Bob Marley, Anthony Davis4:58
2."One Drop" 3:51
3."Ride Natty Ride" 3:50
4."Ambush in the Night" 3:12
5."Top Rankin'" 3:10
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Africa Unite"2:54
7."So Much Trouble in the World"4:00
8."Zimbabwe"3:51
9."Babylon System"4:21
10."Survival"3:53

Island Records LP re-issue[edit]

All tracks are written by Bob Marley, except where noted. Issued by Island Records with a Tuff Gong disc label. Track list revised, all tracks on side A move to side B and vice versa

ILPS 9542 (i) or ILPM 9542 (1986)
Side one
No.TitleLength
1."So Much Trouble in the World" (Bob Marley)4:00
2."Zimbabwe"3:50
3."Top Rankin'"3:10
4."Babylon System"4:36
5."Survival"4:00
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Africa Unite" 2:50
7."One Drop" 3:50
8."Ride Natty Ride" 3:50
9."Ambush in the Night" 3:10
10."Wake Up and Live"Bob Marley, Anthony Davis5:10

The Definitive Remastered edition (2001)[edit]

All tracks are written by Bob Marley, except where noted

Current CD version
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."So Much Trouble in the World" 4:00
2."Zimbabwe" 3:51
3."Top Rankin'" 3:10
4."Babylon System" 4:21
5."Survival" 3:53
6."Africa Unite" 2:54
7."One Drop" 3:51
8."Ride Natty Ride" 3:50
9."Ambush in the Night" 3:12
10."Wake Up and Live"Bob Marley, Anthony Davis4:58
11."Ride Natty Ride" (12-inch mix) 6:23
Total length:44:25

Front cover[edit]

The album's front cover depicts 48 African flags, 15 of which (in italics) are now obsolete. Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe Rhodesia at the time of the album's release) is represented by two political flags instead of a national flag. The cover also depicts the flag of Papua New Guinea, the only non-African country in the artwork.

 Kenya  Angola  Côte d'Ivoire  Ethiopian Empire[a]  Chad  Egypt  Ghana
 Senegal  Sierra Leone  Cameroon  Tunisia  Niger  Nigeria  Guinea
 Gambia  Somalia  Upper Volta[b]  Zaire[c]  Guinea-Bissau  Liberia  Swaziland[d]
 Madagascar  Togo  Mozambique  Central African Republic Zimbabwe (ZAPU)  Seychelles  Zambia
 Lesotho  Uganda  Algeria  Mali  Sudan  Botswana  Morocco
 People's Republic of the Congo[e]  Tanzania[f]  Burundi Zimbabwe (ZANU)  Mauritius  Mauritania  Gabon
 People's Republic of Benin  Equatorial Guinea  Papua New Guinea  Malawi  São Tomé and Príncipe  Djibouti  Rwanda
  1. ^ Now the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
  2. ^ Now Burkina Faso.
  3. ^ Now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  4. ^ Now Eswatini.
  5. ^ Now the Republic of the Congo.
  6. ^ The flag is shown upside-down on the front cover and bears a darker shade of blue.

Four states already sovereign by the time of the album's release didn't have their flags featured in its cover art, though they were featured in a poster that came with the album:[6]

Two non-sovereign regions that didn't have their flags included in the cover art are also featured in the bonus poster:

Three states only came to sovereignty after the album's release and thus didn't have their flags included neither in the cover art nor in the bonus poster:

The album's title appears in white (City typeface) with the Brookes slave ship engraving in the background.

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for Survival
Chart (1979) Peak
position
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[8] 32
Norwegian Albums Chart[9] 10
New Zealand Albums Chart[10] 14
Swedish Albums Chart[11] 17
UK Albums Chart[12] 20
US Billboard Top LPs & Tape 70
US Top Soul LPs (Billboard) 32

Certifications[edit]

Certifications for Survival
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[13] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[14] Gold 100,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[15] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 60,000

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tribute to Bob Marley The Daily Star.
  2. ^ "Survival". Bob Marley. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  3. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Review: Survival Bonus Track". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 4 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  5. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (1–14 November 1979): 29.
  6. ^ "Bob Marley's Survival: An Album for Zimbabwe!". 2 October 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  7. ^ Roger Steffens and Leroy Pierson, Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography (Cambridge, MA: Rounder, 2005)
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992: 23 years of hit singles & albums from the top 100 charts. St Ives, N.S.W, Australia: Australian Chart Book. p. 192. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Norwegian charts portal". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  10. ^ Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". charts.nz. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  11. ^ Steffen Hung. "Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  12. ^ "Bob Marley & the Wailers | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Survival". Music Canada. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  14. ^ "French album certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Survival" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  15. ^ Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990 (in Spanish), Iberautor Promociones Culturales, 2005, ISBN 8480486392, retrieved 25 April 2018
  16. ^ "British album certifications – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Survival". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 June 2019.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Survival in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.